SHOES : voluntary steemplicity : part 2 :
Voluntary simplicity is choosing to live more simply.
One of the first ways we can simplify our lives is to identify a ripe area. That area would represent habits of over-consumption and under-use. An area plagued with storage problems. An area that's expensive. An area that wastes our time.
Today, let's look at shoes.
My first ripe area was shoes. I used to own tons of shoes. Some seemed necessary, like boots for various weathers and SFW shoes (suitable for work). Others, though, were unnecessary. Shoes of various color to match certain outfits. Shoes to make me taller or shorter. Shoes to wear when my toenails were polished, and other shoes to wear when they weren't. Shoes that were comfortable sat in direct opposition to shoes that were gorgeous. And I thought I needed them both.
But this hoard of shoes was costing me a lot. Money to buy them, of course. But they were also costing me energy and time to keep putting them away, digging them back out, searching for the right pair, finding places to store them, keeping them from being smashed by my husband's shoes, re-shaping them when they got smashed by my husband's shoes, buying shoe racks for them, putting shoe racks together, taking shoe racks that didn't work to Goodwill. Not to mention that I never saw a nice, clean floor in my closet. Once, when all my shoes got piled in another room, I saw a nice, clean floor in my closet, and I realized I wanted that more than all the shoes.
I live in Florida and work from home, so I literally have one pair of shoes that I daily wear: flip flops. I keep them by the door. What could be simpler than just stepping into them as I leave the house? One rule for my "daily" shoes is that I need to be able to put them on without bending over, adjusting a strap, tying laces, or buckling. That keeps my life simple.
But in addition to my daily shoes, I have a few more. Here's one possible list of bare shoe necessities:
- work shoes / boots
- winter/rain boots
- dressy shoes (wedding, funeral, dinner out)
- daily shoes
- exercise shoes
And some people could probably eliminate one of those, even. Still, most of us can easily get by with just five pairs of shoes. As far as storing them, you can keep the weather boots in a mudroom, garage, or store them out of sight since they're not worn daily or even year-round. This leaves only three or four pairs to manage in your closet, since the daily shoes can live by your front or back door. My one pair of dressy shoes are neutral in color so they go with any outfit I might wear to a wedding or funeral.
Consciously limiting my number of shoes has brought me great peace. It saves me money. It saves me time, It saves me room. It saves me the frustration of finding an expensive shoe crushed underneath a man's dirty sneaker. And it saves me the distraction that any type of clutter brings.