Whether you want to implement a few feng shui techniques yourself to improve the flow of your home, or are considering an entire home-energy makeover, the starting place is your entryway.

The approach to your front door and its energy are most important when it comes to feng shui. Your entryway sets the mood for your entire home. After all, this is where energy flows into your home, and is what creates a first impression for you, for others, and for opportunities.

Your entryway includes your front door, the threshold, the path that leads up to the house and the immediate area inside. The goal is for each part of your entryway to work together in harmony so that it welcomes you with loving, open arms and only allows good energy to pass through. To achieve this, there must be balance, which is an important ingredient in feng shui. You want to protect your home from the business of the street, while graciously welcoming opportunities and visitors.

Here are five key ways you can use feng shui to improve the entryway to your home.

1. Clear any clutter.

Clutter surrounding your entryway is said to create unnecessary struggle in your life and can restrict opportunities from coming to you. Be sure to clear any clutter from your yard, pathway, front porch, and foyer to allow energy to flow into your home.

2. Plant things.

It is considered good feng shui to place potted plants or flowers on either side of the front door. They work as great diffusers of negative energy at the front of your home and attract vibrant energy instead. Just be sure not to block the entrance and keep them well-groomed.

3. Create a curving path.

A straight “cutting” path in feng shui is said to create sharp energy or make energy move too quickly. Instead, creating a curving path to your home allows for energy to flow more gracefully and promotes relaxation.

4. Embrace color.

Colors can bring specific vibes into your home. Utilize feng shui colors to invite the energy you desire through your entryway. Red is said to bring wealth and abundance; blue brings relaxation; green is color for growth.

5. Keep it safe and in good repair.

Ultimately, your home should promote a safe and welcoming atmosphere, starting at your entryway. This means it should be well lit and in good repair. In feng shui, a properly worked and well lit entrance is said to clarify your future.

Whether you embrace the abilities of feng shui or not, upgrading your entryway will improve the overall look and feel of your home. Welcome your guests with open arms and a beautiful entrance. Remember, this is ultimately what creates a first impression — make it a good one.