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Welcome to Feng Shui for Real Life, a monthly e-newsletter that provides Feng Shui tips and other information that can help you bring simple Feng Shui changes into your life. Feng Shui for Real Life is available by request. To subscribe or unsubscribe, visit:

Carol M. Olmstead, FSII

Summer Sale!
If your house is suffering from the summer doldrums, I have the cure—my annual Summer Sizzle Sale on Feng Shui consultations. I am offering a $25 discount card for home consultations in August for new clients.

Feng Shui Tip: Room Re-Arrangements for School Success
It's back-to-school time, so sharpen up those #2 pencils and take note. Re-arranging your child’s bedroom can create success at school. Here are my 9 top room re-arrangements for educational success, including some for dorm rooms:

1. Add a desk or study area to the child’s room. No more papers on the kitchen table or in front of the TV. Children who have a place to study…study! Position the desk so the child can see the door to the room.
2. Hang a bulletin board over the desk to display achievements. This is a good place to showcase your child's awards and citations, as well as artwork, report cards, and great papers.
3. Display a globe and hang maps and posters of the planets and stars. A globe encourages curiosity, maps ground a child, and charts of the stars and planets expand horizons.
4. Add a fish bowl, aquarium, or collection of shells to the room. Fish and shells are symbols of educational success in Feng Shui, and maintaining the aquarium encourages responsibility.
5. Include storage containers to keep the room clutter-free. Some amount of clutter is normal, but excessive clutter represents the inability to move forward and will distract your child from studying.
6. Remove under-bed storage to encourage a good night's sleep. It is especially important not to store shoes under the bed, since they represent "walking away" from peaceful sleep.
7. Place family photos in the child’s room. Photos of parents, grandparents, and happy family gatherings help communicate love and security to a child. And with all that family support, how can your child fail.
8. Position the computer away from the bed and shut it off at night. This will cut down on the EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies). If the room is too small to do this, place a plant within 3 feet of the computer to absorb some of the EMFs.
9. Dorm dwellers should clean their windows occasionally. Feng Shui considers windows to represent the eyes; therefore, dirty windows in a dorm room represent cloudy vision, an obvious deterrent to success.

Clutter Clinic: Things That Don't Work
I am always on the lookout in my clients' homes are things that don't work; that is, broken, ripped, stained, torn, cracked, peeling, and non-working items. When you are surrounded by things that do not work, they can have negative effects on what you attract into your life. This note I received from a client tells the story:
I want to share an incident I feel was totally related to Feng Shui. About a month ago, my sister-in-law sent me a pair of coffee mugs and bowls, one of which was broken. I left that broken mug in a box in my Travel/Helpful People area, and wouldn't you know, I had a serious car accident. I am just fine, thank goodness. Soon after the accident, I reflected on what was awry in my life that might have caused the imbalance, and recalled the broken mug. That mug flew out the door and into the trash so fast! Whatever the cause, I am now carefully looking around my house to eliminate stuff like that. Feel free to share this comment, because I'd like people to know that chi can work in all kinds of ways.
Success Story: Relocating a Home Office
I recently received this good news from a client whose home office was a much-too-prominent part of her living room. She moved the furniture around and shook things up a bit:
Well, a lot has happened since you were here and recommended I move my home office into the Helpful/People area. We made the move, and business has been great. And then last week, I happened across the most wonderful office space in the downtown area, at an amazing price. So now I am moving my office to this new space. I have been doing a success home office for 11 years, but I never thought I would find a place so suited at such a good price. I am planning another garage sale and after that should be able to remove all of the clutter from my garage. Oh, what a feeling!

Feng Shui Q & A:
Q: I am working on a fundraiser for a community group. It is a dinner and live and silent auction. Any do's and don'ts in relation to flow, color, etc., that would help or inhibit a successful evening?
Red and orange are colors that encourage conversation and excitement, which would be especially good at a fundraiser. Flow is important for the tables displaying the silent auction items, so if you can, avoid setting up the tables in long lines. These would act like “poison arrows” and direct people down a straight line and keep them from stopping and looking at the items. Think of the analogy of an art gallery or a museum, where people are gradually drawn into the space, rather than directed straight through it by long corridors. If possible, arrange items on round tables, which direct people to take more time to look each item as they go around each table. And because round shapes are the Metal Element, and the shape of gold coins, using them could help encourage people to bid higher at the auction.

Q: I am a firm believer in getting rid of clutter. Things like unused clothes and broken electronics are banished from my house regularly. However, I do have "stuff" that I want to save that I store in the basement, like extra rolls of wallpaper, furniture that is not currently being used (including the floor length mirror you had me remove from my bedroom!). It turns out I am storing these things in the Wealth/Power corner. Does this explain why I haven't made any money this year??
Great question, that I will answer with more questions... What are you saving all of this stuff for? Nothing new flows into your life until you make room for it, so it's time to sell or donate the mirror and the other furniture. Are you ever going to need the wallpaper? If the paper has been on the walls for some time, it is probably faded and won’t match the rolls you are saving. And if you are storing unneeded stuff in your Power/Wealth area, what kind of message are you sending about the prosperity you want to flow into your life? A good rule of thumb is that if you have not used an item within the past year, get rid of it. Move these things out of your basement and watch what flows in to your life.

In the News: Home Improvement Survey
Nearly 60,000 Americans responded to a Better Homes and Gardens survey about current and future home improvement. "Affordability and flexibility top America's wish list when it comes to their homes," says Karol DeWulf Nickell, Editor in Chief. "People are hungry for ideas that fit their budget, and they want their home to work through all the changes their families go through." Some highlights of the survey findings include:
• The average home improvement project costs the homeowner $12,427.
• DIY (do-it-yourself) is the most popular home improvement project, with 86% of respondents working on their projects alone.
• 68% of Americans are shifting to a "work from home" lifestyle over the next five years.
• People currently stay in a home for only 3-5 years.
• 69% of respondents completed a major remodeling project within the past five years, and 42% plan to do so in the next five years.
• Building a major garden or landscaping project is the second most popular home improvement choice among respondents.
You can read more about the survey at:

Consultations and Workshops
Home and Office Consultations

On a regular basis, I offer consultations for homes and offices in the Northeast (Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington, DC) and the Southwest (Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Los Alamos, Phoenix, Scottsdale). Appointments do fill up fast, especially on the weekends.

Do you want a consultation or workshop in your city? Please e-mail me ( for details about setting up a session or consultation in your location.

Santa Fe Design Week, October 22-29

Architecture, interior design, design-build, landscape design, furniture and product design, fashion design, graphic and new media design, and of course, Feng Shui design. These are all part of the more than 50 events planned for the 2nd Annual Santa Fe Design Week. This year's events will be held in conjunction with the prestigious UNESCO Creative Cities Summit. I will be doing the Feng Shui design assessment of the site for many of the workshops and sessions, as well as hosting a Feng Shui workshop during the week. Mark your calendar and watch this newsletter and the Santa Fe Design Week website for more information:

Other Workshops and Seminars:
My Feng Shui workshops are customized to meet the needs of individuals, organizations, and groups. Here are some of the most frequently-requested topics:
General Topics
Introduction to Feng Shui
Bedroom Feng Shui
Feng Shui Clutter Clinic
Feng Shui for Children's Rooms
Home Office Feng Shui
Feng Shui in the Garden

Business Topics
Building Your Business Bottom Line
Feng Shui Goes To Work

Real Estate Topics
Look Twice, Buy Once for Home Buyers
Sell It Fast with Feng Shui
Feng Shui Staging for a Quick Sale

Seasonal Topics
From Resolution to Reality: Feng Shui for the New Year (January)
Feng Shui, Love, and Relationships (Valentine's Day)
Spring Clutter Clearing with Feng Shui
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Themes (May)
Holiday Luncheons (November-December)

Luncheons, Membership Meetings, Fund-Raisers
Feng Shui is a popular topic for luncheon and dinner meetings, special events, and fund-raisers. Whether it is a talk at the golf group luncheon, the garden club meeting, Temple Sisterhood meeting, office staff development session, or Christmas luncheon, my Feng Shui presentations are fun and always sell out! I am already starting to book Fall and Winter presentations, so please call 800-652-9038 to reserve your date!

Do you know any meeting planners or destination management companies who are looking for a workshop presenter or keynote speaker? If so, please pass along my name!

Partner Profile: Ellen Cohan Photography
My new photo on the first page of this newsletter is the work of Ellen Cohan, owner of Ellen Cohan Photography. Ellen has been taking my professional and family photos for years because she is so talented and easy to work with. She has a special way of capturing light and images that makes her photography exceptional. In additional to commercial head shots, family portraits, and scenic work, Ellen's love of horses and riding has led to her specialty of equestrian photography. You can see more of Ellen's work at, or contact her directly at 301-933-0331.

Beyond Feng Shui: What's Your Pet Peeve?
Are you interested in being quoted in a book about etiquette? Excuse Me! What Were You Thinking??!! is the working title for a new book about pet peeves. Author Cynthia Lett of The Lett Group ( specializes in teaching business etiquette, and she wants to hear about your biggest pet peeve(s) about other people's behavior. This information is for use in the book only and will not be otherwise shared. Situations can be personal or professional. E-mail your pet peeves directly to before October 1st. Be sure to include:
- Your name
- Your phone number
- Your mailing address
- Your e-mail address
- How you want your credit given in the book (e.g.: your first and last name; your first name only; your first name and last initial; or your initials only)

My Client-Centered Approach to Feng Shui -- When I recommend cures for a home or office, I consider each client's goals. I try not to recommend anything that you will find unattractive or unacceptable. Rather, I suggest practical, appropriate, and workable cures that are based on solid Feng Shui principles and fit in with the way you live. I try to recommend several practical solutions that are appealing to you and fit your decor and your budget.

Carol M. Olmstead,
FSII Certified Feng Shui Practitioner

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© Copyright 2018, Carol Olmstead