As a professional organizer, I hear this a lot - "Just In Case". It relates to the fear of letting go of something. Many people hold on to items for that reason. "What if I need it someday? I don't want to have to purchase another. There's nothing wrong with it!" Do you ever find yourself saying any of these? Let's be reasonable. We cannot hold onto everything we have "just in case". Letting go can be so freeing, especially when it comes to socks. What do I mean by that?
The curious thing about socks is that they often lose their mates and become a source of clutter. They can end up under your bed and in between the sofa cushions. They are also often relegated to the dark recesses of shopping bags, trash bags or baskets in the closet or laundry room. “I’ll keep this sock, just in case its mate turns up.”
Does that sound familiar? When we misplace an item from a matching set, we tend to hang on to them for a while, especially when the items cannot be used without each other (such as a gadget and its power cord). We probably keep lonely socks because we still see some value in them, even though they are now orphaned and we may not want them anymore.
Fortunately, there are uncluttered alternatives to keeping mateless socks:
- Wear them! This may not seem as obvious (or maybe it’s so obvious that it’s often overlooked), but you can still wear them. You can make a pair using another lonely sock and wear them around the house. I won't tell! I promise!
- Use them as padding in your packages. Clean socks can be used inside packages to protect the items that you’re mailing. This is a good way to keep the contents of your package safe, but you should let the recipient know that the socks can be discarded!
- Use them to protect holiday decorations. You can store some of your holiday decorations (like ornaments) inside the socks before packing them away.
- Dust with them. You can add mateless socks to your cleaning supplies. Just be sure to keep a specific number of sock dusters so that you don’t end up cramming more and more of them in with your supplies.
- Use them in craft projects. This is perhaps the most fun way to repurpose socks (especially for children). From sock puppets to doll accessories, get creative and make something new. Looking for inspiration? Check out the book The Lonely Sock Club: One Sock, Tons of Cool Projects!.
- Make a pet toy. If you have pets, you can make a cool tug-of-war toy for them. If you have a cat, you can stuff a little cat nip inside it, close it up, and watch your cat go nuts. You may also want to check with your local animal shelter to find out if they have a need for them.
The next time you end up with orphaned socks, be sure that they don’t overstay their welcome and turn into another source of clutter. You can use one of the suggestions above to bring new life into them, but remember that it is okay to let them go if you have no use for them and do yourself a favor, limit the amount you keep.
For more information on this topic, check out a previous blog I wrote called i_have_formed_a_new_support_group .
If you are overwhelmed with your clutter and need some assistance, don't hesitate to contact me. I am here to help. Know someone who can use my services, consider purchasing a Gift Certificate for A Better Space. Simply call my office or send me email me for more details.
Happy sock sorting!