5 January

The Japanese have a tradition of having an empty shelf. This is so that there is “space to breathe”. After the Christmas festivities our homes are often a bit topsy turvey. Things have to be moved to fit in the Christmas tree, ornaments put in cupboards in order to display seasonal decorations and the fridge is a mass of bowls and tubs of leftovers and strange delicacies never eaten at any other time of the year.

I love the Christmas decorations but I am so pleased when they come down and there is space to breathe again in my house. Tomorrow is Epiphany and that is when we will take down all our decorations. You may have boxed yours away already. But whether your tree is still twinkling or the fairy lights are back in the attic, have a look around your house. Is there space to breathe?

Today is not the day for a full scale declutter but walk around your house and have a really good look at every room. Then close your eyes and “feel” the room. Does it feel calm, welcoming, relaxing? Or does it feel stifled, blocked, cold? Open your eyes again. Now what could you change to bring more calm and peace into your room?

Later we will look at clearing out rooms but for today, clear a shelf. A small space that gives your room space to breathe.