Getting rid of my shoes was the official starting point of my minimalism journey. As far as I can recall, I’ve got 17 pairs of footwear at that time. It was honestly difficult to let go of them. I remembered so many memories with them and even those days I decided to purchase them. I know I’m that sentimental kind of person. Like I mentioned in my previous post, being sentimental was the first challenge I had to overcome when I adapted this minimalist lifestyle. But I tried my best to push through the main goal- to get rid of my shoes.
The second challenge I encountered during the process was my tendency to keep material things believing that there will come a time that they’ll be useful. I continued…but the challenge just keeps on popping out. I realize I was just basically afraid to not have enough. It’s strange because I’ve never actually gone without much of anything. But the fact that I’ve never really gone without doesn’t stop me from worrying about going without.
I slowly get rid off them by sorting based on its importance, how often I use each of them and by categorizing their type for different occasions.
It was an emotional roller coaster for me. I never thought of the process to be that difficult.
Right now, I am able to maintain 5-6 pairs of footwear.
- 1 pair of leather shoes for work
- 1 pair of flats/closed shoes or 1 pair of flats/sandals for casual days
- 1 pair of white sneakers for all kind of look
- 1 pair of rubber shoes for running and on the go days
- 1 pair of high heeled sandals for formal events
More than the achievement to get rid of my shoes…through time, I learn that the challenge of being sentimental or should I say fear of losing and fear of not having enough was just all in my mind. Along the way, I started to meet people who didn’t share the same challenges I had—who seemed deeply content with themselves, with their efforts in a given day, their income, their possessions—that I realized there was a better way.
Then it appears to me that having fewer shoes is actually not a loss. More than the material things, having less is more—more time, more energy, more resources, with less effort. And that was the best feeling after all.
PS: In case you’re wondering, most of my shoes were already given to my cousins. Of course only for those who are willing to accept used ones =)