The past several days, we engaged in some seriously overdue spring cleaning here at the Green residence. We went through the closets and drawers, cabinets and bookshelves to determine if there is “stuff” we no longer use. As always, we managed to pull together a few bags for Goodwill. (I love being able to enter my teen’s closet again.)
In the process, I took the opportunity to count my shoes (inspired by Janie’s comment on the last post). Turns out I have 19 pairs of shoes (including my cozy sheepskin slippers and a pair of shared flip-flops). According to one website, a mature US woman (yep, apparently I fall into that category) has 40-60 pairs (yikes!). Another site says the average US woman owns 27 pairs.
So I’m below average, but 19 seems like way too many. However, I live in a climate where you really have a set for summer and a different set for winter. In that sense, it’s not terrible. Here is the basic breakdown:
- Four pairs of boots
- One pair of awesome red winter shoes (my 13-year-old daughter does not approve, but that’s OK)
- Three pairs of running shoes (I keep the old ones for biking, walking during lunch, and other random uses)
- Two pairs of flip-flops
- Three pairs of “casual shoes”
- Four pairs of “work shoes” (all black… goes with everything!)
- One pair of black strappy sandals (love ’em!)
- One pair of sheepskin slippers
I could probably whittle this down to ten. Maybe. However, a more appealing approach is not to buy new shoes (or any new stuff, for that matter) unless I really need them.
Unfortunately, I had to go to the mall this weekend. As I walked through the stores, I had this revelation: If I didn’t know that I needed an item until I saw it, I don’t need it. It’s pretty simple. For example, I saw a book called “Little Black Book of Wine” (or something like that). Considering that we’re about to go to Paris and I have no clue about French wines, I thought it could come in handy. However, I had not envisioned buying a wine book prior to spotting that book. Hence, I didn’t buy it.
Shopping isn’t an evil activity per se. We need certain “stuff” to function in society. However, buying products we don’t need seems irresponsible and unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong, I do it. But I try to catch myself before it happens. Because ultimately, I will find that item when I’m cleaning out my closet or my bookshelf and it will end up in a bag in my trunk destined for Goodwill.