Feng-shui(ing) my life before moving to Madrid

Authored by:
Shannon S.

Sad as it may be, I don’t have Hermione’s undetectable extension-charmed purse and, therefore, can not transport my entire life across the Atlantic for my big move to España. So now, preparing for Madrid means slimming down: classifying my belongings into things that compliment my energy and the rejects collecting dust under my bed. In this transitional period of my life, I want to own (and leave behind) as few things as possible. By feng-shui (ing) my life, I’m lightening my load as I traverse into the newest chapter of my life and creating space for inviting the new

Though the Chinese's feng-shui philosophy is beautifully intentional and involved, my process is analogous to a small sliver of the feng-shui pie; essentially, I keep what’s important and find new homes for the rest. Travel itself can require purchases of items that take up space, like luggage and European adapters, so it’s best to downsize as much as possible. My valuables, both practical and sentimental, will either come with me or be condemned to storage. The legwork comes from ditching the trash barrels and relocating the items I assigned to the “no” pile.  I have three "best practices" for minimizing the number of items I own:                                                                                                    

One woman’s ex-nightmare’s shirt is another woman’s graphic tee, right? Some of our clothes hold some bad blood (just an expression!), but if they’re in fine condition, I like to let them do some good and show up in another girl’s insta OOTD. The best part about donating is there’s very little work involved, it’s fast, and sometimes, it does some good for someone in need. I like to give to thrift stores, because they often accept any treasure, like a loved pair of heels, a picture frame, or even a coffee machine. Other places that accept donations are Good Will, local elementary schools and food shelves, Habitat for Humanity, and H&M

Pro tip: look for stores like City Sports who take your used sneakers and send them to Ghana! ¡Qué bueno! ​                          

Tengo dos hermanas, so when I fill a donation box, I usually catch one of them sifting through looking for that top she always steals. So before donating newer items, whether it’s clothes, makeup, décor, or others I like to ask my family and friends if they need anything. If I’m trying to get rid of furniture, I look for people who are moving. If I know someone still in high school, I might ask if they’re looking for a prom dress ( I still have two, worn only once!). Maybe the local library needs a new slew of books. 

This one requires patience, but when my stunning sorority formal dress hangs in my closet after being worn only once, I figure I should put in the work to sell that beauty.  

If I have a few items for sale, I like to use Facebook Marketplace and Instagram. Apps like Mercari and Poshmark are easy, because the app facilitates all of the interactions, but it’s so popular that it may take more time to sell. When I have several items, I like to organize small yard sales, or better yet, find a neighbor who’s hosting a yard sale and hop on that train. If all else fails and I’m running out of time, I can always donate! 

Most of us have three weeks before we jump on a plane, so there is time to feng-shui the life we are leaving behind for now. There’s always someone out there who can make use of the things we’ve outgrown. For example, those of us who have recently graduated acquired piles of dorm essentials and school supplies that can be refurbished and reused. Look hard for places to give, and of course, it’s always important to use good judgement and only give the things that are still useful and in good condition. So, whether you're feng-shui(ing) or embracing another philosophy (like the Konmari Method), work towards becoming that “minimalist” you’ve always wanted to be, welcome that positive energy, and I’ll see you on Marie Condo’s next episode of “Tidying Up”

İHasta la próxima!   

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