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Staging

February 27, 2007

We receive a lot of solicitations from realtors, probably because the local real estate establishment’s assumption is that people in our neighborhood aspire to move. In our case, moving is a belayed aspiration.

I have lived in 33 different houses and apartments. Moving has been a natural cycle in my life, like the tides and seasons. I have never lived in the same home for more than six years. This is Year Five in our present house. The itch is present, but the ambition to scratch it is not.

The latest realtor solicitation included a brochure titled, “Feng Shui 101.” “Homekeeping Goes Woo Woo” would make an apt sub-title. This helpful brochure details how to go about “staging” your home for life, as well as how to “stage” your home for market. The chief difference is that, if you are staging for life, you may keep your belongings in your home. However, they should be neatly in their places, arranged for optimal energy and harmony. If you are staging for market, the things that signify who you are and what you have will serve merely to thwart a marketable flow of energy. They’ve got to go.

Our house is passably clean but definitely has the staged-for-life look. Books are everywhere, hindering energy flow on every surface. Ancestral photographs, diplomas, and several photographs of my inordinately photogenic cat embellish my study’s crimson walls. Too many objects occupy the fireplace mantle, awaiting disposition by my estate’s executors.

The energy in our house is clogged.

“Feng Shui 101” lists hints for better living through manipulation of energy fields. Paramount is clutter: clutter needs to be removed, or at least diffused. Another idea is to remove or cover bedroom mirrors, because mirrors reflect disharmony and could disturb sleep. The use of a black or blue doormat “encourages good things to flow in like water.” I live in a region where water needs no encouragement to flow into homes; it does that enough on its own. The idea of anything flowing into my house like water evokes severe distress.

Red is romantic, but should be used sparingly because it triggers anger. Warning: Exercise extreme caution when entering my study. Its walls are very intensely crimson. Anger vectors careen at indeterminate velocities. Actually, I find it rather energizing.

“Feng Shui 101” also cautions against decorating with dried flowers, because they “have no energy left.” And the brochure exhorts the lady of the manor, whether staging for life or for market, to “channel your inner cleaning lady and decorator.” We won’t go there.

I was dismissive of the feng shui ruse. But then I began noticing pockets of energy-obstructing clutter. Soon, I was liberating energy channels throughout the house. Pictures and notes stuck on the refrigerator with veterinary clinic magnets–gone! Stacks of printed copies of Internet books–stuffed in a closed file box! Catalogues and magazines–banished to document boxes in the den! Objects on the mantle–still there!

I can’t say that the energy flow feels any different. Of course, my own capacitance could be disrupting it. But I’ve decided to rehang the bedroom mirror behind the door. Reflected disharmony is very dicey.

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3 Comments
  1. February 27, 2007 9:30 pm

    I’m glad I read this. Now I know where Edwards’s “The Perpetuity and Change of the Sabbath” ended up.

  2. rachelelizabeth permalink
    March 1, 2007 2:40 pm

    Poor Edwards. He has been cleared for your angry energy, and stuffed in with online books in a closet that, if opened, would DEFINITELY undermine all your flows…as it all piles on the floor.

  3. March 1, 2007 2:47 pm

    Um, no; actually he’s neatly placed with other print-outs of his kind in an attractive antique gold-leaf portafile atop a bookcase. I’m afraid your vision of energy flow is rather scandalous.

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