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Welcome to the Feng Shui For Real Life E-zine, a monthly e-mail magazine with Feng Shui tips, success stories, clutter-clearing advice, and other information to help you bring simple Feng Shui improvements into your life. Also, check out the posts on my, the weekly articles I write for the Feng Shui site, and my own site, Feng Shui For Real
Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month: Halloween Feng Shui
Halloween continues to increase in popularity as an American celebration, perhaps because it gives us a temporary escape from everyday realities. A recent survey of U.S. retailers indicates Halloween spending is gradually approaching that of the December holidays. Whether your celebration is for children or for adults, you can add some Feng Shui into the Halloween mix.

• Clear the Clutter. As for all holidays, thoroughly clear the clutter before you decorate for Halloween to remove negative energy and renew your home for the season. And after Halloween, be sure to clear out all the candy clutter after your children pick out their favorites. Some Ronald McDonald House Charities will accept wrapped candy, or contact Operation Shoebox, which sends care packages including candy to US troops stationed abroad.
• Decorate in Orange. It's natural to use lots of the color orange in Halloween decorating, but it's also good Feng Shui because orange is the "social color" in Feng Shui. Using lots of orange decorations for parties promotes conversation.
• Use Black at Your Entrance. Black is the Water Element color that represents the flow of energy, so using that color at your entrance "calls" the good energy to your front door, and attracts more "monsters" who come to trick or treat.
• Hang Cobwebs. Halloween is the one time that cobwebs are considered positive Feng Shui because they help create a festive and fun event. Normally, cobwebs around your front door or outdoor furniture represent being so stuck that you are unable to move forward. But remember to remove all webs from around the outside and inside of your home after Halloween, and dust away the real cobwebs.
You can read more tips in my article “Halloween Feng Shui.”

Clutter Clinic -- 2.9 Billion Paris of Shoes
American women keep an estimated 2.9 billion pairs of shoes in their closets. In Feng Shui, when your closets are cluttered with shoes you don't wear, it symbolizes the inability to move forward. And that goes for the men and children in your family as well. If you are not wearing all of your shoes, clear them out your closet and open up room for new things to flow into your life. Here are a few options for donating those shoes:
• Soles for Souls is a nonprofit that distributes gently-worn footwear to more than 300 million children and 1.5 billion adults worldwide. Locate the nearest collection site at
• The manufacturer of Crocs recycles them into new shoes and donates them to underprivileged families. Mail yours to Crocs Recycling West, 3375 Enterprise Avenue, Bloomington CA 92316.
• Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program accepts any brand of old athletic shoes, and recycles them into courts for various sports so kids around the world have a place to play. Locate drop off locations on their site, or mail them to Nike Recycling Center, c/o Reuse-a-Shoe, 26755 SW 95th Avenue, Wilsonville OR 97070.
• You can also donate athletic shoes to needy athletes in the US and worldwide. Check out their site,or mail them to One World Running, P.O. Box 2223, Boulder CO 80306.

If you know more places where you can donate shoes, share them via the Feng Shui For Real Life Facebook Fan page.

You can find more clutter-clearing tips in the month-by-month guide to clutter clearing in the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office.

Success Story -- What Do Your Mirrors Reflect?
Mirrors are sometimes called the "aspirin" of Feng Shui. But like aspirin, mirrors should be used sparingly and only as needed. Mirrors can be used to bring in an attractive view, but when they reflect something that is not so appealing, they can symbolically double it. One of the issues my client Leslie needed help with was feeling overwhelmed by all household chores that were distracting her from spending time on her home-based business. One of the things I suggested was that she take note of where all her mirrors were hung, and what they were reflecting. Here is what she wrote:
I was walking around the house thinking about the Feng Shui fixes you recommended and not concentrating on any one area. I noticed that when the bathroom door was closed, the mirror on the front of it reflected my laundry hamper and ironing board. Well, no wonder I felt like I always had piles of laundry to wash and iron. I immediately moved the mirror, because, who needs double the amount of laundry. I have to tell you that it worked. I still have laundry, of course, but I no longer feel "buried" under piles. And I no longer feel compelled to take care of laundry during the day when I should be working. Now my family helps me fold it at night.
Read more Feng Shui Success Stories on my Facebook Fan Page.

Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: I live in Arizona, so naturally I have a lot of cactus in my garden, which I understand is not too auspicious according to Feng Shui principles. However, I am extremely fond of all my plants. Is there anyway I can keep them?
Thorny plants like cactus are thought to represent negative energy in Feng Shui because the sharp spikes repel positive energy. However, they certainly are regionally appropriate where you live. If you want to keep them, place soft, flowing, or aromatic plants near your cactus. The sweet-smelling plants and flowing form of the other plants will help "blunt" and reduce any damaging effects.

Q: We have a storage shed in the Wealth area of our backyard. Since it's not part of our house, does it still have a negative effect, especially since it's filled with junk?
The shed is outside of the bagua of your home so it doesn't have a direct impact on the energy inside of your home. However, the fact that you are concerned about all of the "stuff" you have stored in there means that it is negative for you. First, clear out the shed and get rid of everything you don't use anymore. Then, consider painting the outside of the shed in a Wealth color, like red, orange, or purple to help activate that aspect of your backyard. One of my clients painted a beautiful floral scene with red and purple flowers on the outside of her shed.

Q: Is it OK to save the dried flowers and ribbons from my wedding bouquet? I keep the bouquet on my dresser, but we've been married for 5 years and the flowers are really starting to crumble and make a mess.
If the bouquet is crumbling, it may be turning into negative chi for you. An alternative is to save the ribbons in a scrapbook or keepsake box and let go of what's left of the flowers.

Do you have Feng Shui questions for the Feng Shui Maven? E-mail them to Carol Olmstead, then watch this e-zine for the answers.

Quick Tips from the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office
Here are three tips for this month from the "Calendar of Tips" in my book --
1. It's fun to wear a mask for Halloween, but avoid hanging masks in your bedroom because they represent hiding or covering up something.
2. Even if the weather outside is chilly, open your windows today, and occasionally during the colder months, to let in fresh air and fresh chi energy.
3. Remove dead leaves from your gutters and roof since they represent dead chi accumulating on top of your house.

You will find hundreds of practical tips like these in the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office.
• Feng Shui Basics
• Calendar of Tips
• Clutter-Clearing Strategies
• Success Stories from people who made small changes with big results

Winner, Best How-To Book 2010, New Mexico Book Association
Southwest Book Design Award, 2009-2010
Order your copy of the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office from the Feng Shui Store at

Holiday Gift Ideas -- Purse Hangers Make Great Gifts and Stocking Stuffers
In Feng Shui, keeping your purse on the floor represents disregard for your wealth, plus scientific studies show that your purse can pick up all kinds of bacteria when it sits on the floor. The remedy is a Purse Hanger that lets you hang your purse safely from a table or desk. I have finally found folding purse hangers that fit neatly in your purse. It's the perfect gift for all the women on your list. The 2" disk opens to a sturdy 3" hanger. I stock them in elegant black and silver, plus I have a few available in assorted colors.

I have a new supply that I was able to buy before the holiday price increase, so order now for the best price. Order at the Feng Shui Store at

Home, Office, and Business Consultations
Off-Site Feng Shui Consulting
To help you get started with a plan of Feng Shui changes for your home, I am now offering Off-Site Feng Shui Consulting and Floor Plan Review. This service includes review of the floor plan and photos of your home, office, or business, followed by a telephone consultation with recommendations and changes you can make to the placement of furniture, artwork, and objects to activate the positive energy in your home and clients into your business. The service also includes 30 days of follow-up consulting. Sign up for this service through the Online Store at, or call 1.800.652.9038.

On-Site Consultation
Nationwide, I schedule residential and commercial consultations on request. On a regular basis I work with clients in the Northeast (Washington, DC, Maryland, Baltimore, Annapolis, Northern Virginia, New York City, and New Jersey) and the Southwest (Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Phoenix, and Denver). Appointments fill up fast, especially on weekends, so schedule your consultation now to get the date you want. E-mail me with the date you would like to schedule your consultation.

Workshops for Your Group or Organization
Bring one of my customized workshops to your city. I will create a custom presentation to help your business or group make simple changes to attract wealth, harmony, and love. From keynote speeches, to "munch-and-learn" workshops, to half-day or full-day seminars, my interactive workshops are full of practical advice, tips, and fun. Feng Shui workshops make great fund-raisers, and they always sell out. E-mail me for details on scheduling a customized session for your group.

Upcoming Workshop Open to the Public
November 11, 2010, 11:30am-1:30pm
Munch and Learn Session
"Welcome to Your Sanctuary - Using Feng Shui To Create a Balanced & Harmonious Home"
Samuel Design Group, 703 Camino de la Familia, Santa Fe, NM
Where do you go to unwind at home after a stressful day at work? Most of us spend the bulk of our time at the workplace or working from a home office, which makes it especially important to have a special place to relax when the workday is done. Join me as I share Feng Shui tips for creating a private sanctuary and safe haven at home where you can renew, restore, slow down, and just let go. Join me at the Samuel Design Group studio, and bring your questions and a simple diagram of a room for me to analyze and help you create your special space. This is a no cost event and light lunch and beverages will be provide. Registration is required to assure your place.

I welcome your referrals. If you know of a group or organization that would be interested in scheduling me as a speaker, e-mail me or call 1.800.652.9038.

Thank you for a great presentation! Really great are a whiz.

Beyond Feng Shui -- Fix "Non-Fatal" Flaws
If your dated cabinets, your damaged kitchen tiles, or your rusted tub is driving you crazy, you are facing a lot of "sha," or negative chi. Fortunately, many of these household "non-fatal" flaws can be repaired for a fraction of replacing them. Here are four jobs where it pays to work with what you have.

1. Broken tiles. Cracked or chipped tiles represent negative chi but they don't necessarily mean you need a whole new kitchen floor or backsplash. A skilled tile setter can usually cut out the damaged ones, bed in replacements, and blend in new grout to make the repair undetectable.

2. Dated kitchen cabinets. Scratched and dented surfaces may need replacing, but if the cabinets are basically sound you can have them refaced, replacing only the doors and drawers to give them whatever look you like, as well as new storage features.

3. Scratched or rusty tubs. Instead of incurring the cost of gutting a bathroom in order to replace a tub that's scratched or stained, have your tub refinished by a professional re-glazing service in the color of your choice.

4. Overgrown shrubs. If your foundation plants look as if they're about to eat your house, you can cut them all the way to stumps and they will grow back next season, as long as they are deciduous.

These tips come from "Why Gut It When You Can Repair It," Money Magazine, October 2010.

Do You Want to Use Articles From This E-zine? While articles in the Feng Shui For Real Life E-zine are copyrighted, I encourage you to reprint them and link to my website. I ask only that you credit Carol M. Olmstead as author and include my website address or link to when you print the article or use it online.

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Schedule a Consultation or Workshop. If you would like to set up a home, office, or business consultation, or schedule a customized workshop, contact:
Carol M. Olmstead, FSII
Feng Shui Master Practitioner
Click here to e-mail Carol Olmstead

Carol M. Olmstead, FSII, was certified by the Feng Shui Institute of America, and awarded Red Ribbon Professional Status from the International Feng Shui Guild.
Feng Shui For Real Life, LLC, and the Feng Shui For Real Life E-zine serve as a reference and guide for the principles of Feng Shui and as such bear no responsibility for results a client or reader experiences. Individual results may vary based on the client's participation and intent.

©2010, Carol M. Olmstead

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© Copyright 2018, Carol Olmstead