Clearing Out Clutter


I walked through the house, pausing to open each cabinet and closet. I began to collect the random items I found that hadn’t been used in the recent past: a chicken hat, cleats that had been outgrown before they were worn out, half a dozen random cups, a wicker basket, the extra coffee grinder I’d hidden above the refrigerator “just in case.” I enjoy clearing out clutter.


Open spaces and clean surfaces help me breathe easier. I’m not overly sentimental and a childhood full of moves (and 13 different schools!) helped me learn to pare things down naturally.


I have to clear out the clutter in my life and leadership regularly, too.


What does that look like?

It looks like not being afraid to ask myself the hard questions.

It looks like taking a hard look at my calendar to see if there are meetings that aren’t a productive use of my time.

It looks like making sure I’m spending time with and investing in the people who are the most important to me, including the people I lead.

It looks like quitting a book part way through if it’s not connecting with me.

It looks like reevaluating my systems and processes to see if there’s a better solution.

It looks like focusing on my goals and deliverables, not necessarily those of other teams or areas.

It looks like saying “no” to the optional activities that drain me so that I can say “yes” to those that fill me.

It looks like putting my phone away and looking into the faces of the people around me.


Six months ago I put in my notice at an organization where I had been deeply, deeply ingrained for almost ten years. It wasn’t until I stepped away from the routines and habits that I had allowed to enslave me that I was able to see some of the clutter in my life.


Today my hope and prayer are that my children, my husband, my clients, my friends, and my neighbors know that I value and cherish them.


I have space for the important people and things in my life only because I’ve deliberately chosen to clear out the clutter.


What things are cluttering your life right now that you need to clear out?



2 thoughts on “Clearing Out Clutter”

  1. Tanya Browning says:

    I struggle with saying no to friends. I am honored when those I love want to spend time with me or when those I am close to need me. However, I find myself saying yes to anything other than what I need to be doing. This wasn’t always true, and I’m not sure when it changed, but I know it needs to be corrected. My dirty and cluttered house is a reflection of my internal state. I see that now. Saying yes to many good things but not saying no when I need to. Thank you, Heather, for the reminder and clarity!

    1. Grateful that my journey and struggles have allowed you to grow in your own journey!

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