How to Feng Shui Your Bookshelf

colorful bookshelf with magazines and other items

Vladimir Mokry / Unsplash

One thing that people accumulate in large numbers is books. We are given books as gifts, and we buy new books, and sooner or later we’ve gathered so many that there’s no way we’ll be able to read them all!

Books can be challenging to get rid of, since we tend to have high hopes that someday soon we’ll tackle our enormous reading list. We also may hold onto books that once were meaningful, even though they don’t resonate with us anymore. This can even mean that we avoid buying the books that we really want to read, because we feel like we need to get through the ones we already have first. 

One other thing to keep in mind when it comes to clutter is that in order to invite something new into your life, you have to start with space. This applies to the physical environment around you as well as your internal environment, and the two are always reflecting and influencing one another. For example, by making space in your home, you are also making space in your life for new opportunities. 

In feng shui, books represent wisdom, knowledge, and information. This is true of fiction books, too. When you are holding onto a lot of old books, it may mean that you are also holding onto old ways of thinking. This can prevent you from seeing new opportunities and coming up with new ideas. In order to invite innovation and new ways of thinking into your life, there needs to be space. Start by making space on your bookshelf, and then notice how your life reflects this.

Book shelves in modern living room
Darren Richardson / Unsplash

Where Is Book Clutter?

Clutter in a particular area of your home can also indicate a block in a certain area of your life. Do books always tend to pile up on your dining room table? Your dining table represents friendships and how you connect with others, so there could be a block in creating new or deeper friendships. If clutter always accumulates in your office, there may be something preventing you from making progress in your career.

You can also look at the bagua area where the book clutter is piling up. If there is clutter in your relationships area, for example (the far right corner of your home or bedroom when you are standing in the entrance facing in), there may be a block when it comes to romance, other relationships, or perhaps your relationship with yourself. 

plants and magazines on a bookshelf
kolya korzh / Unsplash 

Is Clutter Bad Feng Shui? 

There’s a misconception that decluttering is the same as feng shui. While decluttering can certainly be a valuable practice, there’s a lot more to feng shui than getting rid of things. When feng shui was developed, in fact, clutter wasn’t really a problem because people didn’t have as much stuff as they do today. 

Clutter is also not always a bad thing. You don’t have to be a minimalist with empty walls and surfaces to have good qi in your home. However, there are times when it is beneficial to take a look at clutter. When we have so much stuff in our homes, it can be another thing that we have to deal with, which can increase stress levels. It can also become a source of guilt if we end up not dealing with it.  

When you accumulate a lot of clutter, it can also start to collect yin qi, which is related to death, and it becomes difficult to manage. Yin qi in itself is not bad, but you want yin and yang to be in balance, without too much of either. Are there any areas of your home that are collecting dust and dead flies? Are there places in your home you haven’t touched in weeks, or even months? These may be signs that there is too much yin qi. 

Clutter can also prevent us from enjoying the things we do have. You may have many beautiful paintings, but if your entire wall is covered with them, it’s almost impossible to really take in each one. Rather than feeling the need to collect beautiful objects, try to appreciate them in the moment, and keep just a few in your home that are really special to you. Then you can give each one your full attention and appreciate it more deeply.