The essence of feng shui is the oneness between man and the surroundings. Since this ancient practice focuses on both the yin and yang (the forces of balance for an individual), it’s a good idea to learn how to have a fresh start for you and your space in the new year.

Here, we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to six simple steps that will help you head into 2017 with maximum harmony – and style – in the home.

1) Clear the clutter

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This sounds like a no-brainer, but the clutter in one’s home will block the free flow of good energy. Worse, the amount of stuff strewn all over will store stagnant (negative) energy, and that’s not what you want for your family.

Good feng shui will express itself in a clean and fresh space, so roll up those sleeves and start clearing out everything that is old and unwanted. In the process, you may even discover some items that are still in good condition to be donated to charities.

2) Pick your paint

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The right choice of paint colours will be able to give your home a much-needed facelift; the proper feng shui use of colours brings the home’s energy to the next level and can do wonders for the inhabitants.

“The element of 2017 is fire, which produces earth, according to the 5 elements producing cycle. The auspicious colours would therefore be red, orange and green,” said Malaysian Institute of Geomancy Sciences president Professor Joe Choo.

Use paints such as Kansai Paint’s ‘Lobster Red’ or ‘Sunset in the Desert’ on areas like the kitchen or living hall, which are the common spaces that contains the most activity so that everyone can benefit from the good energy.

3) Front door flow

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Is there a big tree right outside your front door or miscellaneous items littering the pathway leading to it? You may just be obstructing the smooth, strong and clear flow of feng shui energy into your home. Investing in a hallway closet to store all your gardening tools and shoes isn’t just good feng shui, it’s also common sense in keeping the inhabitants from tripping over and falling flat. Also, make sure that your front door receives some loving care, for instance new hardware or a new coat of paint in one of the three auspicious colours mentioned by Choo.

4) Clean the windows

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If your windows look grimy, then it’s time to get them shining again. As windows symbolise your eyes to the world and let natural sunlight bathe your home with warmth, you are going to want them to be as clear as possible. Grab some old newspaper and a spray bottle of water mixed with vinegar for the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to clean them.

5) Mirror mirror on the wall

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Mirrors aren’t just used to check on your appearance, they reflect energy as well. You are going to want to increase the energy flow in certain locations that see plenty of action, like the dining room, so make sure that they’re reflecting something beautiful (like a chandelier) instead of negative – a trash can is a big no-no!

6) Place some plants

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Since feng shui is about creating harmony with one’s environment, why not bring the outdoors in? Start by placing large plants in some of the nooks and crannies in the house, or smaller greenery on the windowsills. Plants are a good source of oxygen in addition to purifying the air by absorbing toxins.

So there you have it, getting started with feng shui for your home can be easy when you begin with the basics. It’s not rocket science, it’s as simple as moving a few things around; here’s to welcoming the new year with good energy!

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Want to know the trendiest colours of 2017? Head to Kansai Paint’s website to download Kansai Paint’s Colour Forecast 2017.