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FengShui for Closets

By Diana Estill

Whenever Iím restless and bored, I perform unnatural actsólike organizing closets. Generally, I get these urges once or twice a decade. A weird compulsion attracts me to the black hole that exists next to my master bathroom. I say "black hole" because entire ensembles have entered there and disappeared. My daughter denies having ever borrowed any of my clothing. So I presume the heavy mass of coats, purses, shoes and auto parts has simply folded in upon itself like a dense star.

Finally, I broke down and took an inventory of this closet. And that caused me to discover three boxes of items that had been lost since 2002, a pair of hiking boots I purchased for a trip in 1999, and a mother-of-the-bride dress from a wedding that was cancelled the same year. All this before Iíd made it past the bird clock (still in its original packaging) and the auto steering wheel. It was time to regain control of this space.

A quick study of Feng Shui, the Chinese art of placement, revealed how important it is for doors to swing freely open. Nothing should be stored behind a closet door, according to Feng Shui beliefs. Furthermore, nothing should be placed above the entrance because such practice produces feelings of depression and anxiety. Already I was experiencing those effects from simply looking past the door.

Feng Shui theory holds that closet clutter represents hidden problems impeding our progress in life, work, and relationships. Judging from the looks of my cache, Iíve been hampered by a disregard for time (bird clock), shortage of energy (hiking boots), and lack of a suitable vehicle (steering wheel) to achieve my goals.

I drew a deep breath, closed my eyes, and attempted to summon my chi.

"Spaces that are completely full block the flow of chi (vital energy)," said my Feng Shui guidelines for storage areas. No wonder Iíd been feeling lethargic lately. My walk-in closet was a fashion freak house. I own more garment sizes than Kirstie Alley.

"Avoid holding on to clothes until youíve lost that twenty pounds," advised another article. "The more we let go of, the more those in need can benefit."

Examining my faded Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl shirt from 1996, I wondered who would want it.

"If you havenít worn it in the last two years, you probably wonít ever wear it again," the expert said. Ha! That just goes to show what she knows, I thought. If I havenít worn it in two years, that's likely because it's been sitting in my laundry pile.

"Sort your clothing by color and occasion," Ms. Fussy Pants continued. "Avoid mixing Ďplayí shirts with Ďdressí blouses."

Humph. I couldnít see the point. After I did my wash, the tops would just get rearranged. And then before you know it, my good blouses would go right back to hanging out with some shirt from the wrong side of the rack.

To feel better, I peeked inside my husbandís closet. However, I didnít walk in for fear of radiation poisoning. His scuba gear, fourteen duffle bags, a Dracula costume, three shoeshine kits, and enough baseball caps to outfit the entire American League threatened to cave in on me. Appropriately, a fire extinguisher leaned against one wall.

"A full bedroom closet can block your ability to attract a new relationship," my Feng Shui instructions warned.

I shut the door to my manís private space and smirked. From the looks of it, I had extra marriage insurance. So thatís one closet I wonít be touching.

* * * * *

Diana Estill lives in Texas and writes about the absurdities of everyday life in the Southwest. A self-professed domestic failure, she spends her days avoiding housework and spinning stories for her self-syndicated humor column, The View Askew. 


You can see more of her work at


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