Extra vs. Excess

Is there such a thing as too many? Yes. There is. at

Everyone needs an extra pair of tennis shoes, right?

It only makes sense.



Yard work, muddy camping trips, the (very real) threat of falling off the boat while on a fishing trip. Life happens, and it’s good to have an extra pair of tennis shoes.

But what about an extra extra pair?

Every time I buy new tennis shoes I feel like I’ve made a HUGE purchase. Like, comparable to buying a car or a house. Part of that is because my frugality doesn’t exactly match my extra-wide, high-arched footsize. Cheapo workout shoes aren’t worth it. (Especially since I’ve actually been working out.)

As I was getting our gameroom back in order after the summer, I had to work on the Sea of Shoes in there. And that was when I realized I now had two extra pairs of tennis shoes. No, this didn’t occur to me when I bought my new shoes and started wearing them instead of my old (but not old OLD) ones.

But as I filled up the shoe-shelf (a CONTAINer), I realized my space available hadn’t increased with the purchase of new shoes.


Only the number of shoes in my house increased.

Double duh.

Oh, don’t worry, I came up with all sorts of scenarios where I’d be glad to have that extra, extra-nasty pair.

But then I realized that in all of the time when my now-old pair was my new pair, I never once cried over not having an extra extra pair.

Which means I don’t need to keep the extra extra pair.

Extra is fine. Excess isn’t.

If this makes sense to you, and you want more home management strategies that actually make sense (to us not-naturally-organized types), check out my new book, How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind. The book will be released wherever books are sold on November 8th, so pre-order now. HowToManage_3D



Extra or Excess at


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--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    I think you did right by tossing the extra extra pair! So if you always toss the oldest pair when you get a new pair, you will be set.

  2. 2

    I hate sneakers! I avoid having to wear them but for some reason my husband is very against me wearing sandals in the Winter. Go figure. So I have them, two pairs actually. One for wearing out of the house in the winter or when we actually do something outdoorsy, and one for when I decide to break out the mower cause the yard service our landlord provides is a joke. I personally do not understand the desire to hold on to shoes. I’ve fought my husband over his shoe collection for years and my daughter is starting to take after him. I’m at a lost how to handle them.

  3. 3

    Nicely said! Very nicely said.

  4. 4

    I have trouble with this concept as well. I don’t like to spend money on things, so when I do buy a new pair of (expensive) tennis shoes, I don’t like to get rid of the old pair, even though they’ve had their day (and then some). At the end of the season, when I no longer have to mow because of winter, I’m getting rid of my old mowing shoes. Then, I’ll move another “old” pair to be my new mowing shoes next spring. It’s ridiculous how many tennis shoes I have (I think 5 pair). So I will be doing this process without buying new ones for as long as possible, as I have 2 pairs that I purchased late in 2013 that are both still in pretty good shape. This way I won’t be wasting by throwing away more than one pair now, but I’ll still be reducing until I’m at the point where I have just 2 pairs of tennis shoes: new/”good” and old/”work” ones (plus one separate pair for working out).

  5. 5

    I once had a pair I loved so much they fell apart. I still wore them. I couldn’t step in a puddle let alone walk in the rain without needing dry socks. I still wore them. My mom threw them away twice, once in some really yuck a stuff. You guessed it, I still wore them.
    I had to be a big girl and eventually I cut the tounges out and put them in two different trash cans (my BF GLADLY took one for me) before I wore them again.
    I completely understand wanting to keep a pair if you only buy new ones every couple of years, but only if they are comfy!

  6. 6

    I can totally relate, I just had this exact epiphany this morning!!
    And I spent all day sorting dinnerware. 6 complete sets. I have no idea how I accumulated 6 sets.
    I kept my great grandmother’s china, my china I actually use for holidays, and my everyday dinnerware. The others were nice but not being used at all and taking up valuable storage space, or in other words excessive. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. 7

    I have always done just what you do, and kept the old-old pair as an extra. Last month I said “the heck with it” and threw away the old-old pair. And you know what? My world has gone on just fine. Yay!

  8. 8

    Excess is something struggle with. Not only with gym shoes but with all things. Find a great sale on sandals for my twins girls and I not only buy them each a pair in their current size, I buy the next two sizes. In every color. Can’t find my son’s water bottle for school? He must need a new one. Better buy two just in case. We already have enough clothes baskets, but how am I supposed to pass up those ones that are 90% off? I guess a lot of my problem is not being able to pass up a super great sale. Better work on that.

    • 9

      The thing about sales is, you’re still spending money. So yes, those sanders are a steal because they’re $5, but you have a pair already and that cost you nothing. Now you’re $20 less with 20% more stress (trying to find a place to put new sandals) when you could be at $0 less with 0% more stress. (Okay, maybe 1% stress because you’re on edge about passing up a good deal, but that will pass by the time you walk out the store.)

  9. 10

    Of all the things I have too many of, thank God shoes and purses aren’t on that list. I have friends who are appalled that I get by with so few of each. I own one pair of sneakers, one pair of flats, and one pair of slip-on-sort-of-pool shoe things that I wear around the house every waking hour. Because of high arches, I hate shoes, and if I’m not going to be walking in grass or snow, or in the rain, I’m not wearing anything that doesn’t feel kind of like I’m going barefoot.

    Now socks….that’s a different story. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Oh yeah…I mentioned purses because I know too many women who think every pair of shoes they own needs to coordinate with a purse. By not caring about that, I can get by with one purse and three pairs of footwear. ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. 11

    Always used to keep three pairs. My good shoes, my everyday shoes, and my dirty, nasty job shoes. When I would buy a new pair, I throw the worst out and move them down the line.

  11. 12

    I am such a bad shopper. I shop on the way I want to feel. If I want to feel warm and cared for I buy comfort items like soft throws., socks, fuzzy socks, flannel pants etc. If I want to feel pretty I buy makeup and jewelry. I also buy shoes that feel good on my feet. I don’t do heels but have many pair of Skechers, Ryka and my favorite Kohl’s Sole Sensability. I have a habit of wanting bling on my clothes and buy those too. If I like a brand of something I buy more of that item in every color. I am currently waiting for my next pair of Ruka shoes that are on the way in the mail. I can’t seem to say no to buy stuff that gives me that “feel good” feeling. I guess I don’t get it in my own life being a single person withouty own family. Now I have a very cluttered and messy house. Between you and the Fly Lady I am trying to get myself together but all I want to do when I am at home in sleep in my recliner and watch TV and look at Facebook. It seems too overwhelming for me to get started getting my house together that I just go to sleep since I never have anyone over it is easy to ignore.

  12. 13

    I also feel like tennis shoes are a major purchase! I am so glad to know I am not alone! Lol! Thanks for the great posts as we go into the new year!

  13. 14

    What happened to your super cute hot pink reeboks? Were those already old old old?

  14. 16

    Oh I got it…that makes perfect sense to me! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been reading your blog from the start since may and just have one more year to go. I am a big fan. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. 17

    This is one problem I actually do not have. If anything, I should keep an extra pair. But I hate shoes. I have exactly 7 pair. They never fit, can never be MADE to fit–even if stretched or whatever, and oh, the ordeal of buying them! Now, tell me how to get rid of extra, extra, extra books–I got rid of a whole lot of books some years ago, and can still tell you their names. Most were classics. Why did I get rid of them? It infuriates me that I did so. And no, the kindle doesn’t count as a library.

  16. 18
    Christine Bock says:

    I love buying shoes; hate wearing them. Walking shoes, I current have and wear one pair. Flip flops and sandals…now that’s another story. Easily had 50 pair, all different colors and styles to coordinate with 50 tops. At the end of fall, I glean out the really bad ones and put away the rest. After a few years of doing this, I’m down to about 30 pair, but now my teenage daughter wears the same size so we share them. Less excess…but still excess. I’m a work in process and still working at it. Thank you for sharing.

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