The Memory of Shoes

by | Aug 9, 2022 | Decluttering, Downsizing, Organizing

Thanks to some wild wasps in our yard, I spent Sunday inside applying the “KonMarie” method to downsizing my collection of shoes. As a client friend said, “It’s good to know you practice what you preach.” I really do.

Living in a house that was built in the late 40’s, closet space is limited and I easily feel the squeeze. Many of today’s closets are the size of our guest bedroom… and bigger! Cheers to you big closet owners!

For those who don’t know, Marie Kondo, author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, teaches a decluttering technique where you pull out all the items in a particular category at one time, and then select the items that bring you joy and discard the ones that don’t. For me, I started with shoes. Every single pair of shoes I own. I pulled them out of closets and storage and arranged them on the floor of our living room where there is good natural light. It really helped to view my shoes in a different room – I had better light and a different perspective. Usually, I just pull a pair out of the closet and slip them on- not really paying close attention. Several pair appeared more worn than I realized. This exercise also forced me to evaluate where these shoes fit into my life as it is now. There were some I hadn’t worn in years, so away they went. Some had unrepairable damage to the heels that I hadn’t really noticed before. I said goodbye to them, too. There were a couple of pairs, however, that were a bit more difficult to part with. A pair of brown leather UGGs that I fell in love with at Neiman Marcus. They were my first Neiman Marcus purchase ever. They were a big-ticket item for me at the time, but I wore the heck out of them, and got my money’s worth. It was finally time to say goodbye.

Next came my turquoise patent leather heels. Real beauties. I always got compliments whenever I wore them. I bought them to wear to a wedding in New York City. It was the first black tie wedding I ever attended and it was a beautiful event. Those shoes covered many blocks in Manhattan. They even shared the dance floor with actress Jennifer Love Hewitt! But… I haven’t worn the shoes in several years and my feet couldn’t bear wearing them on the streets of Manhattan (or Harrisburg) for that matter. So I took a picture of these wonderful shoes and texted my dear friend (the mother of the bride), thanking her for such a great memory. I will remember her daughter’s wedding with or without the shoes.

When all was said and done, I parted with 16 pairs of shoes.  I labeled and reorganized the remaining pairs and freed up a ton of floor space in my closet. I was on such a roll that day, that I tackled clothing next and added two more bags to the donation pile.

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