Get Organized! Feng Shui (fung-schwaay)

Feng Shui image balanceNow that Mercury is retrograde this is a perfect time to tidy up.  Review and revisit.  Feng Shui is the Chinese art of organizing a home for the right energy flow.  We all want good flow and balance is important too.  I took a free seminar at a YWCA several years back and then was placing mirrors and matches on different bureaus and desks for better flow in my home.
Recently, I met a woman who is a professional organizer and also certified in Feng Shui.  Debra Riva has been certified in Feng Shui for eleven years and a Professional Organizer for 20.  Prior to that she was an executive assistant. So I asked her what it was like to be both a professional organizer and Feng Shui certified.

KV: How did you get acquainted with Feng Shui and Organizing?
DR: I had been an executive assistant at Loews and was always helping in organizing something for years.  After spending many years in the corporate world I took my talents and skills and created my own organizing business called The Art of Order, transforming chaos.  I called everyone I knew and through word of mouth got my first clients.
KV: Are you certified in Feng Shui?  Is there a professional association for organizers?
DR: Yes.  When Feng Shui was becoming popular here in the late 90’s and early 2000’s I realized it was  a perfect match with my organizing work and I made a decision to educate myself and I got certified in the two year program at Long Island Feng Shui Institute in Oyster Bay, NY in 2004.

Feng Shui bedroomFeng-shui-bedroom-1024x759KV:  What’s it like working with clients?  Do you focus on a particular room or the whole house?

RV: It depends on what my clients’ needs are.  It can be one room or the entire home, or an office or a basement.  I ask the clients what their needs are.  Very often people have way too many material things than they really need and become overwhelmed with clutter.  I co-create with them to have a space this is supportive of how they are and what they want to achieve. One particularly memorable client was a hoarder. 

KV: That must have been difficult.  What did you do to help her?

DR: I hired an assistant to help me and we filled then removed dozens of garbage bags from her apartment in New York City.  If she didn’t clean it up she was going to be dispossessed. My assistant then became her caretaker for four years.  Frequently, there is mental or physical health issues that are part of the hoarding situation.

KV: These days as you wind down your working life what’s ideal for you in working with clients?

DR: Working virtually has made working with people at a distance very easy. They send me a floor plan, layout of the room or rooms and then I can email them back how to position furnishings, what colors to use.  I helped a man in Germany some years back and he just reached out to me again for help with something else.  I’ll be traveling to Germany in the fall too to see him and the space.

Thank you Debra Riva Debras photofor answering my questions.  If anyone has more questions about organizing or Feng Shui you can contact the National Association of Professional Organizers or NAPO, and  or, The International Feng Shui Guild, or IFSG.  Mercury turns direct again on June 12 so we all have some time to De-clutter and re-balance.  Namaste.


A Day at the Museum

A Museum Can Bring the World to You.


#Rodin’s Garden in Paris is amazing that you can touch and feel the many carved pieces he made hundreds of years ago in a museum, once a house and garden where Rodin actually lived.

Above, I stand below his full size The Thinker – a smaller version can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as well as many other sculptures.  On my most recent birthday a few weeks ago I visited the Met as it is called, to take in the permanent exhibits as well as current ones, which are only visiting for a time.  My visits are few and far between but the Met is by far my favorite museum because I can travel around the world inside and still be close to home. On this most recent visit I went to Egypt, Greece, Africa, Asia, Japan, and parts of America all within 3 hours time. They have 3 restaurants to choose from inside and the food is good, the views of Central Park, wonderful.

Entrance to Temple statuesarcophagus

My all time favorite place at the Met is the Egyptian section.  They have real temples pieces  taken from the actual Pyramids famous outside of Cairo in valleys where archeologists dug decades ago. You can see a sarcophagus or two but no real mummies are there. So many paintings and artifacts that if you were to only stay in this section it could easily take hours to see all the pieces one by one. But, it’s a lot easier and less hot than actually traveling to Egypt.  I’ve been to the British Museum in London as well and if you like Egyptian artifacts they have them nearly on top of each other there including the actual Ramses Head and the Rosetta Stone.

As one section of Asia was being reassembled for a new exhibition on China: Through the Looking Glass and had part of the exhibit closed, I explored the American Wing which I really hadn’t paid much attention to before.  Louis Comfort Tiffany has several windows he made on display – Priceless, as most museum pieces are and absolutely gorgeous in person.

Tiffany windowsTiffany grapes close upOn my visit to Japan I saw many examples of Jade dating back two or more centuries old.  No pictures in that section are allowed.  Leave it to the Japanese to glam up a deer. The example below is taxidermy and then ornately decorated with glass balls and crystal balls.  Gives me some ideas to deal with the abundant deer population on eastern Long Island.

Blinged out deerWherever you are, or want to go, there is a museum near you, where you can explore many cultures, artifacts and learn more about other countries history as well as our own even if you can’t travel outside of the country.  A Stay-cation at a museum can be a great getaway and renew your interests near and far.

I’m planning my next excursion soon.