"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." William Morris, designer

Last night at a workshop, several women shared that they re-arrange furniture when feeling out of sorts. I had asked group members why they came, what they were seeking and their experiences with creativity. While many had artistic interests, it was intriguing that furniture arranging came up as often as it did.

How does rearranging the furniture relate to creativity and mood elevation?

An impact on the environment, whether an imprint or a removal, lifts mood, provides concrete satisfaction, and instills a sense of effectiveness. Inner and outer harmony happen when pieces are placed in a way that makes sense for you. Think about feng shui: “What feng shui decorating means is that you create an environment that has the best energy to support the specific activity, or activities intended for that space.”(Rodika Tchi) Wikipedia defines feng shui as harmonizing human existence with the surrounding environment.

Designing is an opportunity for of artistry as well as comfort. As you re-arrange your personal space, you hone your aesthetic and identify what you truly love, want or need. Such specificity brings relief. As my friend Gwynn used to say, you “get clear.”

Re-purposing what’s there is a feel-good option. Improvement occurs without buyer’s remorse and additional objects to manage. One feels clever, creative and resourceful.

One attendee mentioned that clutter removal spurred energy and sparked joy.

A client of mine who is breaking old attachments and beginning anew said that what she needs the most right now is a comforting home. The realization that the space was paramount was almost a surprise to her, as she is a very loving and connected person for whom friendships are a big priority. In times of loss, change and uncertainty the home is a powerful place. To have a “bit of earth,” as in the children’s story The Secret Garden, is a primitive need. Grounded and clear, we can grow, discover and re-invent.

Research shows that meaningful hand use elevates mood. Tending to settings of loved ones is meaningful because as you putter, you are emotionally connected and your mind moves. You may be thinking directly about the loved one but you also may move on to deeper, secret, delightful parts of yourself.

Good things happen when you re-arrange.

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