Starting From The Bottom
It’s time to think about downsizing.
My husband and I live in a very big house. It’s just gorgeous, but it is becoming too much – too much maintenance, too much cleaning, and too much taxes. As I join my husband in retirement, we can see that it is time to simplify our lives.
As we contemplate moving someplace smaller, I can see that having a big house has allowed us to be very impractical. My husband has bought lots of lots of car and tool toys, and I have bought lots and lots of clothes – and neither of us really had to get rid of any old stuff when we bought new stuff. We had enough room to just put the new stuff near the old stuff.
Plus – turning the corner into a new lifestyle makes me WANT to simplify. For the first time in my life, I am actually looking forward to stop acquiring shit and start getting rid of shit.
I had occasion today to get started.
I thought I would start at the bottom.
I have a ton of shoes, but it’s not really a shoe fetish. I have weird, hard-to-fit feet. So I buy a lot of shoes – always hoping to find a pair that are cute and maybe – just maybe – a little comfortable. It almost never happens. So I just buy more. And hope. I’m a hopeful person. So I have a lot of shoes.
A few days ago, our cat Stewart spent all day in our walk-in closet. Mostly just staring at my shoes. This means only one thing. Stewart was mouse-hunting. We always know when there is a mouse in the house because Stewart’s focus becomes very unwavering.
And then he stopped. He left the closet and went on with his life.
This also only means one thing.
He got the mouse.
And he didn’t bring us the body.
And the next day – maybe it was my imagination – the closet didn’t exactly smell fresh.
So today was my day off, and I knew what I had to do. Find the mouse body.
I took all my shoes out one by one and tossed them aside. And eventually – there was the mouse carcass.
Stewart killed the mouse. I found the mouse. We did our jobs. Getting rid of the body – That’s my husband’s job. (One of those times when I am so glad I finally got married.)
Corpse carried off, I was left with this:
The perfect time to start simplifying.
My goal was to throw away a dozen pairs. That really shouldn’t be so hard since hardly any of my shoes fit me anyway.
The first pair I tossed were beautiful beaded but stiff and uncomfortable sandals. It was an easy decision because the left shoe had contained a mouse body for two days.
Then went ugly thick-soled pumps, platform monstrosities, flip-flops where the toe-thingy was about an inch thick whereas my toe space is about one-eighth of an inch wide, heeled sandals that match nothing, black sandals with ankle straps that made my ankles look enormous (my ankles ARE enormous, but that’s beside the point), shoes that used to be comfortable and quite cute, but I remember wearing them on a vacation to Bermuda, which was in 1988.
All in all, I had thirteen pair of shoes in throw-away pile.
Well, that seemed unlucky, so I took out one pair of old black ballet flats. I have three pair of black ballet flats, and so I was throwing out the two worst-worn ones. But it’s nice to have a backup. So I saved the better of the two pair – and they are quilted leather, so that’s different from the first keeper-pair.
So there were twelve.
Exactly my goal.
As I was putting these shoes in the bag, I gave a pair of embroidered mules a second look. I hardly ever wore these shoes, and they were slightly misshapen and very very dusty. But I reconsidered. I cleaned them up. And put them on.
They were adorable!
How can you not love these shoes? How can you not give them a second chance?
So I drove directly to the Goodwill box, and tossed in a bag with eleven pairs of shoes.
Not too bad.
And I gave my embroidered mules the center spot in my closet.