Days 365+69a ADAD-Ash WedSome folk take to living lightly easily. They may have been downsizing and simplifying for quite a while. Maybe this is you.

Others, however, feel intimidated by the challenge of letting go of stuff – both clothing and beloved mementos. I often suggest that they start small – perhaps just clean out a drawer. Even if you don’t go any further, at least you have one cleaner drawer.

This prompted me to check out whether I could do this myself and thus was born my plan to prune A Drawer A Day for the next six weeks. As a Lenten practice it’s a way to pay attention to the interior. What’s inside me that could use some pruning – perhaps some attitudes that I’ve hung on to that are no longer serving me well, perhaps some selfishness, perhaps some pride. We’ll see.

The State of my drawers – In taking inventory of the furniture in our house I found:

  • 120 drawers
  • 58 shelves (not counting book shelves)
  • 15 of these shelves partially serve the purpose of drawers because they are in closets.

Following are some rules I’ve set for myself:

  1. Given that I have more than 40 drawers, theoretically I could do more than one drawer a day. I know, however, that some of the drawers in our grown kids’ vacated rooms are empty. I’m starting with just one drawer a day as a base. If I feel motivated some days to do more, fine. We’ll see.
  2. All the organizing books and gurus I’ve read recommend emptying the drawer, closet, storage space first and then gradually put back only the items one intends to keep. I think this makes sense. It not only will force me to decide if each item is worth keeping, it will help me start with a clean drawer.
  3. If I find nothing in the day’s drawer that I am willing to part with, I will go on to the next drawer until I find some thing to give away or throw away.
  4. File cabinets don’t count. (We have eight. These alone could be a project for one full Lent.)
  5. Drawers in Jim’s office don’t count unless they contain common family items that I use too.
  6. Although I’m going drawer by drawer, we have nine rooms in our home and two baths. I’m aiming at approximate a room a week. That’s probably overly ambitious.

I invite you to join me and let me know how you’re doing. Hopefully, we can learn from each other.