Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nana Takes the First Step

I love those television programs that show people with clutter problems...not the hoarders who have filled their houses with garbage, but regular people who have piles of stuff in their spare bedrooms.   This afternoon when I was too tired from being retired to do anything, I turned on the TV and discovered that I could watch Peter Walch, Oprah's organization guru, on On Demand.  There went my afternoon!

Peter Walch was helping a couple clean out their bedroom and home office.  The rooms were filled with stuff that the wife had bought on sale.  She had piles of new clothing that she had never worn, in sizes that she couldn't wear.  The clothing took up all available space.  Her husband had moved into a spare bedroom because there was no room to sleep in the master bedroom.  There was an incredible amount of stuff in just two rooms.  Peter Walch helped the couple, especially the woman, reduce their possessions to manageable levels.  At one point he said "No one needs more than 10 pairs of shoes."

Ten pairs of shoes, he can't be serious?  I've got at least 10 pair of black shoes alone.  I don't think I would be able to limit myself to only 10 pairs, but how many is a reasonable number? 

My friend Shawn often reminds me that I'm the only person she knows who has five pairs of pink shoes.  Is five pairs unreasonable? I've got two pairs of heels, loafers, ballet flats, and sandals.  Doesn't everyone need a variety of shoe styles in numerous different colors?

I have shoes in my closet that I haven't worn.  On the  other hand, I have shoes in my closet that are more than just comfortably worn...but they're still good for a few more wearings.

Oregon has four seasons, so one needs shoes for every season.  I can't wear boots in the summer or sandals in the winter.  But, how many pairs of sandals is reasonable? 

The reason I love the organizing shows is because I know that I walk a fine line.  I could so easily find myself buried in stuff.  I'm always looking for ways to keep myself in check.  The television shows that focus on organizing have given me strategies for helping to reduce my personal clutter. 

True confession time...I just counted.  I have 102 pairs of shoes in my closets.  That probably is too many... especially for someone who spends most days inside wearing slippers!  I haven't decided on a reasonable number, but tomorrow I'm going to sort through the shoes.  My goal is to toss at least 20 pairs of shoes.  That would be 20%,  Then again, 80 pairs is still a lot.  I'm already getting anxious, worrying about what shoes I can let go.  Maybe I should look for a 12 step program, or maybe I'll just wait until Peter Walch knocks on my door . 


  1. If I had that many pairs of shoes I would never get out of the house, it would take me so long to decide which ones to wear. I think I have about 5 pairs. I am the other end of the extreme!

  2. Oh Lovely! I'm helping a very close friend to thin out her wardrobe. She was very very ill last year and it horrified her to think that if she had died her husband and two boys would have had to do it. Anyway we filled 6 large garbage/bin bags with beautiful jackets and coats -- I simple asked have you worn it in the last year (that's my rule)and then she asked me how she looked in this or that--if I didn't like it out it went! Now next on her list is 5 warddrobes of just T-shirts! My weakness is books and my husband -- nevermind -- best not to go there!!

  3. Everyone has something they just can't resist. Shoes seems to do it for a lot of women. I have exactly ten pairs, two of which I don't wear very much. That is, if you don't count Crocs or slippers as shoes. I say enjoy your shoes!

  4. There's always the other extreme.
    I see some folks who wear the same pair of flip-flops daily, no matter what the weather.

  5. I've been working on my closet and dresser for four days. Yesterday I took two large bags to Goodwill.

    I tried everything on. I have two boxes full of stuff now that I will be able to wear when I lose about 7 pounds. They're in the garage. If I know I'll never wear them again they went to Goodwill.

    I have a purple bar that hangs in my closet. Right now it's on the far right side. When I wear something, it gets rehung on the left hand side once it's been cleaned. Next March I'll review everything that's still on the right hand side.

    Shoes are this afternoon. I have about 15 pairs and I expect when I'm done I'll have about ten. I feel much better when uncluttered.

    Books are another thing entirely....

  6. Shoes are a weakness of mine. I have them stored in two closets and under a bed in one of those under the bed organizers. I only wear about four or five pair on a regular basis when I am working.

    I have eight pairs of boots, wait make that nine. I have no idea how many pairs of sandals I have.

    I could never get rid of shoes based on just getting down to a set number. I do get rid of some every year. If they hurt my feet I get rid of them. I don't feel like my shoes are taking up too much space, so I'm not worrying about them.

    Just like Linda, "books are another thing entirely.

  7. A good time for spring cleaning! Yes, you're still holding on to 'working outfits' I see. I kept two suits for just such thing. Not the shoes, though. I wear comfortable shoes now.

  8. Nana, you and I? Singing the same tune. I have 10 pairs of just boots!! BOOTS!!

    At last count I had over 135 pairs. And I kinda wear them all from time to time.

    I don't even like the color pink, but have at least three pairs of pink shoes!!

    And let's not even go into handbags. I am kinda a handbag whore.

  9. I need someone like you to go shoe shopping with me. I really don't have a good shoe collection at all! Thanks so much for your support and friendship as I got through these last 4 weeks of jury service. It's nice to be back visiting my good blogging friends :)

  10. My size is so hard to find that for years I purchased every pair I found, but never got anywhere near 100 pair.

    It was very hard for me go give away my "work" shoes. I kept them for several years but finally faced up that since I no longer own a skirt it was unlikely I'd wear most of those shoes.

    My shoe count is limited because of my size but I've always loved shoes. Keep your shoes and remember some of us don't have that luxury.

  11. Oh, this hits a raw nerve! Not so much with the shoes (tho' they do tend to breed, don't they?), so much as with my closets. I've been promising myself to prune, sort and sensiblly hang everything in order, for months (ok, years) now. Sigh..

  12. That is a lot of shoes! I solved my shoe problem by buying a shoe holder for my closet that holds 24 pairs. When I buy a new pair of shoes, I have to get rid of an old pair. Even at that, I have shoes I haven't worn in years. I'd love to see you and Peter Walsh together. :-)


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