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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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9 Feng Shui Hacks That Will Improve Your Energy and Home

Several weeks ago I wrote about unexpected sources for organizing inspiration. One of these sources came from an event I attended the Northeast Regional Conference for Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NERCPO.) My colleague, Sandra Wheeler, who is an organizer and Feng Shui practitioner, spoke about ways to create more flow in your life. I was intrigued by her presentation, so I invited her to share some of her ideas with you. After all, as humans, we’re always searching for simple ways to improve our experience. Those small, seemingly insignificant shifts can make all of the difference.  As we enter the activity of the holiday season, wind down one year, and begin another, finding ways to reduce stress, increase joy, and remaining open for possibilities are key. 


Before we begin the interview, let me tell you a bit more about Sandra. She is a member of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO.) Sandra earned her Specialist Certificates in both Residential and Workplace Productivity. She served on the NAPO-CT Board from 2008-2016 and received the Founders Award for her contributions. Sandra earned her Feng Shui Certification from the New England School of Feng Shui. On a personal note, she is an excellent teacher with a great sense of humor. You can connect with Sandra on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or her website.



Linda Samuels:  Can you briefly describe what Feng Shui is?

Sandra Wheeler:  Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice. Our homes are a mirror of what is going on inside us. The purpose of Feng Shui is to get your environment in alignment with who you are and where you want to go in life – to harmonize your energy with your home’s energy.



Linda:  What got you interested in becoming a Feng Shui practitioner?

Sandra:  About 15 years ago, I had a strong sense that my home needed ‘something.’ I contacted a Feng Shui practitioner, he did an energy clearing, and the process and the results fascinated me. I then found the New England School of Feng Shui and took classes over many years. 



Linda:  How do you integrate Feng Shui with your organizing work?

Sandra:  My first rule in Feng Shui is to “do no harm.” I do not impose my knowledge on someone unless they ask. If an organizing client knows I am a practitioner and asks questions, I obviously answer them. Other times, if I notice that a bed or desk is not in the best spot in the room, I will ask if they are able to sleep (bedroom) or focus (office.) If their response is negative, I will make suggestions.  



Linda:  What are some of your favorite Feng Shui ‘light’ tips?


  • Storing a great deal in the attic, keeps you from ‘aspiring,’ reaching for new heights. 
  • Storing a great deal in the basement, keeps you rooted in the past, in place, prevents you from moving forward. 
  • Bedrooms are for loving, resting and preparing for your day. They are private spaces (yin). No televisions. No pictures of parents, kids, etc. Only display pictures of you and your (current) partner. Keep No piles of unfinished projects. No exercise equipment draped in clothing.
  • Lighting activates energy, so have enough light sources in your living areas so they can be well lit when in use. If spaces are in the dark, those represent neglect of certain aspects of your life.  
  • Keep your toilet seats lowered to keep your ‘finances and energy’ from going down the drain. 
  • Use all of the burners on your stove regularly. This area contributes to your abundance. 
  • Generally, it is important to surround yourself with things of beauty, things that make you smile, and items that have meaning to you. 
  • The more stuff you have on the floor, the more it pulls down your energy and can lead to depression. You don’t want to sort large volumes of paper on the floor and then leave the piles there for any length of time. This is also the same with laundry, etc. 
  • Individuals tend to feel most comfortable with their back to a wall, rather than a window or door. Notice where you sit in your home office, the dining room, and living room, etc. Where do you feel most comfortable?


Thank you, Sandra, for joining us. I’m sure that many of us have a desire to create environments that support who we are and what we want our life to be like. It’s fascinating that by making some simple changes in our environment, like the ones you suggested, we can shift our energy internally and in our home to be more positive, supportive, and conducive for living in a state of flow.

Please join Sandra and me as we continue the conversation. I’d love to hear your thoughts. What resonates with you? 





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Reader Comments (39)

Your interviews are always so interesting! I already practice many of these (sit with back to the wall, keep toilet seat lowered), but have to admit I would find it difficult to apply some of the others (use all the burners on the stove).

November 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you like the interviews. I haven't done one in quite a while, and after I heard Sandra present at the NERCPO conference, she inspired me to do this again. It's great that you're already practicing some of the Feng Shui tips. I'm reasonably sure that Sandra would say that it's not necessary to do all of them. It's a matter of figuring out where energy is stuck, or where challenges exist and make adjustments to help those. It's interesting that you commented on the burners. I tend to use some more than others. Possibly between my husband and me, the four get enough activity.

November 26, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Thank you for this interview. I love the quick list of tips Sandra provided. A friend of mine uses a Feng Shui consultant whenever something changes in her life. Recently, her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Before he started his treatments, my friend did a consult and changed a few things around as a result. I learned a lot about this practice during the 9 years I lived in Asia.

November 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

@Diane- I'm so happy that you enjoyed Sandra's interview and tips. I had forgotten that you lived in Asia for nine years. That's incredible! I hope that your friend's husband is doing better with the help of their Feng Shui practitioner. I love how your friend has them as their go-to person for helping adjust their home when life changes. Recognizing that our environment needs to shift as our lives change is essential. Having someone to help with that is even better.

November 26, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I've heard Sandra's presentation twice and both times I've been enthralled. In addition to her great content, she is a fun and entertaining presenter. I've been running around putting toilet seats down and talking about energy flow ever since. I love that she needs to point out that you should only keep photos in the bedroom of you and your CURRENT partner... hate to think of the alternative! Whether you are "all in" with Feng Shui or not, so much of this just makes common sense. Keep the floors clear, don't weigh yourself down, surround yourself with things you love. Just a wonderful session. Thanks so much, Linda, for writing this up!

November 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

@Seana- Lucky you! I was fascinated with what Sandra shared. And I'm in complete agreement with you that she is an excellent presenter. She had a way of making the concepts accessible and practical. It's funny, but over the Thanksgiving weekend, we had many guests in the house- not all of which were accustomed to putting down the toilet lids. Each time I noticed, I placed the lids down. I think that Sandra's teachings were in the back of my mind. Or perhaps it's just an organizer thing with a preference for things to be in place. But it's nice to know that in the Feng Shui world lids down reap a positive benefit for energy and finances.

November 26, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

When clients ask me about feng shui, I tell them: I am not an expert. But I do know the first step is to de-clutter and make space for energy to flow. I can help you with that! And if you want more, I can refer you to an expert.

November 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHazel Thornton

@Hazel- I like your first step, which certainly seems to be a key to getting energy and space to flow. Less clutter. More flow. How lucky too, that you have a local Feng Shui expert to refer.

November 26, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I'm a big fan of Feng Shui. I had this done in my home some years ago, and it transformed my life. It's wonderful!

We have a powder room right off the living room. When you sit in the living room, you can see right into the bathroom. It's very uncomfortable when you can see the bathroom from the living space. So, I make sure the door and toilet seat are closed. It's much more peaceful that way.

Thank you for sharing this interview.

November 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina Quairoli

@Sabrina- It's fantastic to hear Feng Shui success stories, like yours. How inspiring that it transformed your life. One of the unusual things that Sandra shared was that given the philosophy of Feng Shui and what she studied, follow-up is not encouraged or part of the process. So she doesn't get to hear about the positive influences her work has in the homes she goes to. If clients choose to share their successes with her, that's fine, but apparently, she's not supposed to seek out feedback. I found that aspect fascinating.

November 26, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I love how Sandra provided some straightforward tips that don't require a lot of understanding of feng shui principles to put into use. Even without having much of a foundation in feng shui, this advice also made sense from an organizational perspective and from an emotional/psychological one. Fascinating!

November 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Bestry

@Julie- One of the things I appreciated most about Sandra's feng shui tips was how practical, and well-aligned they were with good organizational advice (as you mentioned.) In her presentation, she went into more depth, but these types of tips are useful even without understanding everything. I'm so glad you found them valuable too and appreciate you stopping by.

November 26, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Love this post! How enlightening to learn about these ideas!

November 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

@Ellen- I'm glad you liked the post and the ideas that Sandra shared. I'm appreciative that you joined us and weighed in.

November 26, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Janet: Just to clarify when I mentioned using all the burners on your stove. I didn't mean all at once. I meant over time, using them all. Not necessarily equally, just often.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSandra Wheeler

@Sandra- Thank you for clarifying your point about the stove and burners. Our burners (all four) got some good activity over the Thanksgiving holiday. :)

November 27, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Kudos to you, Linda for sharing Sandra's expertise. She is truly a special person, marvelous presenter, and an awesome organizer. We are fortunate to have her a part of our chapter. Throughout the coming year, may we all share each other's wise words of wisdom.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJudith Ann Kirk

@Judith- It was wonderful seeing you at the NERCPO conference. I appreciate you stopping by to join us here too. You are fortunate to have Sandra in the NAPO-CT chapter. She is a wise person, and I'm grateful that she took the time to share her expertise with us. It's the gift that keeps on giving. I was able to share one of her ideas recently with a client.

November 28, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Hi... just a quick question. If my door is facing west- an unlucky direction for me, what color do you recommend for me to paint my door? I’m a mental element. Thank you.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCherry grace

@Cherry- Thank you for stopping by to ask your questions about the direction of your door and a recommended paint color. I'll make sure that Sandra sees your question and responds.

November 29, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Today’s Feng Shui grew out of two very different schools, the FORM School and the COMPASS School. Each approach is completely authentic, with 3,000+ years of history behind it.

The oldest type, called “Form School” Feng Shui originated in the mountainous regions of China. Its theories are based upon the locations of land forms and waterways, and a strong view that welcomes Chi energy into the environment. This type of Feng Shui is also called the Three-Gate School because the Bagua (3 x 3 grid) is oriented from the entrance, where Chi energy enters the environment through one of three sectors at the bottom of the map. This is the type of Feng Shui I practice.

The second type, called “Compass School” Feng Shui, originated in the flat regions of China where distinctive land forms were scarce. This type of Feng Shui is strictly based upon compass directions and also uses historical numerical and astrological information.

I apologize, but your question is based on Compass School and I have not studied that version.

November 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSandra Wheeler

@Sandra- Thank you for that in-depth explanation about the different Feng Shui schools of thought. I remember you mentioning it briefly during your NERCPO presentation and appreciated reading more here.

November 30, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

So glad I found this. Do you do Chinese astrology also? Should we keep a picture or a statue of our zodiac sign?
My fame area is in the bathroom. That doesn’t sound good. Any suggestions? I think Feng Shui is so fascinating, but extremely complicated.thank you for reading this.

November 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKrista wright

@Krista- Thank you for stopping by. I'm glad you found us too. I'll wait for Sandra to weigh in as she's the Feng Shui expert and I love all that she has shared with us so far.

December 1, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Hello. I’ve been looking for something like this. I want to improve my social life and attract friends. What area of Feng Shui should I focus on? My life has been very lonely and I believe Feng Shui might help. What recommendations do you have for a this?
Thank you,

December 4, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterStacey Chandler

@Stacey- I'll wait for Sandra to respond to you because she is the expert with this. When I heard her speak, she described several situations where making small changes in someone's environment created an opening for improved relationships. I appreciate you stopping by and look forward to what Sandra will share.

December 4, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Krista, I try to stay away from 'shoulds'. The bathroom in your fame area isn't a problem unless you're having trouble being recognized for what you want to be recognized for in life. If that is a problem, then we recommend making an adjustment in that space. Difficult to make any recommendation without actually having a consultation and see the space.

December 4, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSandra Wheeler

@Sandra- I love what you said about staying away from "shoulds." When we use the should word, it can be an indicator to dig a bit deeper to figure out what is most important to us. What great advice that you offered Krista.

December 4, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Thank you both, ladies.

December 4, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKrista wright

@Krista- You're most welcome. Thank YOU for stopping by to continue the conversation. Wishing you all the best as you pursue life's shifts and changes. Sandra's contact info is in the post's links in case you want to consult with her directly for personalized suggestions.

December 5, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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