The declutter with Marie Kondo book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has hit the world by storm. Closely aligned with the KonMari method is feng shui; and feng shui in Singapore is a very popular practice for creating a serene home with a good flow. But how exactly do we spark joy in our own homes? DANA WOLF of Anjia Living has studied the ancient Chinese method of feng shui and the more modern KonMari Method, and loves to help people create positive, decluttered home spaces to enjoy.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey here.
I was born in Taipei and emigrated to Austria when I was three. Since then, I’ve lived in many different places including Cologne, Mannheim, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei and Prague. Over the years, I’ve worked in corporate communications for multinational companies. We moved to Singapore in 2018 with my husband’s job.
Living in Singapore, one of the world’s most important feng shui centres, I’ve been lucky to study with three masters. Also, raising my four kids (crazy, I know!) in such a small apartment in Singapore taught me the value of decluttering and organising efficiently. I was convinced I needed to move into a bigger home to accommodate all our belongings. However, learning the KonMari Method by Marie Kondo taught me so much – it was life-changing!
What has changed in your life since moving here?
For years I dedicated myself to my family and my husband’s career, which felt right when the kids were very small. I’m now in a place where I can give energy to both work and family. As a mother and an entrepreneur, my business is my fifth baby! I feel lucky to have such a full and challenging life.
How did that lead you to start your business?
Even though we lived in Singapore 15 years ago pre-kids, the reality of moving back with three small children was harder than I imagined. I didn’t feel at home at all. I wanted to help families, especially women, to feel at home living abroad. This is why I established Anjia Living. Anjia is a beautiful word in Chinese that carries a significant meaning. The first character, “an”, means peace. The second character, “jia”, means home or family. Together, these two characters symbolise the idea of a peaceful home.
Tell us more about feng shui and the KonMari Method.
The KonMari Method and feng shui are both approaches that emphasise how important it is to declutter. Clutter can be frustrating, making it difficult to get things done and live efficiently. The goal of feng shui is to balance and harmonise the energy within your living space; since clutter blocks the flow of energy, it’s essential to get rid of it and create space for more positive energy to come in.
Feng shui in Singapore and the KonMari Method are not about getting rid of everything. They’re about surrounding yourself with items that spark joy. Decluttering your house, mind and life can be a philosophy of how you want to live. By decluttering, you can live more efficiently and create more space for positive energy to flow.
What are your top five feng shui tips to make your home a hideaway retreat?
#1 The entrance of your home is very important. It’s the mouth of the “qi”, the life energy. It should be bright and clutter-free so you come home and feel at ease immediately.
#2 Declutter with Marie Kondo! If you haven’t done this in a while, set aside an afternoon to instantly feel the energy improve.
#3 Repair what is broken. Fix, mend, repair or, if nothing works, replace! This should be your mantra regarding anything broken or not working in your home. Whether it’s broken mirrors, a tear in a cushion or a damaged appliance, all are said to collect bad energy.
#4 Let in fresh air and light. This takes little effort but effectively brings a refreshing and happy aura to your home. Bright light encourages positive energy, while its absence is linked to stress, poor health and financial problems.
#5 Choose the right bed direction. The bed should be in the centre, not touching the wall on either side, except for at the back. The bed needs to be placed into a command position (you must see the entrance when raising your head), but be careful not to put it opposite the door, or with a window at your back.
Dana offers a range of services to clients, including the following:
Feng shui in Singapore houses and condos
Have you ever felt that you can’t quite put your finger on what’s wrong, but you know something is off? It might be your feng shui. Often when we’re not feeling our best, it’s because our personal space is out of balance. Our environment significantly impacts our mood and overall well-being. You can create a more positive and supportive environment by making minor adjustments to the placement of furniture and other objects in your home. This, in turn, can lead to increased feelings of happiness, peace, and even better sleep!
If you don’t know how to choose from a list of properties, I can help you to find the best home based on a floor plan. I focus on the orientation of the house, the room layout and the environment. Next, I advise on interior design, from the furniture arrangement to the colours and shapes of your decoration – everything for your ideal home in harmony.
Marie Kondo home declutter
Whether you’re dealing with a major life change, such as divorce or retirement, or simply trying to cope with the day-to-day chaos of family life, it can be helpful to seek professional guidance. I derive great pleasure in helping people declutter and organise their homes and lives.
Declutter with Marie Kondo before a local or international move
Moving is the perfect time to get organised. Deciding what things will fit into your new home before you pack will help avoid the time and expense of transporting clothing, furniture and household items that you no longer need or want. Together we will plan, sort and pack the things that spark joy in you. I’ll help you every step of the way to organise your new home.
Workshops in the KonMari Method
I teach helper workshops on how to fold clothes using the KonMari Method, as well as how to organise kitchens, bathrooms and toy collections. I also run non-helper workshops – where, in just a few hours, you’ll learn how to begin to declutter and start making your way towards a joy-filled life.