Now 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.
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 for 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.