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Clean Living 101: How to Feng Shui Your Desk


For many, February rings in the start of something new — the Lunar New Year, to be exact. Like January 1, Lunar New Year allows people to close one chapter and open the next. While you don’t need an entirely new year to begin making changes in your life, it symbolizes an opportunity for a fresh start. What better change to make than to get rid of clutter?

Beyond being unattractive, clutter make it nearly impossible to be productive — especially when it’s all over your desk. So while cleaning your desk may seem like a menial task, it’s essential for productivity, success, and ultimately, your happiness.

“Clutter is junk food and has exact same effect on you,” says Bryce Kennedy, a NYC-based coach who is certified in feng shui, meditation and Inner Space Technique. “It blocks the flow of energy. It tells the subconscious: can’t relax, more to do.”

Creating new space makes room for inspiration but it can be daunting if you wait too long. New resolution: clean your desk off every night before you leave work. “You want to enter the desk when the slate is clean. A brand new start. Also, once a week, do a deep clean of cleaning the corners, the keyboard, any shoes under the desk, old papers, your computer desktop, everything that does not help you succeed in life,” says Kennedy. A clutter free desk is the first rule, and once you get into the habit, it’s not difficult to maintain. “If the desk is the launchpad for success, make it as successful as possible.”

Set Your Intention

Every time you sit down at your desk in the morning, set an intention. It could be for clarity, power, success, joy, ease, a raise, a beautiful day… whatever it is, set the intention. “What will happen over time is that the moment you sit down at the desk, your mind will automatically gear into what you DO want. Not what you don’t,” says Kennedy.

Most of us plop down at our desks and are playing catch up from the time we hit the chair until the minute we leave it. “That is not powerful. That is not flow. Feng shui is about owning your space. So own the physical and mental space,” advises Kennedy. In other words, set the intention. Every single day. 

Decide How to Lay Out Your Office

The placement of things on your desk is very important, as is the placement of your desk and the environment of the room. “Whether you work in an open unassigned environment where your workspace changes daily, in a set cubical or single office, or from a home office space, the feng shui practices will help you find peace and prosperity,” says Michelle Cromer, feng shui expert and practitioner.

Let’s start with your desk. “Place your computer in the middle of your desk, closest to you. This represents your life journey and career,” says Cromer.In the left corner, farthest away, place a live green growing plant. According to Cromer, this represents wealth and abundance.The right corner of your desk represents love and relationships, says Cromer, so this is where you’d place any photos of family, children or pets. The middle-back of your desk represents fame and reputation. So if you work from home, Cromer suggests, you can keep a candle burning because it puts you in the light. This is obviously unrealistic in a traditional office setting, so, in lieu of that, she recommends putting crystals for the same energy and activation of positive light. “Citrine crystals can be placed or put in a bowl are for attracting wealth and prosperity, ” says Cromer.

“Some people put nine oranges in a bowl on their desk or a conference table. The number eight represents continued abundance and business success because it looks like the infinity symbol. Eight is a popular number in Chinese feng shui because the word for it sounds like the word for prosperous growth in Chinese. The number nine represents wealth, accomplishment, and attaining personal goals,” says Cromer.

Be Inspired

Think about what inspires you and bring that into your workspace. Photos, plants and crystals can all make you feel good — just choose what works for you personally.

Bamboo is a great plant for any desk as “it brings good fortune and doesn’t need a lot of light,” according to Kennedy, who also says that fresh flowers, if available, can be a great boost.

The smells, freshness and colors of crystals can instantly change the mindset and energy of a space. “Some crystals that are incredible for your desk are Rose Quartz for ease and love,” says Kennedy, and “Fluorite to help reduce the impact of staring at the computer screen too long. Malachite to help ground you into your power. And Pyrite because it’s gold and brings in the energy of the sun.” And we all need a little more sun in our lives.

Light is also super important. “Have a lamp with soft light to negate the effects of overhead office lighting. Himalayan salt lamps are amazing. The wrong kind of lighting is brutal and wreaks havoc on our nervous systems,” says Kennedy.

Be in Power

When you place your chair, avoid having your back to the window or the door. “I realize this may be difficult for some people, but having your back to a door or a window is bad feng shui,” says Kennedy. “People enter through a door, which always puts you on guard. “You don’t get to relax and really dig into the work,” says Kennedy. Your energy braces against the possibility of an interruption, which can be detrimental over time. If you must have your back to a door, have a mirror on your desk so you can see who is always coming and going.

Similarly, avoid having your back to a window if possible. “Feng shui is all about having energy flow. The window is the perfect place. And blocking that with your back is essentially blocking flow,” says Kennedy. You want to be to the side of the window or facing it. Allow all the goodness to flow towards you. Receive it. Enjoy it. Window energy can improve your mindset in amazing ways.

Open the Flow

As you take control of your space and your daily intentions, you’ll open the flow of thought and movement in your space. And with that, you’ll open yourself to new productivity and success.