Single socks and how they can help you learn to process what-if clutter

It is rare for all our socks to have mates after we finish folding the laundry. Sometimes a sock will hide inside a fitted sheet and we won’t notice it during folding, but we discover the errant sock when we put the sheet on the bed a few days later. Other times, a sock will have been stuck inside a shirt sleeve or a pant leg. Rarely is the missing sock lost forever, though, so we keep a small basket in the laundry room for single socks and when the mate shows up we immediately know where to find its match.

Even though mates are usually found, invariably one sock will hang out in the lost-mate basket for many months, its mate gone forever. (After seeing Gnomeo and Juliet, I’ve been blaming lawn gnomes for this phenomenon.) If a sock hangs out in the lost-sock basket for more than three months, the sock is moved to the rag pile and recycled for dusting.

I explained our lost-sock basket to a room full of people at a conference recently, and a woman raised her hand and asked, “But what if you find the other sock after you start using its mate as a rag?”

I replied, “It has only happened once, and we just made the newly found sock into a rag, too.”

The woman then let out an audible gasp, almost as if my suggestion had caused her physical pain. My guess is that, like many people, she struggles with making decisions about “what if” items, and these “what if” objects likely cause her difficulty when dealing with clutter.

What if I get rid of this empty yogurt tub and then someone comes over for dinner and I want to send her home with leftovers?

What if I get rid of this piece of wood and then two months from now I need to fix something and this exact piece of wood would have been the perfect solution?

What if I give this coat to charity and then wish I hadn’t?

If you’re someone who regularly plays the “what if” scenario in your mind, try giving this simple lost-sock basket a try in your home. Recycle any sock that remains in the basket for more than three months. Since you know the worst that can happen is you might end up recycling two socks, it’s a relative inexpensive way to practice making these types of uncluttering decisions. You don’t need a single sock hanging around your house for years waiting for a mate.

The more practice you get, the easier it will become to part with things that you do not need that are cluttering up your space. You learn to trust that even if you end up needing an item that you purged that you will be able to buy a replacement or borrow one from a family member or that you will be creative enough to find an alternate solution.

And, if you do find the lost sock in less than three months, you’ll at least know quickly where to find its mate.

67 Comments for “Single socks and how they can help you learn to process what-if clutter”

  1. posted by Pete on

    How do I tag which date a sock got put in the lost sock basket so I know when it expires?

  2. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Pete — You just know. It’s the one that never goes away and you see it every time you do laundry. I’m sure you could come up with a more formal system, but we’ve never had to.

  3. posted by Debra on

    @Pete – that’s exactly what I was going to ask!

  4. posted by Linda on

    I’ve been known to keep a few mismatched socks around to wear when I’m painting (I’m a sloppy painter) or working in a muddy garden. Not too many, mind you… just a few… along with worn out jeans and “not the best” t-shirts. When you’re getting filthy, who cares if you match? It helps me not damage my better clothes. Since I have a special place to store my “grubbies”, they’re not clutter.

  5. posted by VeeElle on

    This post comes at the perfect time. I have a room full of What If items that need sorting through so that my baby’s furniture can be delivered.

  6. posted by Loren on

    Ugh, I am terrible at the ‘what if’ game and need to learn faith that I’ll get what I need when I need it. I heard someone call it ‘living poorly’ when you save to many things for the ‘what if’ days.

  7. posted by Jackie on

    Or you can do what my husband does and buy only one type of sock so they all go together. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. posted by Matt P on

    You could pin a note to the lonely sock with the details on it.

    This post reminds me of this: You know you’ve turned into your Dad when you keep a bit of wood to stir paint with.

  9. posted by Amy on

    I do this! I even have the little box labeled “lonely socks”. With three little ones around and errant socks everywhere, this box gets a lot of use.

  10. posted by Lisa Westbrook on

    I have been streamlining belongings for the past year as my husband and I prepare to retire and move to a new home. I’ve disposed of all sorts of things–lots of books, clothes, household items, dishes, you name it. I have yet to regret any of my decisions or wonder what I did with so-and-so. Except for the books, most of the stuff I can hardly remember. When deciding whether something should stay or go, I think, “what is the worst that could happen if I didn’t have this?’ It helps me decide what is needed and what is important. I don’t want to hang on to things for that “what if” moment that probably will never come.

  11. posted by lisa s on

    I second the notion of purchasing socks of same style/ color as much as possible. I do this mostly with athletic socks. Also helps out if one sock in a pair gets a hole, you can still keep the “un-holey” mate in your overall sock rotation.

    However, I definitely have the problem of “what-if” with many other household things. Especially financial related paper stuff and misc. items that can be re-purposed in student projects.

  12. posted by John on

    And WHY do socks have to match ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s strikes me as a highly overrated concept… Just mate up the loose socks and none need be lonely…

  13. posted by Northmoon on

    I have a spot in my sock drawer where I put the singles. Why have a separate basket for this?

  14. posted by cathy on

    I rarely if ever find the lost sock. The missing mates basket seems to have a life of it’s own. And I’m bad, because I don’t even give the lonely ones a second chance. They get tossed. I don’t like them as rags, they can’t really be donated, and not sure anyone on freecycle would even want them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. posted by Debra on

    We have 1/2 a garage full (ok, 1/4 of a garage full) of baby things because (according to my partner): what if we have another baby? what if we want another baby? what if a friend has a baby? what if someone comes to visit with a baby?

  16. posted by DawnF on

    I’m with Northmoon ~ just put the lonely sock in the sock drawer with other socks. Once you find the stray, boom, just put it in the sock drawer with its mate. No need for Mr. Lonely Sock to be even more lonely by sitting in a lonely basket ~ let him be with his friends in the sock drawer. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. posted by steph on

    I try to only buy the same type of sock, so that they all match each other. I also use loner socks to cover my curling iron/straightener so that I can put it away warm.

  18. posted by lisa on

    I’m a pretty bad What If-er! It’s important to me that stuff that still has life gets used and so I feel like I must control where/how I set it loose. I must remind myself that I need to have FAITH that just as that item found it’s way to me for my usage, it will naturally find it’s way to another person that will appreciate it. And if it does not, it is not a failure or a problem on my part.

    Another thought that helps and might help Debra’s partner is the fact that somewhere there is a baby that could be using those items right now! That baby stuff is stored potential energy that is going to waste just sitting in a garage. The longer it sits, the more it could be prone to damage and lose all of it’s usefulness and become trash.

    I must trust that abundance exists in the worldโ€” that I will always have what I needโ€” before I can stop What If-ing.

  19. posted by Tom on

    I solved this problem a couple of years ago by buying a bunch of these little rubber things that hold your socks together. I haven’t had a loner sock since.

  20. posted by Jess on

    Just wear mismatching socks and then it doesn’t matter ๐Ÿ™‚ or buy all the same colour.

  21. posted by Tara on

    This sounds like a fun idea (leftover socks can also be recycled into sock-monkeys…) I would be interested in this if my husband’s feet didn’t chew through socks in less than 3 months. We use all the ones we can before I give up and buy more.

  22. posted by Melanie on

    I feel odd wearing mis-matched socks. Not because I care if someone sees; but rather because one would likely be higher on the calf then the other, and then I’d constantly be trying to pull the shorter one up, or having to bunch the other one down. I don’t like being lop-sided.

    All matching socks sounds good in theory, and I’ve tried this approach, but then found I need different socks for different situations and footwear. Trouser socks with my slacks, plain socks with my jeans, thick-cushioned white socks with my work-out gear, toe socks for yoga, sock liners and hiking socks for hiking, and high-tech cycling socks. You get the point. Within each category I am working towards having all matching, but I do need the different categories. Can’t simply toss them all and start fresh (not when some socks cost $25 a pair).

  23. posted by Rebecca on

    I just throw away the lost sock. The only socks I ever lose are athletic socks. I have fancier socks (knee highs to wear with boots) that I never lose because I take good care of them.

  24. posted by SoozieQ on

    Terrible confession — I stopped being a What Iffer just to bug my (now blessedly EX) mother-in-law. I’d be trying to declutter, and she’d be what iffing like crazy, and just to shut her up I’d answer “I’ll buy a new one/rent one/borrow one/do without/figure it out if it happens”. Used to drive her nuts, which I guess was the point. Not nice of me, but the upside was that it “took”. I rarely What If anymore. And my home is the better for it. (My whole life, in fact, as I decluttered my ex — her son — one day, too, which was kind of a two-fer!)
    Socks? I wear the odd ones in my Wellies while gardening; no one knows but me.

  25. posted by SMK on

    The What-if problem is probably our biggest clutter issue. scrap lumber, scrap fabric, broken stuff that might be used to fix other broken stuff some day.

    The sock issue only crops up once & a while. When our son was born, I bought mesh wash bags & socks automatically go in the bag when they get taken off. They get washed and dried in the bag. Not sure it would work so well with adult-sized socks, but it works great for the little ones… He’s 15 months & we’ve had no stragglers.

  26. posted by Eileen on

    My husband has been purposely mismatching his socks for many years now. The different lengths don’t seem to bother him (it would make me crazy) though he does avoid mixing one thinner sock with a heavier one (i.e. one dress sock and one cotton crew sock). He used to take the time to mismatch them into “pairs” right out of the laundry, but now he does it on the fly when getting dressed in the morning. Oddly, he does match the athletic ankle socks he runs in.

    Anyway, his system does make laundry sorting much faster. I just pull his socks out of the family sock laundry (we have 3 small kids and therefore a *ton* of tiny socks in slightly different sizes to sort and pair up) and toss them in his drawer. I’m not actually sure if he has any true pairs anymore because when each sock is treated as a separate garment you don’t have to ditch the pair if one gets a hole.

    The rest of us just store any lone socks in our sock drawers and wait for the other to show up. It almost always does after a week or two.

  27. posted by Alisha on

    Just like Linda, I have 2 small-to-medium sized boxes – 1 full of socks – some with holes, some covered in paint, and 1 with ‘regular’ work clothes. When I need to work outside, I don’t have to go searching my closet or sock drawer for ‘good’ outside clothes. And, these don’t get a lot of attention when it comes to folding. So, it saves time doing laundry! I randomly go through the clothes box to see what needs to be retired. But, the things that are in there are pretty confident that they’ll have a full-time and permanent home. ๐Ÿ˜€

  28. posted by Gemmond on

    The “what if” issue is one we face daily. We’re now living on a very restricted income and we no longer have faith that we will have/find the resources to replace certain not-cheap-to-replace items (we’re talking larger, expensive, not many folks have so you can’t borrow, etc).

    It’s one thing, when you’re in your thirties, forties, even fifties. You do have the potential to make more money (although these days, that may not be the case for some folks). But when you’re in your sixties and can’t get a job that pays enough for even a streamlined lifestyle, it’s an issue. And it is one that most people will face when/if they actually retire unless they have huge resources, which the average person does not.

    So it’s one thing to toss socks and plastic containers and various bric-a-brac. It’s another to toss items that could not easily be replaced.

    The question becomes being honest about your lifestyle and how you hope to live (because really none of us has ultimate control on that; we just think we do.) in your residence.

    There’s a huge freedom to not having stuff around but there’s a real issue when you need something again that you can’t afford to replace and cannot borrow. (It’s the reason that while we could, we invested in good quality so that items like mattresses lasted 20+ years, refrigerators, 15+. You can’t buy anything at any price these days with the hopes of that kind of lifespan.)

    Those “extra” fans, the cooler (purchased and used when the electricity has gone out, which saved us a lot of money), and various other items that are special-use and occasional use…they take up room. But with the cost of everything going up and access to stuff (we live in a city and have no car) restricted, we have to think carefully about what really should be tossed based on our finances.

    And please, do not say you can pick up stuff cheap at thrift shops. Not where we live. Believe me. Prices at these shops have been runup so badly in the last few years it is just awful.

    We have older friends who live in Florida, where there are numerous thrift shops and tons of stuff being recycled and they, too, have told us how prices are now marked up because the people who run these shops know they can get higher rates.

    FYI: As we evaluate recylcing anything, we always ask: Can someone else use this more than us? and use it right now? When the answer is yes, and it often is, we happily recylce it. There is no point to hanging onto anything if someone else can use it.

    We just wish there were more ways to get things into the hands of people who need it and not charge them. Today, you give something away free on craigslist and then you see that person turn around and sell it.

    We need more ways to get things into the hands of those who can actually use an item and not into folks who are trying to make money from others’ recycled items after paying nothing for them. (Recycling for profit is not the issue. But unless I put something out in the street or the equivalent for you to take for free, I don’t want you selling stuff I want someone who can’t afford to buy it can have and use.)

  29. posted by DandHRoberts on

    I recently donated my what if coats, one week later my sister called asking for one of them. Which was hers to begin with. That is what I get for not asking. She did the same thing with her crock pot. Being the nice sister I am, I bought her a better one to make up for it.

  30. posted by lemniskate on

    I try to buy all the same kind of socks, and if I have one come up unmatched, i don’t keep it in a separate basket and keep track of how long it’s been there (seriously???) I just put it back in the hamper. They almost always get matched up with another sock, or another suddenly solo sock that way.

  31. posted by Michelle on

    I have learned to answer the “what ifs” in life with “so what if?” and although I’m not perfect at it, it has helped me deal with the clutter in my own life. For example, I’m so cool with the sock and charity things, because I know I can talk myself into getting over it and moving on, but the piece of wood example? I’m laughing at myself right now imagining how I’d feel, knowing I’d had the perfect piece of wood and got rid of it and now I have to inconveniently figure out another likely inelegant solution. Really LOL here, I hear how ridiculous it sounds. But I love this post because there will always be “what ifs” that cause us to stumble over our mental and physical clutter. You have to have your coping mechanisms ready!

  32. posted by Kris on

    Until recently, all of my dark socks were navy. Then I got some black socks. They are identical to my old navy socks except for color. When I sort them, it’s hard to tell the black from the navy. Thus for the first time, I have felt the need to keep matching socks together in the laundry.

    Tom mentions using sock holders (sold by to keep matching socks together. The only problem is that the two socks are bunched together and take longer to dry than they otherwise would.

    Instead of using sock holders, I bought some diaper pins. Before I throw my socks in the laundry basket, I pin them together at the top of the cuffs, keeping them as loose as possible. This means that they dry more quickly than they would if they were bunched together in sock holders.

    After the pinned-together socks go through the laundry, they then go into the sock drawer still pinned together.

    Although either of these methods requires a few seconds to fasten the socks together, both methods save time sorting and folding the clean socks after they come out of the laundry.

  33. posted by PracticeMakesProgress on

    We have a similar lone sock policy in our house, as well as buying one type of socks. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

    What helped me get over my What Ifs was realizing how tyrannical they were. It was such a fearful question for me: “Oh, what if you neeeed that?” “What if you can never ever find another one exactly like it?” “Oh, what if you declutter that, and decide it was a horrible mistake?”

    It just occurred to me one day that I was allowing myself to live with some clutter out of fear, and it pissed me off. If I was thinking about getting rid of something, chances were I didn’t actually neeeed it, and in over two years of decluttering I’ve yet to let go of something I wanted back.

    As for single socks, we had quite a collection before instituting our “one type” policy. Places such as halfway houses, emergency housing consortiums and shelters are happy to take donations.

  34. posted by Vta on

    Hey, you’ve got my other sock! Do you use the laundromat on Main St?

  35. posted by inthepod on

    I use large laundry mesh bags for socks and other small items (baby underwear). One bag for me and baby, one bag for my husband. Everything gets washed and dried inside the bags, then my husband can … wait for it… actually help with the clean laundry! Yes, all he can manage is socks.. but hey, I take what I can ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. posted by Kendra on

    I briefly regretted donating a jacket last year only to find it at the bottom of my closet. Now it will be donating it for real. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. posted by marjoryt on

    sock balls!
    We are now officially a 6th generation of this plan, since my son & wife do this with their baby daughter. Old socks go in the laundry basket, until it’s time for a new sockball. We take the longest one, used to be a knee sock, now we choose a soccer sock. We stuff several loner socks into it, producing a ball with a nice soft handle. These are easier for little kids to catch, wonderful for “windups” and produce great tug toys for puppies and older dogs. Even packed down balls are safe to catch by hand, without a mit. My corgi-sheltie mix likes to hang on to the ball part and let us pull her in circles, while she slides on the floor.

    Eventually the sock ball gets dirty, or tears, or simply disappears. We simply make another one.

  38. posted by Katrina on

    After having lost a few socks and then found them in the mechanism of my washing machine (after an expensive service caused by evil-lost-sock-damage) I wash my socks in a lingerie bag.

    All the socks are together, none are lost in the machine, and if I’m feeling very lazy I hang the bag up to dry with the socks still inside rather than hanging up each individually.

  39. posted by EngineerMom on

    “I must trust that abundance exists in the worldโ€” that I will always have what I needโ€” before I can stop What If-ing.”


    The difference between looking at the world with a perspective based on abundance vs. one based on scarcity is quite dramatic.

    This view can sometimes feel like a scary leap of faith, but it is a necessary first step to decluttering!

  40. posted by Rindy Sherman on

    The what if glove and how it found its mate. I’d find one, stash it, find its mate, go looking for the one I’d stash, not find it and stash the other. Several years later, one winter day, I put my hands on both. Hurrah! They were a gift and great and I really wanted to put them back together. If you are going to do a what if, make it worth your time and effort. If it’s not, off and out it goes.

  41. posted by PJ on

    Like marjoryt, I re-purpose mateless (and holey) socks into dog toys. I have two tug of war loving shredding machines, and truly can’t afford to keep them in toys – even the virtually indestructible toys designed for powerful chewers only last a few weeks, and they are expensive!

    To turn the sock into a toy, I simply put a few knots in it if it’s a long one, or knot a couple together if they’re short. This helps me get a good grip so that I always win tug of war, and they are usually long enough that I don’t have to worry about my hand accidentally getting nipped.

  42. posted by Liz on

    “What might happen if I do X” is indeed a powerful tool, but not when it becomes an excuse for inaction.

    If you or people around you get bogged down in this, consider the issue from a different angle or three:
    -> What will/could happen if I DON’T do X
    -> What WON’T happen if I do X
    -> What WON’T happen if I DON’T X

    In many cases a quick “what if I don’t” discussion is all that’s needed.

    Try doing all four on paper next time you have a big decision to make, or to work through with your business or life partner. It really helps!

  43. posted by Ellen on

    My answer to the what-if game is a comment I read many years ago: When decluttering, you will never miss at least 80% of the items you get rid of; as for the other 20%, your life is so much better without them, you don’t miss them either.

  44. posted by GayleRN on

    Socks occasionally go through a worm hole to a parallel universe. Rolls of Scotch tape go with them. In return we receive odd keys and screws. We all have junk drawers full of keys and screws we don’t know where they came from. And how many rolls of tape have you bought in your life yet you have never reached the end of one. Or it could be gnomes. Two equally likely scenarios.

  45. posted by Jodi on

    Our system for laundry solved our sock problem, but I am chronically with mismatched gloves for the family. They were easy to find at a reasonable cost when my kids were little, but now as teens I haven’t been able to find snow-clothes (hats, gloves, scarves, snowpants etc.). its not like Walmart has a snow clothes isle (not that I have ever found) and I can’t bring myself to unclutter the toddler-sized mittens since we have no replacement.

    Any suggestions? Thrift stores are hit-or-miss, and we live too far away to check them regularly.

  46. posted by Daphne Gray-Grant on

    I pin my socks together with safety pins before washing them and NEVER have this problem! I keep a jar of safety pins in my bedside table (it’s a repurposed prescription medicine bottle) so I can do it every night before I throw my socks in the wash.

  47. posted by Susan on

    Like lemniskate,instead of having an extra bin, I just put any strays back into the dirty pile, and more often than not the mate shows up in the next load of wash. If they go through several cycles without the mate showing up, then they go bye-bye.

    Like the dog toy idea since we have a mastiff puppy that goes through toys pretty quickly!

  48. posted by WilliamB on

    I admit, I found myself wondering what an unclutterer is doing with many types of socks. Even though Melanie’s point is well taken.

    Truly, though, how many different types of socks does one need? The answer will vary by person. But the fewer you have, the less time you spend on sorting and matching, and the more money you save by being able to rematch odd socks. If you do as little as make sure your different sock types are different colors, you’ll have yourself matching and some lost sock issues.

  49. posted by Michelle on

    @Jodi: Our Alaska Walmarts most definitely have a dedicated cold weather/snow clothes area! =) Which makes me think, go online and see if they have what you’re looking for; Walmart also does the Ship to Store and you just need to go and pick it up, no shipping cost!

  50. posted by Leslie on

    I also use the open container in the laundry for lone socks. I don’t find it paralyzing to wear mismatched socks, but I do try to match thickness/height. An internet search for “new uses for lone socks” pulls up a bevy of resources for new uses, including a book (

    I overcame the “what if” paralysis (and yes, that IS what I consider it to be, but that’s my own feeling) after having to pack up and move the entire contents of all my kitchen cabinets every two weeks for 6 months while we were dealing with fumigating issues. I quickly figured out what I owned that I didn’t use and didn’t plan to use anytime soon. It was easy to scale back and after almost 10 years, I don’t regret/miss any of the items I gave away.

    Now for those who seem incapable of getting rid of something, despite not using the item/s, there are networks out there. Most communities have some sort of Freecycle network where you can exchange items as well as borrow. We borrowed equipment to dig post holes from someone on our local list and it was great. Didn’t cost us anything.

    There’s also this group ( for sharing/loaning of items. For those who have items that they simply can’t part with for whatever reason, but are willing to share with others, consider starting your own community group for sharing of certain items.

  51. posted by Tillie on

    Sometimes while in the drier socks develope static electricity.
    The spark from this electricity often brings the sock to “LIFE”
    The sock then runs off to join the circus in it’s new life as a sock puppet.

  52. posted by TwoDiffSocks on

    Why wear matching socks? i dont hence the name ;p & never have a problem when i wash/wear out a sock or lose one. I do “match” the pair i put on ex, Two diff knee high or anklets

  53. posted by Alyson on

    My uncle takes safety pins and clips every pair together before washing and he says that is the trick!

  54. posted by Jenny on

    I’ve come up with two solutions to this problem over the years…
    1) I just don’t match my socks. Frankly, I’d rather spend the time I would have to spend matching socks after laundry to reading or playing piano. I buy the same brand of socks, all the same cut but different designs and leave them all in a “sock box”. I pull out at random and wear those socks whether they match or not.
    2) Since I am also a professional, I have a box of the same socks, just black. Same sock box concept – different box, of course. But I don’t have to match them since they’re already all the same. =)

  55. posted by [email protected] on

    One of the best pieces of advice on socks I believe I read in your book Erin. Buy socks that match. How simple is that?
    What I have learnt is that you lose one, keep the other for a short time and sure enough another will disappear! The simple ideas are always the best!

  56. posted by Marie on

    We too throw in any singles into one corner of the sock drawer, knowing that its match will come along eventually. It helps that my husband prefers all black socks, despite the “fancy” socks some of our relatives “helpfully” give him. I use the matching method for my own socks too, mostly white athletic socks – long for in the Winter and short for in the Summer. Specialized hosiery has its own rules, of course, but it’s so much easier to deal with against the monochromatic socks.

  57. posted by Nana on

    For many, many years, I bought socks for the family by the dozen. Much, much easier…and few truly lonely socks.

  58. posted by Elaine in Ark on

    “What if…” are HOARDER WORDS! When would you ever have 4 people in your kitchen wanting to peel potatoes or carrots at the same time? Right – never! So get rid of the 3 your 4 veggie peelers.

    This logic is my guiding light as I lessen the load of my possessions.

  59. posted by Sonja on

    @Elaine above: You might never have 4 pepole peeling potatoes at the same time, but I sure have gone three days without doing the dishes, I need them! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Regarding socks. I’m a sock fanatic. I carefully select my socks on a daily basis. As I have many, many socks I select two different ones every day, rather than a pair. It saves me the akwardness of having to match socks and keep them together all the time. Then again, I would know it if one of my lovelies disappeard on me. I still pine over a great sock I had but that died after over 10 years of use. /:

  60. posted by Erin on

    We have solved this for the kids at our house because it is “in” right now to wear mismatched socks! My kids both wear mismatched socks and love it (and all the kids are doing it). I actually don’t mind it at all because now even the odd socks of theirs (can’t use those little things as rags) get worn.

  61. posted by Mary Ellen on

    We just toss the clean solo sock back in the laundry. It never comes back alone.

  62. posted by CJOttawa on

    I have a solution to this: Buy only one type of sock.

    I have two actually – about a dozen pairs of thin, black business socks, and one type of crew-cut smart-wool athletics in grey.

  63. posted by Sara on

    We’ve done the sock basket/box in our house but have found that the box just got fuller and fuller. Because no one in our house wants to match them up. So seeing how mismatched socks are in style right now (for girls mostly) we dont match them up any more we just put the socks in our dressers and then grab 2 socks if they match then great if not who cares at least we are in style.

  64. posted by Kristina on

    We call our single sock basket – Socks Without Friends – it helps motivate the kids (and yes, me to!) to help reunite the lonely socks. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  65. posted by dave defer on

    I only buy or wear one kind of sock
    no pairs just twelve socks
    eleven socks
    no ten socks
    when i get to seven I reorder
    I buy them on line in sets of three
    that is six socks and im back to twelve or thirteen
    who cares

  66. posted by Lori Hammer on

    I have the same system in the laundry room and once a year, usually after xmas when everyone gets some new socks, we all dump our socks together for a sock hop. We match the singles in the drawers with the bin in the laundry room if we had not done so already, make room for the new socks, and graduate the old singles, holy and stained, to the paint box or car polishing box. I cut the foot out and use them to apply stain, furniture polish, etc. I use the tube part to protect my arms while gardening or picking berries or to keep the snow out of my sleeves. It is quite the fashion statement and my kids get mad, but it works great. PS, thanks for addressing the What If issue. It is a tough one and I have been haunted by it my whole life; however, you have to be practical with what you keep and ruthless when you toss, or yes, you will become a horder.

  67. posted by Suzz on

    The dryer ate the other sock. Give it a tongue bashing. Move on!

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