Looking in the Box

One of my gifts this last Christmas was a set of under the bed shoe storage bins. I already had a storage rack (on wheels) that I’d gotten for free at a garage sale. It was full. My closet was stacked with shoe boxes. I had 7 rows of boxes on the shelf above my clothes that were 5 and 6 boxes high (you do the math). On the floor I had an additional 5 rows of boxes only 3 or 4 high. I was running out of room. To be fair, of all the shoes there were less than 8 pair that I purchased at full price new. Most of my shoes were either clearance, Goodwill (half price to boot), or garage sale finds. So I decided to go through the shoes and transfer them to the nifty storage containers that would hold 18 pair each. I opened box after box. Looking inside I was astonished to discover shoes I had completely forgotten I owned. I also discovered shoes that had seen better days. To that end I bid farewell to many stalwart pairs that had served me well but whose retirement was past due.

♥ I choked back tears as the Croft & Barrow spring green slide sandals went into the trash. The pleather was peeling from the top and the sole was crumbling.
♥ My tried and true Aerosole flats with the waffle soles (and real leather uppers) had parted ways. I had some goop adhesive that I’ve used to repair shoes before but the soles were too far gone to hold. They were tossed.
♥ I lovingly caressed the suede booties and placed them in the discard pile. The zipper pull was broken on one and the other was on its way to breaking. There was no need to prolong our association.
♥ The grey shootie with the buttons (like the Victorian shoes) were sadly a size 6.5 and even with nylons they were uncomfortable. I put them in the “donate” pile.
♥ There were 3 pair of athletic shoes that had been shoes from work that I’d taken home when they had been replaced. Because they’d never been worn outside, they looked like new but I’d had to purchase new innersoles. One pair was ugly. One had the heel cup worn through. And the last pair had a small (but soon to get bigger) hole where my big toe hit the top. They all went into the donate pile.
♥ There was the pair of boy’s sandals that I wore for a summer but abandoned for a better pair the next year. Into the donate pile they went.
♥ There was a pair of maroon velvet slippers that were too big and a pair of black brushed fabric slip-ons that were too small that were marked for donation.
♥ And the most heart wrenching was my everyday booties in black. I debated for a long time, then made a decision to part with them, changed my mind, changed my mind again and finally just dropped them into the donate bag. The heel had worn down past the rubber and into the heel itself making it hard to maintain balance. I could have compensated for that but they also took on water, gravel, snow, and even dirt only to deposit their load across my floor…

I now have room in my closet for all my dresses to hang straight. My winter boots are accessible. All my shoes that see regular use are in the rolling rack under the bed. My summer shoes and dress specific shoes are in the zippered storage (with clear tops all the better to see them). I have a few special pairs on the shelf in the closet (no more than 2 high so Sparky doesn’t need to reach them for me). I loaded the shoes to donate into the car and will drop them off tomorrow at Goodwill. I’ve even promised not to buy anymore shoes unless I get rid of a pair in turn. Oh and those boxes? I was able to break them down and recycle the cardboard. There was lots of cardboard to recycle!

69 thoughts on “Looking in the Box

  1. I detest shoes and only own three pair, 2 of which are the same in different colours. Never liked them and happier barefoot ……it’s an Aussie thing which indicates my generation. However, this was written so well I didn’t know whether to shed tears for you in solidarity or laughter. Now, handbags are all together a different thing.😉

    Like

    1. Hehe! I have a handbag problem too but it is not as extreme as the shoes… I go to the thrift store and when I’m faced with a brand new Kate Spade all leather bag for $2.50 I can’t resist! Still I’ve decided to stop purchasing purses until I wear out or donate a couple in my possession!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Trish for the positive vibes. I didn’t let it get to Imelda Marcos proportions but it was out of control. I am now at the point that I can only purchase a pair if I get rid of one… It seems much more manageable!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for you1 Sounds like a job well-done. I’m not crazy about shoes, but one of my girls is….the more outlandish and uncomfortable the better. Of course, she doesn’t have much occasion to wear them anymore, with a houseful of children.

    Like

    1. Hehe! Gracia I can understand your daughter but I don’t keep shoes that are uncomfortable. If I can’t wear them for at least 4 hours then they are gone! As for outlandish, not so much. I prefer them to coordinate with something in my closet!!

      Like

  3. I mean no offense as I say this. Throughout your tale I was reminded of my mother-in-law’s “spare” closet at her old house in which she stored stacks and stacks of shoe boxes. I’m sure your boxes were also labeled.
    Actually I also have a friend with a similar closet in her old house. Labeled. Needless to say, I don’t keep my shoes labeled in their boxes. (But I do keep my summer and winter shoes stored separately.) Also, I’m thinking of donating some shoes I definitely don’t wear. I should do that soon, since I just remembered that I ordered 3 pairs of shoes online this week during a snowstorm. oops. Anyhow. Shoes.

    Like

    1. Hahaha! Yes mine were all labeled and most had a picture on the box! BUT I had them all in one closet… I hadn’t gotten to the point of trying to fill the guest room closet because I’d have to relocate my massive clothes collection. I’ve been wearing items and then turning the hanger backwards. At this rate I could wear a different top every day for at least 9 months and not repeat!! (yes I know it is an addiction and yes I’m currently “on the wagon”). Hope you enjoy your 3 new pair!!

      Like

  4. I have a ton of clothes but shoes I have few pairs of. I have a work boots, muck boots, dress boots, snow boots, one pair of dress flats, one pair of tennis shoes, garden shoes, and one pair I wear every day of moccasins made by my favorite boot company.

    Like

    1. Sounds very reasonable for farm work. When I was in school I had muck boots too. Was so glad to ditch them as I swore I’d never work with horses or large animals again!!!

      Like

                    1. Ranger hated baths too. He would howl like a banshee. We stopped trying to bathe him indoors when he tried to break the glass shower doors! He would be bathed outside and we were sure someone would report us for animal cruelty since he would make such a fuss. And yes – a change of clothes was always needed… Poor Rex. I know how it is but then again he probably looks and smells better afterwards.

                      Like

  5. I have picky feet that only feel comfortable in supportive shoes with custom insoles. I have worn the same pair of Dansko athletic shoes every day for the past two years and will replace them with an identical pair when they wear out. I have fur-lined winter boots from LLBean and Slogger boots with insole for rainy days. For dress-up, I have a pair of low-heeled black Mary Janes (also Dansko). That’s it. I don’t dare buy shoes at Goodwill or garage sales. I’m glad you’re getting your collection under control, Muri. 🙂

    Like

    1. I’m lucky that my feet are in good shape. I hardly ever wore heels – I had probably 2 pair when I got married and those were worn twice a year at Christmas and Easter! I wore nurses oxfords or cross trainers all the time. It has only been in the last 5 – 7 years that I discovered some shoes with heels that I like and are comfortable. Now that Sears is gone I don’t know where I’ll get the I ❤ Comfort brand shoes!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s harsh, Imelda. My penchant is for hiking shoes. BUT I wear them out. I have a couple pair of sentimental shoes that I’ll never wear again (Dansko clogs for one). As for the rest of my gear? I have a tiny closet that’s mostly storing clothes I’ll never wear. A crepe “interview” suit? I have to get rid of that before I die or they’s cremate me in it thinking it’s my best… You know how people are. “We want her to look good.” Morbid, I know, but I’ve been there. Strange how people dress the dead for work…

    Like

    1. Hehe! Yeah it wasn’t to the Imelda level of acquisition – yet. I have 2 pair of Keen hiking boots (probably my most expensive shoes) that I have to say were the best investment ever! I think cremation of the crepe suit would be the best way to dispose of it! I’ve got a few (okay maybe more than a few) clothing items that I am holding onto because they make me happy but I don’t wear them anymore. Perhaps this spring I’ll get out the 1976 Denim Coat that is probably the most amusing thing I own…

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve never been a shoe person. In New York I walked around barefoot all the time. Up here, it’s only in the house because it’s too rocky outside. I think some of it has to do with having a wide foot – shoes always seemed to pinch me. I have three pairs of sneakers that I cycle through now. One pair is well broken-in that I wear for hiking and geocaching. One I wear for my regular daily stuff, and a pair in reserve that I used to use at the gym so they’d be somewhat broken in by the time I started using them as my daily pair. I keep flip flops around for the beach and one low pair of LL Bean boots and knee-high boots for snow. Other than cycling through my sneakers, I don’t change it up lol.

    Like

    1. I have a friend who had a hard time finding a comfortable shoe – she needs a EE width. She went to a specialty store and the sales clerk steered her to a pair that fit perfectly. They were a men’s shoe but looked basically just like a woman’s loafer. The wide width made them comfortable! Now she shops in the men’s shoes and is very happy! (besides she never did wear heels because she is 5’11” tall to start with!)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. lol the Imelda Marcos of usa! Or is it that you just can’t pass a bargain?

    And you had told us that you and Sparky had cleaned the house out … glad you finally sorted the shoes! Sounds much more manageable 🙂 One thing about living tiny, you can’t bring anything in unless you toss something … no space to store those worn out treasures 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never let it get that bad! hehehe! We cleaned, we took stock, we let go but we still have lots of “stuff”. Funny but my son was over and I asked him the horrible question, “If I died today, what items in the house would you want?” Surprising answers. The most startling was that he wanted the saltine tin (it is pretty beat up and has seen better days). He even stated that he thought there would be some discord over who got it. It was purchased in 1976 when I was in college and it had saltine crackers in it. I let Sparky use it to store components for an electronics course he took. It has been around a long time and been in constant use! I would never have guessed that that was an item of sentimental value…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yay, Imelda Marcos…yes kate she is said to have a massive pair of really expensive shoes..not to mention her bags and jewelry collections.

      As for you Val, glad you were able to let go of the ones you no longer need.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You’re my inspiration. Tomorrow I will toss any shoe that hasn’t been worn in a year, well maybe two…or three. Anyway, I’m going to be ruthless. Ah, but what to do with those name-brand shoes that were worn only a few times, that I paid retail price for, and are a timeless style (which is to say no style), but have a heel that’s no longer comfortable for my old lady feet, but look great with jeans. It’s easier to part with the strappy, high-heeled sandals, purchased for a wedding of a couple whose children graduated from high school last year.

    Like

    1. Okay. I’ll tell you a secret to make those shoes wearable again…. silicone pinkie toe sleeves. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone. You can get them at most drug stores. They are little stretchy tubes that you slide over your little toes that cushion the pinkie toe when wearing heels. I have several pair. I gifted them to all my sister in-laws on Christmas. My husband ridiculed me. Said that it was an odd and gross gift. Everyone loved them (after they wore them) and I was showered with thanks and an outpouring of love. Just saying. They changed my life – recommended by a podiatrist at a health fair at work. On the other hand there are lots of women out there pining for some nice shoes but unable to afford new. I’m sure purging your collection will make people happy.

      Like

  10. You made me smile with your shoes story, Val .What a humor! In the garage I have a special shoes closet. It is awful . Some are very old shoes that I never wear . Finally they are like old pictures recalling the far past!
    It is always a pleasure to rread you.
    Love ❤
    Michel

    Like

  11. Lot of work. Glad you were able to organize. I wear shoes out but never at home and even take them off in the car often. I don’t own a lot of shoes. I do need a good tennis shoe but doubt I will put in the money needed for such a pair. 🙂

    Like

    1. I’ve got too many pair – although they are very good brands I have never paid full price. You would be surprised at the number of people who buy shoes, wear them once and then donate them!

      Like

  12. Feng shui is always a good thing. You’re nudging me to keep working on mine here. It IS rewarding, with the energy freed up, for our lovely lives.

    Like

  13. Oh Val! I feel so bad for you that you had to get rid of so many shoes. I know so many ladies, relatives and friends, who love to have shoes. I was never one for that, also for hand bags. I have no idea how many pairs of shoes I have. I know i get rid of several of them every so often because I haven’t worn them or they are just sitting at the bottom of the closet, looking at me with a “here comes that woman who doesn’t care about us!”, look! heh heh.
    Love your take on them shoes.

    Like

    1. Hehe! Don’t feel bad for me – I still have more shoes than is decent! I have a handbag in the basement on the washer that I got last spring – it needs to have the leather cleaned. I have been so busy with other things that it languishes in the dark alone… Perhaps I will get to it this week now that I’m thinking that it must feel abandoned and unloved!

      Like

    1. Yes Gary, women tend to accumulate shoes but be aware that fashion dictated that it is so. A woman wearing a business dress with a pair of hiking boots would not be taken seriously – not even by other women… Besides 20 pair is not that many! 200 on the other hand is probably getting into Imelda territory!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s