Electronic and Physical Clutter

by Carol C. Wheelock

Dear Carol,
How do you feel about electronic equipment in children's bedrooms? Concerned Mom

Dear Mom,

You are right to be concerned. Today's children are exposed to a great deal of electronic equipment throughout their day. It has become very natural for them to be plugged into music while using the computer in front of the television. Technology is part of their lives.

There are several major concerns. On a basic level, it is easy to be disconnected from the environment if a child is always connected to some variety of technology. Feng shui is about being in harmony with one's surroundings. It's difficult to be in harmony with something if there is no awareness of it in the first place.

Secondly, the bedroom needs to be a place to rest and relax. Recognizing that children's room are also used for study, entertaining friends, playing, etc., this becomes problematic. It's best if the room can be divided so that there are clear areas for specific activities, with special consideration given to a place to sleep. Understanding that many teens do their homework on their beds, I would encourage them to remove all study materials from their bed areas when they get ready to sleep.

Secondly, all that electronic equipment gives off an electromagnetic field. The electrical current in the human body is different from the electrical current that runs through all the electronic devices, including televisions. That means that the body has to work to maintain its own internal balance. During sleep, the body needs to be able to relax and restore its own balance. If all that electronic equipment is left on and is near the bed, the body cannot get the benefits from sleep that it needs.

Ideally, there would be no electronic equipment in the bedroom. Realistically, there will be some. Do unplug televisions and monitors at night because they give off electromagnetic energy even when turned off if they are still plugged in. Do keep alarm clocks at least six feet away from the head of the bed. In other words, try to make the sleep area as healthy and supportive as possible.

By the way, this applies to adults also!

Dear Carol,
I would like my whole family to help declutter our house and simplify our lives. I'm not getting much support. Any ideas?

Dear Caroline,

This is the perfect time of year to embark on this seemingly daunting task. It's often an in-between time when there is not as much to do outdoors, so you have a captive audience.

Also the holidays are coming. Try to look at the process itself as a way to simplify, rather than adding one more thing to do at a time when you probably feel that you already have too many things on your list. It's all a matter of perspective.

Think of decluttering as making room for something you want. For example, rather than thinking that cleaning out the basement is drudgery, think of it as making space for something you want in your life. In the case of the basement, it could be making room for something literal; for example, a ping pong table. Or it could be more symbolic - making room for more free time, etc.

Children, especially, get caught up in the holiday gift giving and receiving practice. They rarely lack ideas for something to ask for. Take advantage of this. If a child wants something, tell him or her that there has to be room for it. That means getting rid of things.

The idea of getting rid of 27 things at a time works just as well with children as it does with adults. With assistance, even a young child is capable of finding toys no longer played with, clothes that no longer fit, or stuffed animals no longer cuddled. Fill a bag with 27 things and congratulate your child on accomplishing the goal.

This is also the perfect time of year to talk about those less fortunate. Take the clothes, toys, and stuffed animals that are in good condition to an organization that can use them. The children learn about giving to others, items get recycled, their rooms get decluttered, and you will be well on your way to simplifying.

Once you've accomplished your goal, it would be helpful to practice mindfulness around bringing new things into the house. If something comes in, something also goes out. This can apply to a pair of shoes, a book, a toy, or whatever. That way, you won't find yourself in the same situation again and you will maintain an even flow in your life.

Dear Readers,

As another year comes to an end, I would like to thank you for your feedback and questions. Feng shui is a powerful and empowering tool to enhancing life. I appreciate this opportunity to share my passion for it with you.

Although there is not peace in the world as this time, I believe that through mindful intention we can all work toward the goal of peace. Feng shui is about finding balance and peace within ourselves and it is from this inner balance point that we each can intentionally spread light and love. Feng shui is also about being in harmony with our surroundings, which includes others in our surroundings, whether its on a personal or global level.. A mindfulness regarding taking an active role in spreading peace and harmony creates a ripple effect and that ripple effect is our hope for the future.

May you all have peace in your hearts, light in your souls, and harmony in your lives this holiday season.


Carol C. Wheelock, M.Ed. of Feng Shui Vermont is a certified feng shui practitioner who has studied in the United Sates and China. She practices Black Sect or western feng shui. Carol does private consultations for homes, schools, libraries, and businesses; clutter counseling and clearing; spaces clearings; phone consultations; presentations; and teaches workshops throughout the United States. She also does personal clearings.

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Carol C. Wheelock