Out With the Old

Remember that trip to Kohl’s in which I actually found shoes?  Well, you know where those shoes are now?


Still in the box in my dining room—a month later.

Now do you see these shoes?


These are the old janky ones I’ve had for around six months, and I can’t tell you how many miles I’ve logged in these suckers.

From going to the gym, for walks or to work, they’re basically my go-to footwear every single day. But as my stellar photography attempted to display, you can see that they’re not exactly in the best of condition.

I’m not blind. I can see that.

I can also see the box with the new shoes sitting right there on the floor.

I’ve walked by the box a million times, usually after taking off my worn-out shoes above, and the rational thought crossed my mind that I should just make the switch. I should demote the old pair to my “garden” shoes and lace up the new ones for every day use.

But yet…the old pair isn’t dead! There’s still some life in those laces!

I realized I do this with quite a few things, and perhaps this is simply a cry for help or an intervention that necessitates multiple snacks and a cocktail or two.

I start running out of something or fear I’m wearing things out, so I buy another new (insert anything here—vegetable steamer, pair of yoga pants, etc.) that will end up sitting around until whatever I’m replacing has simply just given up hope.

  • I will buy a new stick of deodorant, but use the old one until the container scrapes the inside of my armpits.
  • I will squeeze every last drop of a 99-cent tube of toothpaste like it cost me $20.
  • If the Kleenex box perfectly matches my bathroom, I will leave one tissue in there until I get tired of walking to the other bathroom to blow my nose.
  • I would use a tube of ChapStick until the plastic hurts my lips, but I still maintain that anyone who can keep a tube of ChapStick around until it’s gone without losing it is some sort of genius.

And while some of these practices are, well, practical—it’s good to use all of a product and makes financial sense not to waste things—some of it’s clearly insane.

What’s even more ridiculous is that sometimes I’ll notice that something like a bottle of body wash or dish soap is low and buy a new thing of the stuff. I want the backup—just in case—but then resent that I have to use up the old crap instead the “new scent” of said purchased product. I want my dishes to smell like a peaceful seaside escape!!!


I guess the conclusion is that even though more people see my footwear than smell my dishes and cups, I’m more excited to use a new scent of dish soap than I am to wear a new pair of shoes for some reason.

However, change is all about baby steps, and I did throw away my old bath towel the second I bought a new one. Now the next baby step that I take should probably be in that new pair of shoes…

But first, I have to do the dishes.

That soap isn’t going to use itself up.

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27 responses to “Out With the Old

  1. Backups are perfectly sane. Holding on to old shoes….Of course – they understand your foot (and don’t complain). How can you toss out old faithful friends?…it’s bad enough they see their replacement waiting for an opening….

  2. Yay!! I’m a genius. Not all the time though. It’s mostly because I stash a tub or tube of lip balm everywhere I hang out. But I’ll take it. Thanks Abby!
    Also, I totally feel ya on the fear of running out, yet hoarding the old or wanting to throw out the old to use the new. I never know which it will be with me. But I never give in to throwing out a still usable bottle or tube of something. It’s against my nature.

    • Plus, I have shoes and clothes still in my closet that go back far too many years, because I might still need them, some day.

  3. Umm, I have everyday Chapstick and fancy Chapstick. The fancy smells like cake batter. I’m only allowed to use it when I’m going out into the world. . .or if the plain Chapstick went through the dryer again.

  4. I am 99.9% sure we were separated at birth. Just thought you would like to know. 😉

  5. I TOTALLY get it. “you never know” shoes are the hardest things to purge! I’m 40 now, and the back, well it tells me that the 2 old shoes ago need to GO. If it’s lost support, it’s lost my vote. I can’t stand in the kitchen without shoes on, and they have to have support. Life has a way of making me change. 🙂

  6. I am a selective “out with the old-er.” I’ve been guilty of tossing the body wash that has a couple of uses left in the bottle because I want the new stuff. But there are some things that are sacred. I have a pair of yoga pants and a pair of running tights that I’ve had forever. I’ve bought new stuff lots of times, sure…but they sit in the back of my drawer because there is something comforting to me about old, soft clothing.

  7. I bought new sneakers once and it took me 2 years and 3 other pairs of sneakers later until I had broken them in enough to wear more than a couple hours at a time!
    I solve the new soap smell dilemma by using 2 bottles of shower gel and alternating.
    I keep backups on a lot of things just because I keep one in the bed room one in the bathroom one in the car etc…

  8. I should probably comment on what you wrote (which was hilarious and so relatable) but instead I want to tell you how well crafted this story was! I love reading blogs that are well written and sadly, they are few and far between. I can always count on you to take us along on a great journey and deliver a super kicker! Kudos Abbey! The other commenters might think I’m boring, but hopefully you will know what I mean. Keep up the great writing!!

  9. I have this affliction. Especially if I find a body wash, perfume, toothpaste, BB cream etc that i like. Because sometimes, (horrors) they stop stocking it or selling it or whatever and I am sitting in my bathroom freshly showered and I can no longer smell like “insert smell I adored here” so if I enjoy something I will go back and buy it all…or as much as I can afford.

    I get this…(not really about the shoes since I buy new shoes about once a week) but the other stuff. Totally get it.

  10. Oh my gracious. I HATE when the deodorant scrapes my poor armpits. And yet it happens ALL THE TIME because I do the same thing. *whimpers* Poor armpits.

  11. My husband can never get the last bit of toothpaste out, yet I won’t let him throw it away. So rather than just waste 0.00004 cents, I run in the bathroom and do his toothpaste for him whenever he needs it. Life’s short. Spend more of it in the bathroom.

  12. OMG. Yes to the toothpaste, dish soap and deodorant! I stock pile my favorite bar soap and facial wash when I’m down to the final 2 bottles in my bathroom closet. Having on spare leaves me in panic mode. I’ve been better about canned food in the pantry though and trying to replenish only when I have a can left. I’ve learned I don’t have many uses for multiple cans of sauerkraut or pinto beans.

  13. I am right there with you. I once had a new deodorant expire before I even got to it because I misjudged how much was left in the old one and refused to throw it out before it was done. I believe that’s called pennywise, pound foolish? As long as you’re not re-using dental floss like my father did (he grew up in the Depression) I think you’re keeping it in proportion.

  14. I buy backups of things and am mocked for it (“How much aluminum foil do we really NEED?”), and I do exactly the same thing with the “new scent” and being resentful that I have to use up the old. Usually I exhibit this behavior when purchasing shampoo. But I have to say, I was properly smacked down for that when the new conditioner gave me a rash that I have had for A SOLID FREAKIN’ MONTH and it’s driving me CRAZY (yes, I’ve been to the doctor and the steroids should take care of it, but I have paid a MONTH for my folly).

  15. This sounds like perfectly reasonable and normal behavior to me.

  16. Abby, good stuff. Just started following your blog. Looking forward to reading your future musings!

  17. I always need a back up too. I get anxious and uncomfortable when I’m running low on something and there isn’t a replacement waiting in the wings. Weird, but true so I’m right there with you.

    Good luck swapping the sneaks.

  18. All of this.
    In the FB group today I talked about that special category of post that’s like OMG IM NOT THE ONLY ONE and that’s exactly how I feel about this work of art you’ve just served up for us.

  19. Abby, loved this post. Reminds me of myself!!!! Shampoo: I have 4 bottles “waiting in the wings.” They may outlive me! Chapstick: Well, I don’t use that brand. I use Avon’s “lip balm.” I have them in almost every room of the house, plus my handbags. I thought I might need more, when I got an email from Avon, having a sale on some products I use. Their lip balm was on sale, too, and I figured I might as well get more of that, especially when they were offering FREE SHIPPING ON ANY ORDER. So, I looked in my drawer to double check how many I should order, ’cause I was so sure I was using the last of them. NINE!

  20. I have the same issues. Any time I want to complain about my husband’s endless stacks of books or mail on the counter, all he has to do is point to the sad line up of lotion bottles on the counter, each balanced upside down so I can eek out every last drop.

    Stuff doesn’t grow on trees, you know?

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