A simple trick to deal with lost socks

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Right now, I have 9 single socks that are missing their partner. In the past, such socks would just float around the house as we waited for the other sock to be magically found. But more often than not, by the time the second sock was discovered, the first one had disappeared. I searched Pinterest for ideas and found a lot of cute signs. There were wonderful slogans like ‘Looking for my sole mate’ that are used on signs to corral the lost socks. Unfortunately, my laundry room is also the hallway to the garage and it has NO wall space to hang a sign, no matter how cute…

For a while, I wanted to just give up and throw in the towel – pun intended. But I’ve been listening to Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism (affiliate link) by Fumio Sasaki and one of the things that I am starting to think about is ‘Why’? So here are a few why’s that I have been contemplating and what I ended up doing about it.

Why are *lost* socks a problem?

My kids have PLENTY of socks. So even if a pair or two (or nine) are missing their other half, my kids are not forced to wear mismatched socks or even go sockless. Hanging on to 50% of a pair of socks creates clutter. But it also feels wasteful to throw out a perfectly good sock, just because we weren’t careful enough and lost the other sock.

How can we keep lost socks from becoming clutter?

If my laundry room were bigger, or even actually a room and not a hallway, I could consider that cute sign about Sole Mates. However, as I mentioned, that is not an option. In addition, it might not be the best use of my funds either. I’m trying to downsize and declutter, not add clutter, even if the sign is cute (and they really are adorable).

So what to do?

I first tried having a designated container to hold those socks that had lost their partner, in the hope that one day they would be reunited into a pair. Unfortunately, in practice, this resulted in a pile of socks, but I kept forgetting to go through the pile to find and match the pairs.

Then, after again browsing on Pinterest and Etsy, and drooling over the cute signs while contemplating an addition to our laundry room, it came to me. I would use what I had on hand to create a simple display for my lost socks on the side of a shelf above my daughter’s changing table and dresser. Using double-sided mounting tape (affiliate link) and wooden clothespins (affiliate link), I attached 4 clothespins to hold my lost socks.

Display for socks that are missing a partner.
Display lost socks – easily keep track of socks that are missing their partner 🙂

Using this simple hack, of taping clothespins to my shelf, has helped me reunite countless pairs of socks. And because I had the tape and clothespins on hand, this project cost me nothing. However, even if you have to go out and buy some supplies, you should be able to complete a similar project for under $15.

Do you struggle with *lost* socks? Have you found a good way to reunite pairs? Please share what has (or has not) worked in the comments below.

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