Click to enlarge and see the tiny ceramic figures.

Click to enlarge and see the tiny ceramic figures.

This is the last week of Lent and I’m moving to our dining room which has exactly 7 drawers. (I won’t finish all the drawers in our house before Easter, but this will have to do for now because we’re going out of town for Easter. It was a fun room to do because I store table supplies, wrapping supplies, and other decorative things in the china cabinet we have here. I may even have the longest drawer on record – 5½ feet. It’s great for storing table cloths. Here’s the result of my pruning.

7 Drawers reviewed – all had things to Give Away or Throw Away


  • 20 Place-mats (out of 58)
  • 16 Napkins (out of 97)
  •   3 Table cloths (out of 17)
  •   2 Table runners
  •   1 Banana fiber basket
  •   6 Steak knives (out of 17)
  •   9 Mysterious tiny ceramic do-dads. I have no idea who made these or what they are for. They may end up in my visiting children’s Grab Basket.

Throw Away / Recycle:

  • 2 Partial rolls of deteriorating wrapping paper
  • 11 Small candle holders
  • 1 Unfinished paper banner that apparently was intended for one of our kid’s 17th birthday
  • 2 Packets of scented herbs that have lost their scent
  • A whole bunch of old maps and posters that were so far back in a drawer that I had completely forgotten them. Most were pretty frayed. Some might be salvageable if I can find someone to give them too. Jim, aka Mr. Map, will review them, but I think they are even beyond his interest.

1.  We Need to Host More Dinner Parties
With all these table cloths and cloth napkins we obviously should be having more large dinner parties. I guess I should give up hope that one of our kids will marry above our station and we will need to impress the in-laws. Actually, with our kids living away from home and many of our older relatives dead, we don’t even have many large holiday dinners any more. I suppose I should give away more of this stuff, but then there’s always those potential in-laws.
2.  Cleaning Out the Inside
I did a lot of thinking as I cleaned out drawers and cabinets. I realized that from the outside nothing looked that different in our home. Drawers hide things. I went in to this Lent hoping that this practice would help me look at what needed to be cleaned from my interior spiritual life. I decided to take the plunge this week and go to Confession – or the Sacrament of Reconciliation as we now call it. It’s never an easy thing to do because it takes humbling myself in front of another human being. I had to stop procrastinating and make the call to our parish priest. I had to do some honest self-evaluation of what was keeping me from loving others whole-heartedly. There’s no sense trying to hide things from God. I had to face my self-righteousness and try to let go of it…again. It was hard, but it was good. I feel freer. My penance? We agreed that I would go to a nearby park, be still, observe, and focus on being grateful for 5 minutes.
3.  It’s Embarrassing
Even though I’m giving away quite a few place-mats, napkins, etc., it’s embarrassing to note that I still have more than I could ever use to feed one meal to a group. Yes, it’s nice to have variety and be able to have a couple color schemes but this strikes me as a first world value. Heck, some people still go hungry, go to soup kitchens like the one I just donated some of my stuff too. Some people eat junk food and fast food. (Sometimes it’s the same thing.) And I care about matching my napkins to my table cloths! It will take some time to turn this boat around. But some people don’t have the time to wait. Hmmm.

Lent is over but this project is not.
Give me another week and I think I can finish at least the rooms of the house that I have control over. I’ve been warned not to venture into Jim’s office. Then I’ll summarize my learnings from the whole 7 weeks.