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When is one more too many? (N = N+1)

I've recently started to wonder if I may have at some point become a collector maniac. Don't get me wrong I'm not likely to feature on one of those documentaries about the hoarders with an house piled high with old magazines and box loads of junk.

However I do have a particular weakness when it comes to buying trainers and shoes, averaging a new pair of either discipline every other week or sometimes I purchase in multiples if I cant make my mind up. I guess its a by product of being in the footwear business for all of my working life at various levels. The latter years have always encompassed being in the position whereby I pick up one pair too many of wear trials or having spent a few days studying the shops or a shoe fair its inevitable that it will result in another pair or two being added to the collection.

personal collection of footwear, men's quality formal and casual shoes

A few months ago not counting footwear for specific sports, eg football trainers boots, hiking shoes or numerous mountain bike or road bike shoes my collection was standing at 110 pairs. Feeling rather bad with this first world problem I picked of my least favourite 10 pairs in reasonable condition and took them to the charity shop. However I fear since then they have been replaced with interest.

On the subject of bikes, I have nowhere near as many however they do take up more space, cost a lot more and most importantly I don't pick up any freebies through work. However most people would consider the six I do have to be excessive, I would argue of course that each one as a specific function or speciality.

I am not writing this by way of a confession or gloating over my empire of shoes but instead I want to pose the question when is one more just too many? Does the formula that is regularly rolled out on the cycling forums I frequent really ring true (maybe its been my inspiration) which is N (need) equals Need plus one, N=N+1). What methods do people employ to constrain their collecting habits