By Dr. Paula Bloom
I’ve always believed that for something new to come into your life you need to create space for it. Our closets are no exception. About a year ago, I engaged in a ritual I do every few years — I got rid of all the shoes that hurt, and those that were too big or too small. This time I was ruthless. Haven’t worn it in a year? Gone. Didn’t feel like I could walk my eight-block commute to work in them? Gone. Not feeling like they are stylish enough? Gone.
Every few years I tell myself, “That’s it! No more uncomfortable shoes.” And then, a few months later, like clockwork, I find myself seduced by a cute pair of shoes. I try them on. They aren’t too comfortable but, “hey, they are on sale.” I’ve been known to buy shoes that are too small with the profound hope/delusional belief that they’ll stretch. “See, my toe isn’t completely touching the front.” “You don’t really notice part of my heel hanging off the back, right?” Like they say: denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.
I like to donate my shoes that are still in good shape (you know the ones you bought, wore twice and realized that the blisters from buying the wrong size just aren’t worth it) to a local charity that takes gently worn donations. It feels good to know that my mistake can, at the very least, help someone in need.
Why reserve the big cleaning and clearing for Spring? Use this Fall as an opportunity to go through your shoes and decide which ones should stay and which ones should go. Be ruthless. It’s a kind thing to do.