A Little More of Less
“I would deeply regret if I died with no regrets.”
Inside Minimalism, Vol. 1
Based on our exclusive subscription series, Inside Minimalism Vol.1 is a collection of 50 short and relatable essays on simple living by a small team of writers from different backgrounds, but who all share a deep appreciation for minimalism as a way of life. Enjoy a curated collection of beautiful writing with a single one-off purchase and support independent creators.
Words by Leslie Watson
How many pairs of shoes should a minimalist own? Aside from a modest collection of sentimental items, my goal for any category of personal possessions is to meet my needs without excess. Here’s how I applied that philosophy to my shoe wardrobe:
The main considerations for a minimalist shoe edit are activities and climate. Nearly all of my waking hours are spent at work, home, or casual events in temperatures ranging from 35 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The two pairs of shoes I wear most are fuzzy slippers at home and black lace-up ankle boots pretty much everywhere else. The ankle boots have barefoot soles and are comfortable for long distance walking year-round, plus they’re dressy enough for work.
Sometimes I hike muddy trails, visit beaches, or attend formal events, so I kept durable hiking sneakers, gray waterproof sandals, and classic skin-tone stiletto heels for occasional use. I limit the color scheme of my wardrobe so every pair of shoes coordinates with the same activity’s clothes.
Five pairs of shoes is the perfect amount for my current lifestyle because I have an appropriate choice to wear for anything on my agenda. I don’t miss having more than one pair of each style or options for activities that haven’t been on my calendar in years, like ballet class. Selling and donating surplus shoes gave me a clutter-free closet and a few extra dollars to spend on things I value more than footwear. Getting ready in the morning is effortless, and I no longer waste time considering additional shoe purchases. When a pair becomes irreparable, I replace them with a similar style.
My shoe collection wouldn’t be right for every minimalist, because we all have different environments, careers, and activity preferences. Snow shoes are essential in cold climates. Steel-toe boots or non-slip clogs are required at some workplaces. Athletes might need multiple pairs of sneakers. If you don’t attend formal events, you can get by without dress shoes.
Living with your minimum practical inventory is a step toward financial freedom, environmental conservation, and increased focus on higher personal priorities. If you’re looking to experience the benefits of simplifying, a minimalist shoe wardrobe is a rewarding way to save time and reduce clutter.
Words by Shawn Mihalik
“Find your why.”
It’s a common piece of advice: Don’t focus on what or how, not at first. At first, find your why. Because without a solid why, without a reason for embarking on your new path, you won’t be motivated to make the change.
But finding your why takes space and time you might not have yet.
And besides, you already know that you want to do the thing. Does it really matter why you want to do the thing if the desire is there?
Eventually, sure. But it isn’t necessary for taking the first step.
Take the first step.
Then take the second.
Then the third.
These steps compose your initial what. Want to become a minimalist? Don’t worry about why—not yet. Just focus on the fact that you want to, that what, and turn that what into action.
Get rid of your second television. Donate the books you’re never going to read. Cancel the appointments you’re dreading going to.
Now look around. You might see you have a little more space than you did three days ago, a little more time.
Space and time you can use to pause and find your why. That is, if you haven’t found it yet, in the course of the doing.
Which there’s a good chance you have.
Now you can keep moving forward.
You could have been moving forward all along.
A Little More of Less
A few other articles we think you might enjoy…
→ How to Have More Time and Money by Joshua Becker
→ Zest for Each New Day by Karen Trefzger
→ How to Make the Most of Your 24 Hours by Leo Babauta
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