Things from Thing Stores

Eclectic accumulation via thrift store shopping

Too Many Shoes?

Since we got the flat file, we’ve been on a great sorting-and-discarding jag. He even picked out several items from his Obsolete Computer Components Collection (OC3) to send to the Computer Recycling Center.

So, the next time we walked around Spring Lake, I asked what he thought I should get rid of. I was expecting him to say “knick-knacks” or “dolls” or (most likely) “books,” but he surprised me by saying, “Well, shoes.” He went on to say, “There are so many, and they’re all over the house, and I trip on them and can’t find my shoes.”

How did I ever get so many shoes? Well, duh, thrifting, where novelty is queen and prices are irresistible.

So the next day when he was out of the house, I brought all my shoes into the living room, lined them up, and took a look.

Shoes - Too Many June 2014

I can’t seem to get the same number every time I count, but it’s about 50 pairs of shoes. Yes, women need more shoes than guys do — he can wear the same few pairs all year round, while they’re an accessory item for me. But still. There were many more dressy and business shoes than I have occasion to wear. Heels and fancy shoes are uncomfortable, so I don’t wear them around town anyway, preferring sneakers and walking shoes and sandals.

Using the 80/20 rule, I quickly identified 10 of the 50 pairs (20%) as my workhorses, my daily go-to footwear. So as not to be altogether too dramatic, I decided to reduce the remaining 80% by just half — donating or selling 20 pairs.

It went surprisingly quickly.  Cute fancy flats I never wear? Gone. Extra pairs of business heels in case I ever have that kind of job? Buh-bye. Knee-high blonde boots and slutty black boots? Not worth the closet space.

I took one big box directly to Heavenly Treasures Thrift & Gift, where homeless women from The Living Room can buy clothing and shoes with clothing vouchers, and a second batch went on consignment to Pine Grove General Store in Sebastopol, where I hope to squeeze a little dough out of them.

And was he ever surprised! Now he can walk into our walk-in closet without stepping on my shoes. I’m going to keep that 80/20 principle in mind as I evaluate other Things. (Art supplies, you’re next!)

Come on, fashionistas, confess — how many pairs of shoes do you think you have?

P.S. After I posted this photo on Facebook, the general consensus was that I should retrieve the pointy red shoes in the front, which I did.


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5 thoughts on “Too Many Shoes?

  1. Lynnette on said:

    Okay…. I looooove shoes. I would rather wear the same black shift dress or slacks over and over and over again with different shoes than seek out new wardrobe staples. But I am also a fan of periodic purges. As luck would have it, my feet changed sizes with each of my pregnancies which were 7 years apart. So my shoe library was pretty much emptied out on each occasion. Also, following the inspiration of the blogger ‘shoeper woman’ I make it a point to wear my shoes at least once per year, otherwise they get put on notice… hahaha. I find it useful to think of my shoes in broad categories. I have 3 pair of classic pumps: black, red and leopard calf hair. They have moderate heels. I pull them out for weddings, funerals, interviews, etc. Which means: rarely! But I’m grateful they are there when I need them to look put together. Another category is flats. They have closed toes, for substitute teaching work. Things like black patent danskos and dalmation print calf hair sneakers. Comfortable, but a little zippy. Never more than 5-6 pairs in rotation. I either wear them out or we part company when a style or color starts to feel dowdy. On my own time I am a fan of sandals. I like to see my pedicures! So I keep 5-6 pairs of those… black, nude, saddle brown, metallic, a few colors. I never replace more than one pair a year and I wear them about 5 years on average. The straps start to go because I walk a lot. In the winter I like boots. That’s the big money, long term relationship part of my shoe vice. I like Fryes, Dan Posts, Blundstones, Docs, etc. No time limit with proper care & resoles. I have 4 pairs. And then there’s the utility section: hikers, joggers, flip flops, garden shoes, rain boots, slippers. Another 6-7 pairs. I try to keep it around thirty total. I find 30 ideal because it’s a big enough number to enjoy variety and small enough to manage & store. But that’s just me… A girl who really thinks about her shoes! Lol! PS: I am so relieved you kept the red pointy flats.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bgrimm on said:

    I have 3 pairs of shoes. I’m such a disgrace to gender.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Snow boots. Red rain boots. Black and white polka dot rain boots. Orange flip flops for pedicure days). Black Mary Janes. Black oxfords. Black ghillies for dancing. Athletic shoes for hiking. Green platform strappy but comfortable sandals. Red suede Italian kitten heels. Black keyhole toe kitten heels. Steampunk ankle boots, black. Birkenstock clogs for gardening and impromptu dog walks. I wear them all. Thirteen pair, but oh, I want more! And I’m in Portland, so the rainboots are essential.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Andrea Davis on said:

    Ok, I admit I have a few pair but I need them for all sorts of activities—dancing, running, hiking, the beach, the gym, church, cold weather, hot weather, you get the idea. However, seeing your photo has inspired me to get rid of a few pair that have been collecting dust. Thanks for the motivation! And keep on posting!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tohoest on said:

    My ENTIRE collection of shoes consists of:
    1 – Black tennies.
    2 – Black flats.
    3 – Black boots.
    4 – White semi-hard-soled slippers (for when I go to a convention in costume).
    5 – Multicolored sparkly ballet flats.
    6 – Nice black job-interview shoes.
    7 – A pair of flip-flops that I have in case I need them but try not to wear too often because flip-flops are REALLY bad for you.

    Your Royal Highness, Ladies and gentlemen, My ENTIRE shoe collection. SEVEN pairs.

    Liked by 1 person

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