01/23/2012 03:11 pm ET Updated Oct 24, 2014

Chinese New Year Feng Shui Tips for Your Home

We love a fresh start.

That's why we'll take as many new year's celebrations as we can get.

And today, there's another one: Chinese or Lunar New Year. When I was little, my mom told me that it was important to act on Chinese New Year how you wanted the whole year to be. Traditionally, homes are swept clean, special lucky foods are eaten, fights avoided and grudges forgotten.

The Chinese are big on prosperity and fortune as themes for Lunar New Year, so in honor ringing in the Year of the Dragon (a year of great luck), tweak your home with a few feng shui tips to increase your prosperity this year.

We met with Allessandra (Ali) Bogner, a feng shui consultant in New York City who used to be an investment banker (so she knows a thing or two about money). She got interested in feng shui when her life started to fall apart after moving into a building, and she heard similar stories from other tenants. She works with clients who are prominent in the fashion, finance and hedge fund industries in New York City.

Photo by Trevor Wilson

"Wealth means different things to different people," says Ali. "It's not necessarily about money, although it can be. It can be about creativity, achievements or recognition."

While we obviously recommend tackling your finances in a concrete way first and foremost (start the new year off right by signing up for an affordable Financial Plan, or a free Take Control of Your Finances Bootcamp), a little extra luck never hurt.

Follow these general tips to increase the flow of good wealth-creating energy into your life. Then check out our before and after photos to see two feng shui makeovers: My apartment and a workspace.

Photo by Trevor Wilson

1. The wealth corner is the southeast area of your home.

If you hire a consultant, she will do a more detailed identification of the spot based on the year your building was built and your birthdate, but you can use the southeast area as a rough guide. Here, put symbols of money or real money (tape it behind a piece of furniture or a picture).

2. Put something "active" and red in the areas you want to activate.

You should also put active elements in your wealth area. Examples of active things are a computer, printer, a working clock, a fan, a TV, a fish tank, a fountain--something that is used and has energy.

Photo by Trevor Wilson

3. Remove dead flowers or branches.
Dead or dried flowers or branches represent dead chi--they are the worst thing to have in your home. Ali tells me that she used to have lots of dried flowers around her apartment, and it was one of the darkest times in her life.

Get the remaining tips here.

1. Keep clutter at bay.

The most important thing you can do for your career is to perform well (check out our Build Your Career Bootcamp), but some physical changes to your work area can help. Make sure your desk is neat and organized--take some time every week to go through your desk and make sure everything is neat. Ali points out that your boss will notice a re-organized work area, whether consciously or not, and it will send a message of effectiveness and organization.

Photo by Trevor Wilson

2. Make sure your pictures are inspirational.
Look with a fresh eye at what images you have around your work area. Make images positive, future-oriented and inspiring. Replace old ticket stubs or old vacation photos with pictures of where you'd like to go in the future. "I had a client who had a giant picture of the Titanic hanging in his office," says Ali. "He liked to remind himself that nothing was ever a sure thing, so it reinforced his cautious nature. I told him to take it down, and instead he put up a photo of Mount Everest.

"Within a month or so, he signed the biggest deal of his life. He started focusing on international deals, with emphasis on the Far East. (Yes, near Everest.) Within two to three years, he managed to build up his business and hire enough people that he could work from home."

3. Evaluate the papers on your desk.
"What papers do you have on your desk that are positive or negative?" asks Ali. "An executive I worked with had piles of paper and half of them were dead deals! Why would you want that negative energy around you? Store them somewhere if you have to keep them, but don't keep them out and around you."

Get the remaining tips here.


This article was originally published on Learnvest. Click here to see more articles about money and finance by Learnvest.

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