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Coaches Corner by Ellie West: Decluttering

When we think of decluttering, most think of removing junk and cleaning our closets, drawers, garages, or storage areas. The start of a new season is often the perfect time to get rid of stuff and reorganize. Or perhaps, the new year is an invitation to refocus, re-center, recharge, and continue what you have already started.

Many years ago, a very dear and close friend told me that if your home is cluttered and chaotic, so is your heart. I had to ponder that for quite some time, and the more I thought about it, the more I believed it to be true. Clutter is chaos. It’s a suffocating presence that robs us of peace and joy.

Decluttering your personal space is great, and we should do it at least once a year as it will bring balance and calm to your area. When your personal space is cluttered, it makes it challenging to stay focused. Keeping your stuff to a minimum helps us spend time and energy on what matters most. By letting go of stuff, you are making a conscious effort to value something other than having a house full of items.

I would also like to offer you some other ways in which we can declutter our lives. God desires us to declutter every area of our lives so we can fully enjoy the freedom and joy He has blessed us with. We live in a world where we have tons of choices for just about anything we need or could want. But is it really “stuff” that brings us inner peace and joy? Less is more and can give us more opportunities for the essential things in our life.

What is most meaningful to your life? Are most of your time, money, relationships, and energy going towards what matters most? The treasures of your heart are not found on the shelves, in your storage areas, and garages. Perhaps the treasures of your heart are the time spent with your significant other, games played with your kids, the intentional time, love, and energy you have invested in others, taking an hour or so for yourself (self-care), or simply making connections.

In 2020, it was time for me to do some significant decluttering, not only in my personal space but also with my relationships and online friends. God teaches us to value deep and meaningful relationships and friendships. I wanted to surround myself with positive, supportive, encouraging, and inspiring people who genuinely cared for me. It was time for me to avoid the company of those who were negative, hurtful, and energy vampires. Was it uncomfortable to let go of those relationships and friends? Yes, absolutely! To grow personally, you have to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. We don’t want to be mean or hurt anyone’s feelings, so in retrospect, we sometimes tolerate unhealthy relationships. Unfortunately, this can leave us feeling cluttered and empty. But, once we let go of those things, it allows for a whole new space to welcome new people into our lives that will be healthy, nurturing, and encouraging.

As you reflect on your relationships and friends, make a mental note of those that no longer bring you fulfillment or joy. Is it time to let go of those that make you feel empty? I agree that it is sometimes tough to let go, but by not letting go, you could be missing out on friendships or relationships that bring inner peace and joy to your heart.

In the book of Proverbs, wisdom teaches us; Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Be careful to whom you give your heart connection! When the right people enter your life, things begin to happen. When the wrong people enter your life, bad things happen.

In the words of motivational speaker Jim Rohn, “ You are the average of five people you spend the most time with.” The people you spend the most time with shape who you are…they determine what conversations dominate your attention.

To connect with Ellie: @coachelliewest