Let Good Fortune In
Like guests and online-shopping deliveries, opportunities come to us through the front door, says Chan. So, to start off January on a positive note, your entryway should be attractive and welcoming. Your house number should be clearly visible, so "energy and opportunities can find you," the door itself shouldn't have any chipped paint and the doorbell should work. And, once the door's open, Chan says, you'll want to make sure that the energy can enter. It should be able to swing open at least 90 degrees, and the entryway should be clean.
Clean the Air
The air in our homes can become stagnant in colder months, with the windows closed most of the time. To bring energy and freshness to your space even when it's frigid outside, Chan recommends adding plants, since they're natural air purifiers. She advises clients to find an area of their home where there's unused space, or where the energy "isn't moving" (it could be an empty corner or an end table cluttered with papers and magazines) and place a plant there—:preferably one that has an upward movement (everything in feng shui is symbolic, so a plant that grows up instead of out will help boost the room's chi, or energy). Easy-to-care-for ones include snake plants, peace lilies and aloe vera
. You can also refresh the air in your closed-up home with aromatherapy; Chan suggests using uplifting and energizing citrus scents, such as grapefruit and lemon, either with essential oils in an air diffuser or via a candle.
Make Space for Reflection
Chan says as we move into winter, we should consider making our spaces more yin (it's more muted than the brighter and bolder yang): December, January and February are quieter, darker months that invite us to do more contemplative, maybe even meditative, activities at home. To help foster this feeling, try setting up a quiet place where you can spend time looking inward. If you can, choose a room with fewer windows (if your only option is a bright room, use window treatments to darken the room). And if there are hardwood floors, add an area rug to soften the space. To focus your attention, you can ring a bell or small cymbals and add a grounding scent, such as a frankincense or sandalwood candle. Lastly, Chan advises having a focal point in the room, such as an altar with items that are important to you placed on it, whether a stone you found on a special trip or a card with a quote you love.
Prep Your Sleep Space
The final weeks of the year are busy enough—so, you want to be sure you're getting a restful night's sleep when you finally do lie down. To cultivate yin, Chan says, it's best to keep electronics (such as phones, TVs and computers) out of your bedroom, as well as work-related items. If you can't completely remove them, you can cover them—drape a cloth over electronics and put work papers into a closed cabinet. And as tempting as it is to store items under your bed, Chan says to limit them to soft items, such as summer clothing and linens, and to not cram them into boxes tightly. If there's breathing room in and around the containers, energy can circulate, which she says will help you sleep better.
Let Go of What You Don't Love
Chan encourages clients to declutter all the time, but she says it's especially beneficial in the last few days of the year. "When you let go of things in an intentional way, you make room for new and better things to come in," she says. Artwork, furniture, clothing and pantry items are all good places to start, she says. If you're feeling guilty about parting with something, Chan suggests this ritual: Thank the item for what it's given you, and then donate it with the knowledge that it will go to someone else who needs it. "It's often the memory of [the thing] that serves us—not the actual thing," she says.