Having 3 boys I go through plenty of socks and with my oldest 17, you know how many years of experience I have with socks. So this blog post is built up from years of hostility that I feel towards socks. My way of dealing with the issue is to ignore it. How do I ignore it….I refuse to fold and sort our whites load of laundry. Matching white pairs of socks makes my head spin. I would rather have dental work done than sort and match socks. Luckily I am married to a man who enjoys puzzles. He has the patience to sort the socks and he puts the missing ones in the missing sock basket. So you know who gets to sort and fold the sock basket!
As a professional organizer, I can’t tell you how often I go to a client’s home and we find random socks all over the house. Usually I hear, “I know I have seen the mate somewhere recently”. Chatting with professional organizer friends of mine, we all have clients like this and one organizer has declared amnesty on socks. I say take it up a notch and declare war on them!
- They get thrown in the laundry basket! Often they are found beside the laundry basket, by the couch, by the front door, in the garage but rarely in the laundry basket.
- They are always found in a ball. How easy is it to get something clean if it is balled up? And believe me, it is not my favorite thing to un-ball those nasty socks as I throw them in the wash.
- The missing mate basket. In my house this basket use to be much larger and it would always be full. I have gone to a smaller basket and it does not fill as fast.
- Socks with holes. So often we throw the sock with the holes. But when you have one sock with holes, doesn’t it make sense that you would have two socks with holes? So find the mate and throw that one as well.
- I can tell what my kids have been up to by the color of their white socks. Red means they did a work out on the running track at the high school that has a red substance on it. Green means they were running outside without shoes on…..a pet peeve of mine. Seriously, take the socks off and put them in your pocket! Or throw them on the ground….see pet peeve #1 above. Brown means their football coach made them practice in the rain. Good thing my sons’ football coach lives down the block as I am now putting them in his mailbox!
- Throw all the socks in one basket and let the family have the game of “search for matches” themselves.
- Buy just one type of socks for each member of your family. In our house my oldest and husband have the same type, white. My middle son has black socks (I love these as they are always look clean.) The youngest son has black socks with gray bottoms, these too always look clean!
- Stop buying socks to match an outfit. This is true for those moms of young children. Yes they make really cute socks to go with all those cute baby and toddler clothes out there. It is a marketing genius move. Just hand the cashier $5 and tell her to keep your money because your child will wear the socks one time and then you will never be able to find the mate again!
- Buy one type of sock for the whole family. This works really well with tip number one of having all the socks in the basket…you just grab and go! So what if your 5 year old and spouse are wearing the same socks. Buy socks with spandex in them and they will stretch!
- Number each sock on the bottom with a sharpie marker, so that they always get matched up with the proper mate. I seriously knew a guy who did this.
- Embrace the teen style of wearing different colored socks. I personally think an exhausted and frustrated mom started this trend when yelling at her teenage daughter to just wear what was clean.
- Make a craft project. I am as green as the next mom out there and I hate to throw socks, so instead think of ways to re purpose them. Hello sock puppets and sock monkeys! I also use to save them for dry erase board erasers for when my boys were in elementary school and had a dry erase board as one of their school supplies. The problem is they didn’t need 50 socks….so why did I feel the need to save them all?
- Just start getting rid of the mismatched socks and declare all out war on the missing ones and get them out of your house.
- Stop wearing shoes and just wear flip flops or sandals. Who cares if we have harsh winters and you could get frost bite (disclaimer: that is a joke, please wear socks in winter as I don’t want to be blamed for people loosing toes!)
- Use a hosiery bag to place them all in the washer and dryer as a group. This keeps the washer and dryer monster away. I swear they sometimes get lost just int he process of being washed and dried!
- Use sock keepers like these that I received at my professional organizer conference I went to in April.
Who is with me and ready to declare war on socks!
To Joyful, Simplified Living,
MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.ididit-fargo.com/.
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