Skip to Content

Feng Shui Newsletter

< Previous | Next >


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

Feng Shui Tip: Now That I Bought It, Where Am I Going to Hang It?
I was fortunate to be in Santa Fe last month for Indian Market, a dazzling array of art and jewelry. Being surrounded by all of that art reminded me of the importance of placing your art in the correct location in your home. The art you choose and where you choose to hang and display it says a lot about what you want to attract into your life. "You are what you see," so if you are looking at sad, lonely artwork, that’s what you will attract into your life. Here are some tips for choosing and placing your art.

• If you want to attract prosperity, choose art showing water images or a waterfall, since both are associated with a prosperous career and increasing income.
• Ships also represent wealth flowing into your home; just remember to select art where the ship is sailing into—not out of—your home or office.
• If you want to feel more connected to friends and family, choose images of happy people and joyous events.
• No matter how valuable the art, think twice about purchasing something with a depressing or negative theme, since it can pull down the positive chi energy in your home.
• Let your gut reaction to antiques be your guide in deciding if you should buy them.
• If you inherit a valuable heirloom, but dislike the person you inherited it from, it's better to sell or donate the object rather than display it.

Clutter Clinic: Handling Mail
Even if you pay bills online and register at anti-junk mail sites (like you probably still get too much printed mail. And that translates into clutter. Since Feng Shui is all about movement, here are a few tips for moving your mail rather than accumulating it:

• Select a small container for an in-box—such as a basket, a box, a drawer; the container should be big enough to hold a week’s worth of mail and no more, as a symbol that you will not accumulate too much mail.
• Locate your in-box in a place that is not so out-of-the-way that that you can ignore it.
• Keep a trash can and/or a shredder near your in-box and treat it like a baby; that is, feed it often and change it frequently.
• When the mail comes, immediately toss the junk mail, circulars, and FYI mail into the trash can or shred it.
• Place the rest of the mail in your in-box and go through it each day, at the same time, to reduce its contents.

Success Story: Clara's Barter
When Clara launched her consulting practice, her first client paid her with an original lithograph instead of a check. They had agreed on a fee up front, but after the work was done the client asked if Clara would consider a barter because her funds were limited. Clara took the beautiful print, but kept it rolled up in a tube in her closet, feeling that she sold herself, and her services, short. When she called me for a consultation three months later, her business was going nowhere. I reminded her that the print was valuable and that she obviously liked it or she wouldn't have accepted it. But by keeping it stashed away in the closet she was symbolically reducing the value of both her services and her client. I recommended she have the print professionally framed and hang it in her office where she could see it every day. The result was an immediate increase in calls from prospective clients and a dramatic improvement in cash flow.

Feng Shui Q & A:
Q: Does each room have a bagua map as well as the whole house?
Yes, you use the bagua in each room as well as for the whole house. First, stand at the front door looking into the house holding the bagua map in front of you to determine which rooms occupy specific areas of your home. For example, is your bathroom in the Love/Relationship area? If so, you could be symbolically flushing your love down the toilet and obviously need to make some adjustments. Next, stand at the doorway to each room and hold the bagua in front of you and map out that room. For example, if you were mapping the kitchen, are the knives stored in the Love/Relationship area of that room? If so, they could be cutting your relationships and need to be relocated. You can also use the map to determine where to place things on any surface, such as your desk. You can find a bagua on my website:

Q: My husband and I independently came to the conclusion that we need to remove the bookshelf full of cookbooks near the door in our kitchen to make more room for a table. But we can't agree on where to put the books. He suggested building shelves all around the back door, on both sides, and over the top for the books, but this sounds a little intimidating to me.
I agree that placing cookbooks on shelves over the door is going to be impractical at best and intimidating at worst to have them hanging over your head. Instead of trying to find a bookcase big enough for all those books, first weed through your collection and make three piles: those you use regularly, those you use occasionally, and those you no longer use. For example, if you no longer follow Atkins and the last time you made fondue was in college, you don't need those cookbooks cluttering your kitchen. Get rid of the books you don't use and store the ones you use occasionally in a kitchen cabinet or in another room. Then replace the current bookshelf with a smaller table or shelf and use it to display the cookbooks you use frequently.

Q: When we put our bed on risers, one of our Cocker Spaniels started using the space underneath as her "nest." She doesn't bring stuff under there or sleep under the bed—she just likes to hide out there. Is there any negative chi from her going in and out and resting under the bed? If anything, it may keep that space active and create more movement there.
Pets are considered good Feng Shui because they have active yang energy. It is only if owners let their pets rule the household that they become negative energy. But that does not seem to be the case here. The chi from your dog nesting under your bed is very positive, especially since she doesn't sleep there or store things under you. You described it quite accurately: she brings positive energy to the room and good chi flow under your bed. It obviously works for you, and it certainly sounds like a happy arrangement.

In the News: Shannon's Corner (WTBQ Radio), New York
I was featured on Shannon's Corner, a weekly program that airs on WTBQ radio in New York's Hudson Valley and Northern New Jersey. Host Shannon Devereaux Sanford interviewed me about using Feng Shui to sell your home. You can read about the Feng Shui interview on Shannon's website:

Consumer Health E-News
My article Sharpen Those #2 Pencils and Take Note: 9 Simple Feng Shui Tips for Back-to-School Success was featured in the September 2006 issue of Consumer Health News, an e-news service that provides health content for corporate intranets and in-house publications and reaches more than 300,000 readers.

Workshops and Consultations
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 Holiday presentations; 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!
Upcoming Workshops, Open to the Public
Santa Fe Design Week, Santa Fe, NM October 22-29
Feng Shui Design Innovations for the Workplace.

This year, I will be offering a workshop on Feng Shui Design Innovations for the Workplace, including home offices. I provided Feng Shui design consultation on the setup of El Museo Cultural, the site of many of the Design Week activities. For information about this and other Design Week sessions, check out the website:

Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore, Owings Mills, MD,
November 9, 2006, 7-9pm
Feng Shui For Real Life with Carol Olmstead, AKA The Feng Shui Maven.

Join me for a two-hour, hands-on workshop to learn the basics of Feng Shui and to create a plan to change your home to sustain health, wealth, happiness, and love in your life! Bring a sketch of the floor plan of your home or a room you want to analyze. The cost is $25/members, $35/nonmembers, and advanced registration is required. To register, contact Miriam Abramovich at the JCC of Greater Baltimore at 410-356-5200 x320 or

Feng Shui Getaway Workshops, Edgewood, NM
I just completed arrangements to conduct a series of Feng Shui Getaway Workshops at Alta Mae's Heritage Inn in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains in Edgewood, New Mexico ( Each full-day workshop includes a morning session on the practical applications of Feng Shui, a gourmet lunch, and a hands-on afternoon session where I will analyze your floor plan or room layout. You can register for the Feng Shui workshop alone, or choose to add a stay at this cozy inn and enjoy a gourmet dinner and room package. Click here to download a brochure and check out Alta Mae's Heritage Inn's website for more information. Contact the Inn for rates and packages: 505-281-5000.

Here are the scheduled workshop topics and dates at the Alta Mae:
January 13, 2007: Resolutions to Reality: Feng Shui for the New Year
April 14, 2007: Spring Clearing with Feng Shui
May 19, 2007: Feng Shui and Love
October 6, 2007: Introduction to Feng Shui

Interested in a Feng Shui Getaway as a Corporate or Group Retreat or Team Building Session? Retreats can be customized for content and location. Please contact me at 800-652-9038.

Home and Office Consultations
I offer consultations on a regular basis for homes and offices in the Northeast (Maryland, Northern Virginia, DC, New York City) and the Southwest (Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Los Alamos, Phoenix, Scottsdale).

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. I welcome your referrals in these and other locations.

Partner Profile: Caroline Seigel, 20th Century West Art Appraisal
For art appraiser Caroline Seigel, questions of value always have answers. Through her company, 20th Century West Art Appraisal, Inc., she provides accurate, independent appraisals of American art for insurance, charitable donation, estate settlement, purchase & resale, divorce, and personal knowledge. Caroline works with clients all over the country, with a specialization in Western and Southwestern art. She holds Masters degrees in Art History and Library Science and is an Accredited Member of the American Society of Appraisers. You can check out her website ( or contact her at (505) 438-6639.

Beyond Feng Shui: The Best Time to Clean Your House
Whether you do it yourself or have help, there is a best and worst time to clean your home. Hand-eye coordination is at its peak and mood levels are high in the late afternoon, according to Michael Smolensky, professor of environmental physiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston. If anyone in your house suffers from asthma or allergy, avoid cleaning in the morning (nasal-allergy symptoms are most severe between 6 am and noon), or during the "insomnia" hours (between midnight and 6am), when asthma attacks more likely to occur. Try to complete the housecleaning well before the allergic household member walks through the door, since it can take up to an hour for allergens and dust to settle after cleaning. The best time to clean? Cleaning experts and allergists suggest 4pm.

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

Bookmark and Share

© Copyright 2018, Carol Olmstead