Thus Begins the Great Purge…Shoes {Year of Fear}

From my opinionated viewpoint, I have a lot of stuff.

Others may disagree, but I think the fact that two people have filled a three bedroom condo to the brim is ridiculous. I fully admit that I am at least half the problem.

To get this great purge underway, I moved my dining room table into my living room and sectioned off the space into three categories.

  • Giveaway
  • Sell
  • Throw away
Ready, set, PURGE!

Ready, set, PURGE!

To make the sorting more fun, I drew pictures to correspond with the three actions I could take with my stuff. Don’t ask me why, but drawing pictures of ‘Stick-Lorees‘ getting rid of stuff and then putting painter’s tape down in my dining room made it real and strangely exciting.

sell give away Throw away

My favorite thing to collect is fabulous shoes.

In fact when I went to NYC a few years ago, I came home with 5 pairs. It seemed reasonable at the time but probably made the security team at the airport laugh since the purchased heels were crammed here and there in my carryon and purse.

A woman needs her shoes…or so I thought.

The best place to start is at the heart of the matter. The heart of my excessive collection *ahem* hoarding of personal things is my shoe collection.

I went through every nook and cranny in my house and found every single pair of shoes that I own. Then I put them all in one place – my dining room table that is now crammed into my living room to make space for my epic sorting project.



49 pairs of shoes.

  • 7 boots
  • 4 slippers
  • 5 running / athletic shoes
  • 2 flip flops
  • 2 casual shoes
  • 1 flat
  • 2 sport sandals
  • 1 biking shoe
  • 25 heels

My biggest revelation was that I actually need some flats in my life. No wonder I am always in a pair of heels, it is all I have!

Goal: Get rid of at least 12 pairs.

Let the sorting begin.

I took a deep breath, gave myself a pep talk, devised a few rules, and created a new perspective for myself before I started.

Perspective shift.

Detaching myself from my shoes was going to be the critical success factor for me to get rid of the shoes. I decided that this shoe collection didn’t belong to me, rather it belonged to a woman with a fantastic sense of style who needed my help to pare down her life. I became a streamlining guru who was hired to take action and make decisions.


  1. No trying the shoes on to remember why I bought them in the first place.
  2. No storytelling or meandering down memory lane.
  3. If it had a specific purpose and I used it for that purpose – keep.
  4. If they hurt my feet, no matter how cute – buh-bye!
  5. If I wear them a lot – keep.
  6. Never been worn or not worn in a year – adios!
  7. Special occasion / go with a special dress and comfortable – keep.
  8. Wrong size but only cost $10 – away with you!

With my new perspective and running through the rules one at a time, getting rid of 14 pairs of my shoes was done in 12 minutes.

Better, but if I am honest I probably kept a few 'just in case' pairs.

Better, but if I am honest I probably kept a few ‘just in case’ pairs.

It was less painful than I thought and I still have more than enough shoes.

After the shoes, the purging seemed a lot easier. If I can get rid of 14 pairs of my shoes, the item I love most in my collection of ‘stuff’, everything else should be a breeze.

Suddenly more things got sorted and purged without much effort.

  • 39 of my 100 books
  • All of my Stampin’ Up! supplies
  • 3 dresses
  • all my bridesmaid dresses
  • Every suit coat my shoulders have outgrown
  • 4 jewelry boxes from my childhood

Instead of losing things, I realized I am starting to gain things.

Freedom. Clarity. Peace. Satisfaction.

What are you giving up and what are you gaining in return?

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  1. I love those rules!! I’ve never really been a shoe gal, but every now and then I see a pair I have to have. When we moved internationally, I had to get rid of more than half of my shoes and it was surprisingly easy. Once you toss one, you get on a roll! Getting rid of my books was actually the hardest part I think. I need to make a switch to an ereader so I don’t have to suffer through the same thing when we move again.

  2. Great post Donloree! I’m a bit of a horder myself (though I hate to admit it) and I have a hard time purging. Last year we had to clean out the basement in preparation for a full-out renovation (the basement is currently ripped completely apart). That was a good motivation to toss and give away tons of stuff. I’m sure there’s more I could get rid of and I’m thinking I might just have to adopt your method when we start moving things back in! 🙂 Books and piano music I the things I hoard most (oh, and yarn but I’ve found a good project for using all the extra yarn I have so it’s no longer useless clutter). 🙂 Here’s to a good purge!

  3. I just reduced my shoe collection by 43%. I got rid of 23 pairs. Woohoo! I had NO idea that I had so many pairs of shoes. Feels good!

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