Throwing out half my shoes, what?! Why would I ever do that? Well, a lot of people have way too many pairs of shoes because it’s hard to part with them. However, in this 30-day challenge, you can clear space and declutter your shoes by removing some of them.
Listen: Throwing Out Half My Shoes – Declutter Your Closet Series
Watch: Throwing Out Half My Shoes – Declutter Your Closet Series
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
I Threw Away Half My Shoes
Welcome to the Declutter Your Closet series, where today I’m throwing away half my shoes. What? Half my shoes? I know it’s true. And by the time that we’re done, you’ll probably lose about 10 pairs of yours, as well.
Now, during the pandemic, we have lots of people that have taken to online shopping, and they’re buying more and more and more things which means their closets are overloaded.
Now the thought of going inside the closet and yanking everything out and making this enormous pile is overwhelming to most people, and it causes serious stress. So we’re not going to do that way. We’re going to go on a scavenger hunt, and we’re going to find 10 pairs of shoes. And you say, Angela, I don’t have 10 extra pairs of shoes. Well lo and behold, I said the same thing myself this morning.
I was like, “I don’t have 10 pairs of shoes.” But then when I went on the scavenger hunt myself, lo and behold, I have 10 pairs of shoes. So here’s how this works. You have 30 days, 30 days to complete this task. What you need is a great big garbage bag. And we’re going to find the shoes that you no longer need, want or use.
Include Any Kind of Shoes You Have
Now, in order to expand the horizons a little bit, we’re going to include galoshes and boots and sneakers and sandals and flip-flops and slippers and water shoes, and any kind of shoes that you have.
Here’s the rule. You cannot throw away shoes that do not belong to you. Okay? Don’t be throwing away your husband’s shoes or your children’s shoes unless you get them to participate in the scavenger hunt. Right now we’re just going to throw away your shoes, okay? We’ve got to start somewhere. This is where we’re going to start.
What Shoes Would You Get Rid of If You Had to?
So the first thing I did is I went through my closets, and I looked around. I didn’t see any shoes I wanted to throw away. Then I said, “Wait a second. Wait a second. If my life depended on it and I had to throw away 10 pairs of shoes, which shoes could I let go of?”
And then it occurred to me the reason we hang on to shoes is because of the stories we tell ourselves about those shoes. For example, here’s a pair of slippers, and I went to this nice resort during COVID when we couldn’t travel internationally. So I took a trip and as part of a gift they gave me these slippers, and they were so soft, and I was like, “Whoa, these are luxurious slippers. I don’t have any white slippers.”
So as I left, they asked me if I would like to keep these. And I said, “Yes, I’d like to keep these.” So I took these home with me, but I’ve never worn them since. Here’s why I didn’t wear them. I tried to wear them once, and they don’t have a heel on them. So in the wintertime, when my feet got cold, half my foot was still naked. And I was like, “Well, what kind of slippers are these if half my feet are cold?”
I like the part that comes up over the heel and it hugs my foot, and it makes my foot nice and toasty warm, so I never actually wore these. And then I kept them because I loved the trip that I went on and they made me happy. But the truth is I’m not going to wear these anymore ever again. So inside the bag, they go.
Get a Big Garbage Bag for Your Shoes
I recommend getting a great big garbage bag. Once they go inside, they never come out again. All right, so the next one. I found this pair of water shoes, and I love these water shoes. I got these at a discount at Walmart 20 years ago. And I went in and they had a closeout, and these shoes were on sale for $2 a pair.
And I bought 10 pairs of them. The reality is I don’t need 10 pairs of shoes. The second reason is that they’re pink. They don’t match anything that I own. But they’re water shoes. I can wear them at the beach. I never go to the beach, but I could wear them at the beach.
All right, so as I was looking at them this morning, I noticed that half the insole is just missing. It’s eroded away, and it’s gone. And I said, “Well, why am I hanging on to shoes that don’t even have a full insole? So they were 20 bucks for 10 pairs of shoes, 20 years ago. I think I’m done with these so in the bag they go. Now I found a black pair. Ta-da. And I found these at the bottom of a bin. I mean, I went looking through my garage. I went looking through my coat closet, through my house closet, through my bedroom closet. And I looked in my office closet. I’m like, Where do I have extra shoes? What shoes can I throw away?” And I found these. These were from the same purchase 20 years ago. So in the bin, they go.
I Have a lot of Shoes to Get Rid of
Then I found these witch’s shoes. I love these witch’s shoes. They’re pointy like a witch’s hat, but the problem is the heels are shot. And so when I used to be able to stand flat-footed, which supported my body, now they turn sideways like this, and I don’t stand up straight. When I don’t stand up straight, it rubs my foot the wrong way, and then I get blisters on the side of my feet, were when I was standing up straight, I didn’t get the blisters. So now they cause blisters, and they give me bad posture, so I’m going to get rid of the witch’s shoes.
And then, ta-da, I found another pair of the water shoes from that purchase 20 years ago. And these are fun shoes. They’re super comfortable. It’s like being barefoot, but you have like a sole on you, except they’re missing half the sole. As I started looking at these, the top was poking through. See, there’s my finger. It’s poking through the shoe. These are no good anymore. This is junk. Why am I hanging on to it? So in the bag, it goes.
I Had Client Shoes to Throw Away
I also found client shoes. When I go onsite with a client, I wear the client’s uniform. And this particular client had black shoes, all black shoes. Well, these are super skinny shoes, and I have a fat foot. So the skinny shoes always hurt my foot when I was on this job.
I never told this to anyone, but every time that I was there cleaning, and I’m doing the thing on the job, my feet are hurting badly because they’re squished inside these tiny shoes.
I told myself, “When the job is over and this contract has ended, I’m going to throw out these shoes.” So I promised myself I was going to throw out these shoes. Then when I look at the shoes this morning, I see that the toe is all rubbed off anyway. And there’s a hole poking through the end on the outside. You can’t see it if you’re wearing them, but the part that touches the ground, the toe is poking through. So I’m like, “Let’s get rid of these already because the job has ended since COVID. So we’re done with that.”
I Had Some Old Shoes in My Garage
Then I found these shoes at the bottom of a garbage can that was in my garage. And then I wondered like, whoa, “I haven’t seen those shoes in like years. I didn’t know that I still had them.” And they’re all squashed up. The heels have holes in them, and they’re rotting. And then I’m thinking to myself, “Why do I still, have these? Why? I will never wear these again. Let’s please just get rid of them.” And none of these can be donated. These are not good for anyone. It’s not healthy to hang on to these.
Some Shoes are a Hard Decision
I did find a pair of leather shoes, and this was a hard decision because I spent some good money on these shoes. Now we hang on to things because we spend good money on them, even if we never intend to wear them again. Now when I wear these shoes, they have this fashionable seam across the top.
And whenever I wear them, my feet slide in the shoes, and it makes the tops of my feet rubbed raw. And then they bleed. So these shoes cause me bloody blisters on my feet, even though they claim to be super comfortable. So I don’t want to give these shoes away to anyone else because they probably have dried blood on the inside.
I know that’s super gross. But I won’t ever wear them again. And every time I have a choice to wear these shoes, I say to myself, “Oh no, I’m not going to wear those. Those give me bloody blisters on my feet.” But then yet they hang in my closet.
Those are My 10 Pairs of Shoes
Why? Why Angela? So we’re getting rid of these today as well. All right? So there are my 10 pairs of shoes right there. And these are going out in the trash today. I’m going to get rid of all 10 pairs today. I passed a scavenger hunt. I scavenged my entire house, and I found 10 pairs of shoes, which truthfully is half my shoes. I’m throwing away half my shoes, never to be worn again. And I’m not going to miss them at all.
So the challenge for you is to go find 10 pairs of shoes. And if you’re close, if you have a pair and you’re not sure, ask yourself this question. “Have I warned them recently? Do I love these shoes? Am I going to wear them again?” And if it’s like my leather shoes that make my toes bleed and I’m like, “No, it’s probably not even a good idea to hang onto these,” don’t give it another thought and get rid of them.
See if you can get rid of 10 pairs of shoes. You’ve got 30 days to do this scavenger hunt. So maybe you find one pair every day for 10 days. But in the end, you want to have a basket that you either take to the Goodwill and you donate or you take to the garbage and you dump. The object of this is to live simply and to get rid of some of your stuff, starting with your shoes.
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