Want a happy, healthy and prosperous year in 2018? Who doesn’t? But one way you can give the New Year a kick start is by sorting out the energy in your home, pronto.

Yes, we’re talking about giving your home a little 2018 feng shui makeover, the ancient Chinese art of arranging furniture in harmony and balance with the natural world around you.

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Feng shui expert Sarah McAllister, of the Feng Shui Agency, explains: “While many of the techniques in feng shui remain constant throughout time, there are Flying Star energies which change each year, and which inform the various ‘chi calculations” for the whole property.

“For 2018 the North and the West are particularly challenged. The diagnosis and cures in feng shui are dependent on the type of property (house or flat), direction of its orientation, internal layout and astrology of owners and occupants -  all these factors can affect the type of cures needed each year to help you reduce or avoid the sickness stars and align with and boost the wealth & longevity’ stars.”

You can’t become a feng shui master in minutes, but Sarah has shared some general tips that can help improve the flow of harmonious chi in your home.

Here’s how to get your house in feng shui order.

The hallway

“The front door of a home is usually the ‘mouth of chi’ so it needs to be clear and unobstructed so that energy can enter with ease into the property,” Sarah explains.

So avoid piles of coats hanging behind the front door and try to put shoes away and out of sight. A beautiful plant in the hallway on a round-edged console table is said to be a great way to have fresh living energy, especially if coupled with a lamp.

Sarah suggests keeping the area well lit at all times – even at night – and when you are out; switch regular lightbulbs for low energy ones.

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The kitchen

It’s not called the heart of the home for nothing. “The main natural element here is fire (stove and cooking) and the human aspect of fire is warmth, love and affection,” says Sarah.

 

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Avoid too much black or blue in this room and try not to have your cooker too close or opposite water, such as the sink, as this “creates a clash between fire and water which causes arguments especially between men and women.”

The bedroom

Ideally, the bed should be positioned on a solid wall, away from the main entrance door and have a high headboard made from natural wood or cosy material.

 

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This, says Sarah, will help to create a safe, settled feeling in the room, ideal for a deep sleep which boosts your essential chi.

Something to avoid? Loud, bold colours and clashing patterns.

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The bathroom

 

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This is the room where water (a type of life force energy) leaves the property in fairly large amounts, so one basic tip Sarah shares is to keep the toilet seat down and have live plants in the room which will help to hold the living energy in the room for you.

The living room

What sort of sofa gives good feng shui? Generally speaking, it’s an L-shaped one. “L-shaped sofa configurations are more congenial and relaxing than two sofas opposite,” she explains.

 

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Use similar principles to the bedroom and try to have the back of the sofa where you sit most often against a solid wall, as this creates deeper relaxation than having people walk round the back of you constantly.

The front and back garden

Basic terms? Keep your gardens as free of clutter and clear as possible, including weeds.

The front is said to have a particular focus on your future and career, while the back garden is about relaxation and storing energy and wealth – Sarah recommends keeping it safe and secure as well as level.