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How to Lift the Energy of a Stale House

Maureen Harmonay

I take my clients seriously. I take pride in doing a great job, and I love what I do...

I take my clients seriously. I take pride in doing a great job, and I love what I do...

Aug 23 6 minutes read

You know that feeling.  And it doesn't feel good.  You walk into a home and immediately, it feels wrong  It's dark.  Or it's dirty.  Or it has a strange odor.  Or you can't quite put your finger on why, but it just feels, well, icky.

If you're a prospective home buyer entering such a space, you'll be tempted to rush out the door.  Or at the very least, you won't spend much time there.  It's not a place you want to be.

But wait.  Maybe this home is in the neighborhood where you've always wanted to live.  It's in your kids' school district.  Your friends live down the street.  It's got a fenced backyard for your dog.  It's perfect in so many ways, except that it isn't.

What can you do?

First, step back and take a deep breath--preferably outside the house!  What if you could buy this home at a good price?  The odds are in your favor because the dreary feeling you got when you walked in the front door may have discouraged other buyers, too.

In this era of limited housing inventory, you don't always have to walk away from a home that doesn't lift your spirits.  There's a lot you can do to shift the energy to make it a place youll love to be, without spending a fortune.


#1. Paint the Front Door

Make it your own.  Use a semi-gloss sheen to literally make it shine and reflect the natural light, so it becomes a beacon to attract life-giving vibes. 

In Feng Shui, we call the front door the "Mouth of Chi," meaning that it's the portal through which good energy flows into your home

Make your door a place of pride, hinting at the beautiful things to be found inside.

#2. Wash All the Windows

Wash them both inside and out, so they literally "let the sun shine in."

In Feng Shui, we call windows the "eyes" of a home.  Keep them clear and you'll be surprised at how that uplifts your space.

If you're going to be investing in new windows, be sure to get the "tilt-in" variety, so it's easy to clean both sides of the glass without ever having to climb up on a creaky ladder.

#3. Take Down the Curtains

Do that even if the seller left them for you!  

Fabrics hold old energy and odors and can act as a heavy veil over a home's vibrancy.

Ideally, discard the curtains permanently and replace them with bamboo blinds or washable sheers.  If your home has sufficient privacy, consider dispensing with window treatments altogether.  You'll be surprised at the difference it makes.

#4. Rip Out the Carpet

Regardless of what's under it!  Wall-to-wall carpeting is a repository for unpleasant--and often difficult to identify--odors and stains.

Think about it:  the shoes that have walked on it have been in a lot of dirty places!

If you're lucky enough to find vintage hardwoods underneath, that's a bonus, but even if the underlayment is plain old plywood, you'll be amazed at how much lighter a room will feel when the bare floors are exposed.

There are many great replacement choices, including sustainable bamboo or cork, or luxury vinyl plank, and of course, hardwoods.  

A project like this can be pricey, so if you need to, tackle just one room at a time.  The result will be flooring that reflects light and is easy to clean.

#5. Paint Everything

That's right.  Do it not just to bring your own chosen colors into your home. Paint because it will literally stamp your new home with your own imprint, wiping away the old.

I'm in the process of renovating a townhome that hadn't been touched for decades, and I can't believe how much better it felt after just one day of scraping and prepping--the seemingly impenetrable grip that the former owner had on the home just melted away, and suddenly, it felt like mine! 

You don't need to choose fancy colors.  Even an elegant Decorators White (like I chose) will do wonders to make your used home feel like new.

#6. Clean Out Your Ducts

If you've just purchased a home with a forced hot air heating and cooling system, one of the first things you should do to literally change your interior atmosphere is to hire a company that specializes in cleaning out ductwork and changing air filters.

Think about it:  those ducts may have been circulating and re-circulating dirty air for months, if not years, and they're spewing it right back into your space.

While you're at it, have your dryer vents vacuumed out, too, so your clothes will stay clean and fresh after they've been through the wash.

#7. Deep Clean

Every inch of your space.  Splurge on a professional cleaning crew who can delve into and scour the nooks and crannies and corners of visible and not-so-visible places.

When they're done, you'll be able to truly embrace your space with joy and without any trace of predecessor energy.

It's finally yours, to make it whatever you want it to be.

I hope these tips have inspired you!

If you're wondering how much your home has appreciated in recent years, I invite you to request a confidential assessment.

Click Here

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