I only have so much “oomph,” you know. I try not to waste it.
I am not someone who freaks out if the dishwasher is loaded “wrong.” I don’t iron clothing much anymore. If the front of my hair looks okay, I can usually live with whatever the back of my head is doing. If I spent “oomph” on those things, I wouldn’t have enough “oomph” left over to spend on more important, yet completely futile efforts like figuring out what my hormonal kids are upset about moment to moment. Or trying to make a dinner everyone will eat.
One of the things I do not waste my “oomph” on is socks. (If you grew up in the Boston area, try to not read that last word with your Boston accent. Because it would sound weird and like I was sharing a little too much.)
I keep this basket in the laundry area and when it is eventually filled with socks from many loads of laundry, I bring it to the living room and we have a sock party. I told you it was really fun at my house.
Yep, we dump the basket out on the floor, sit around in a circle, match ’em up and sort ’em into piles. Sometimes we sing camp songs and sway back and forth as we work. It used to be an exciting game when the kids were little – seeing how fast we could do it and trying to touch socks only once. Fortunately, the kids are not so easily amused anymore. I would worry if they still thought being “mommy’s big helper” was the best job in the world. They now want to be “awesome gamers” and “Yu-Gi-Oh Masters.” I’m so proud.
When we are done sorting, the orphan socks go back into the basket and the piles get put away in the drawers I have strategically positioned in my front hall closet. (Which makes it sound really big and grand around here – when it is actually the only closet on the first floor. Nevertheless, I do sometimes feel the need to wear my tiara when doing mundane tasks around the house.)
It is an unconventional solution, but I learned this trick of keeping the socks downstairs, near where they would be needed from a very smart friend from way back named, Sara, who has a fabulous blog, called “GoGingham” . It is filled with all of her wonderful ideas for living a stylishly frugal life. I think Sara might have kept her kids’ socks in the dining room buffet – which I thought was brilliant!
We used to forego the matching part of sorting the socks, but I found that it saves more time to match them all at once. Not that I would spend much “oomph” on worrying about my kids wearing mismatched socks – it just saves time in the morning if they can grab and go.
My house is small and I have to use space as efficiently as possible. Allotting closet space to socks might not seem to make sense at first, but the floor area in this closet would go to waste anyway. Keeping the socks here works for us for many reasons. Maybe it isn’t worthy of “House Beautiful,” but it makes life easier for us and that is truly a beautiful thing!
Sometimes, thinking outside of the very restrictive “perfection” box is all it takes to make your home work better for you!