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11 week challenge: week 1 the entryway

I went into Michael's yesterday after my walk with the intent to purchase a new wreath. My vision was somewhat cloudy as we always leave our greenery up until Imbolc/Candlemas (February 2). Making the decision to take it down was a real shift for me so I was THRILLED when I saw the little gem in the photo below - originally $79, marked down 90 PERCENT! Yes it was covered in Christmas ornaments and a big shiny bow, but I knew with a little deconstruction, it would be a simple and elegant wreath for my front door.

So, let's talk about that front door and the entry to our homes. This can be a real challenge for many folks at this time of the year. You may be living with torential downpours or be under 5 feet of snow. For me, I am in Nashville. The weather went from Winter to 60 degrees in about 5 minutes and tonight the temps drop and we are expecting snow by the end of the week (please say it ain't so). So, I took advantage of the day today to change my wreath, clean the door mat and sweep off the porch.  

Here's the scoop on my porch. It's tiny. Almost "stoopish", in fact. 8 steps lead up to a tiny landing, though I can assure it can hold at least 4 people as often demonstrated by my family. It is not really set up for decorating. So, what's a girl to do? I hang a wreath each season on the front door. And, for 3 seasons out of the year, I have a lovely terra cotta pot filled with greenery or flowers on a hand-painted stepping stone (painted by moi, of course). Sometimes I long for my old porch. It was large enough for a settee and decorations regardless of the season as it boasted a lovely roof, shielding us (and my stuff) from the weather. But, that doesn't make it any less important in the scheme of this work. I can take steps, and so can you, regardless of how immense or how small your porch is.

Let me tell you a story. Two Sundays before Christmas, my hubby was going out the front storm door to take out the trash and the window in the door shattered. Everywhere. For three weeks we have been without that window as we moved from a shattered window into all four of us coming down with a virus and then Christmas. Now, here we are in the first week of 2017 and I'm staring at that empty frame each day as I leave the house and then re-enter it when coming home. Is it tragic that we have a pane of glass missing from our storm door? No. But, each time when I see it it brings a level of anxiety into my awareness of one more thing to do, the possiblity of the kitten escaping (it did happen once already) and the embrassment of living with a broken pane of glass in the front door. (Okay, that one's on me.) This. Is. Not. Good. Guess what's on my list for the week as we work through the entryway? You guessed it!

In feng shui, the entryway to your home is crucial. It can make or break many things in your life. That is why appearances and entryways were put at the top of the list when creating this challenge. I spent some of my sleepless night last night going through to find a couple of comprehensive articles that highlight the importance of the entryway to your home, apartment or office. Of course, I keep coming back to Katie Weber. Her article on front doors is comprehensive yet simple. 

As you are working on your entryway, here are things to keep in mind:

1. Ensure the walk-way to your home is clear of debris, overgrown vegetation, etc. This can be a challenge if you live in the Norther Hemisphere as it is WINTER but you may be in a mild area and can really work on clearing the path to allow for the flow of chi.

2. Sweep the front steps, porch, stoop, whatever you have! 

3. If you have an old or worn out front porch mat or none at all, toss it in the trash then splurge and find one that makes your heart sing. I am completely serious. I get giddy over a new front door mat. With that said, I invested last year in a lovely black rubber mat (see photo) that I may have for the rest of my life.

4. Clean your front door. 

5. Hang a new wreath or decoration of choice on the front door.

6. Add other decorations as desired with the intention of staying clutter free. You can decorate the front of your home as you will, but keeping mind that clutter prevents the flow of chi. I created a Pinterest board for this with lots of idea. 

7. Be sure to take any before and after pictures and post to my FB page!

Today, I want to stress to you that this week is about appearances. It's about how your home appears to you (consciously or sub-consciously) and how it appears to you guests. I want to be clear. This is not about judgement or giving a crap about how others view you.  I always say that the biggest judger in my life is ME! But, I want your home to be welcoming for you and your guests. I want you to NEVER feel that you cannot have friends or family into your home. The Fly Lady calls it CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome). 

Gosh, this post is getting long, but I have so much to say on this subject! A few more thoughts. 

First, this is not a competition. My gameplan for my entrance, well, all of my entrances (more below), is simply to clean and clear and I added the new wreath to the front door. You need to decide what you will do for your space. It can be simple or elaborate. It may be that you clear and clean now and wait for the thaw to do a more elaborate decorating project. I am a big believer in LESS IS MORE!

Quickly, even if your FRONT door is not your primary entrance, always treat it as such. Actually, it is ALWAYS best to use the front door if possible, but in the US, it is common to enter and exit through a garage door if you are a home-owner. Make that front entrance shine but check your other entrances as well. Sweep the back porch, knock down the cobwebs, add a mat if you need to. Garage door entrance as well, which tends to be where our biggest mess lies.

Now, get to gettin' and post pics!  If you post on Instagram, tag me: @fengshuimama



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