Minimizing Your Sock Drawer │ Minimal Living

The sock drawer gets a bad rap.

It's the go-to excuse when we don't want to do something. "I have to go organize my sock drawer."

It's the place we put things that have the potential to have great value. (How often does jewelry get put into socks and forgotten about or thrown away accidentally?)

It's the one drawer or part of a drawer, that we tend to think doesn't matter. Because, heck, who's going to see it?

But it does. You see it. You live with it. And you're the one that has to navigate its contents every morning.

If you're striving for a minimalist lifestyle, then your sock drawer and its contents count in your quest to keep minimalism front and center.

My mother (don't tell her I said this) has a thing for socks. I remember one time, years ago, she counted her socks and it was like something over 120 pairs. 

This is partly because she just loves socks. Plain and simple. It's also because we give her socks as gifts (because we know she loves them). It's also because she has an addiction to them. A very benign addiction, but an addiction nonetheless that can sabotage any minimalist's goals.

My oldest son loves socks too. Especially the crazy ones. So, maybe I'll send him this post after I publish it. He has several dozen or more, pairs of socks, all with fun and crazy patterns. In fact, I just gave him two pairs for his birthday.

To my credit, he wears his socks out like he's a sock-footed toddler running in the street. So, that boy needs socks. Socks are easy gifts. 

I also buy socks for myself when I see they're on sale, or if they're ones I need. Or think I need it. I mean, socks get holes. Holes in socks aren't attractive no matter who's wearing them.

So, how many pairs of socks do we need?

Apparently, the common number of socks you potentially need in your sock drawer is 10-20.

And after having thoroughly minimized my sock drawer, I can tell you this is right. What's incredible is that I feel like I could live with less. Like seven pairs. I wash socks every day, and I have my favorite pairs that I wear. So more than ten feels superfluous.

I have a favorite style and cut (which I got at Costco oddly enough, about five years ago) and I wish I had bought a few more sets because they're wearing out. 

But, they're all I wear! (I have an alert on eBay to purchase them if they come up - they appear like a rare bird, every now and then, and I'm watching like a hawk.)

But, that's how weird I've gotten about socks. It's an age thing, I'm sure. This chart about gifts and socks is 100% true.

All that to say, we love how certain socks feel. And if that's what we like, then that's what we should be wearing! Yes, we need random gym socks, heavy-duty hiking socks, or invisible no-show socks for those little ballet flats we slip into. 

But, for the ones we wear every day, I'd say 7-8 pairs of those might be all you need.

Here are a few helpful tips:

Forget about the price. Okay, don't go crazy spending $40 for a pair of socks (there are better ways to spend $40), but if there is a specific brand that fits you just right and feels great, then that's what you should be wearing. It's your feet; you're only on them every day. So, take care of them with socks that feel awesome.

Wear what you love: As with all clothing in the minimalist lifestyle, wear what you love. It's as basic as can be. Have socks that get eaten wearing sneakers? Hate those knee-high socks that Aunt Jo got you? Get rid of them. Keep only what you love and what feels good on you.

Less is more: If you're like me, you're always reaching for the ones you know fit well. So that's really all you need in your drawer (as well as those outlier pairs). Get rid of the ones you don't wear. Maybe start with keeping 20 pairs, see if you wear all of them, and gradually pull out a pair or two you don't wear as the weeks progress.

My ears are burning right now. I swear my mom knows I was talking about her. But, she's a perfect example of what all of us do to some varying degree: we hoard socks. We think we'll need them and not have enough.

That has never happened to me.

Regardless, don't accumulate socks that just sit there. That's a waste of money and space. 

Find what number works for you, get rid of the extraneous socks that are only there "just in case," and declutter your sock drawer for the simple life you yearn for and peace of mind. 

This peace of mind will result in peace of feet. 

And happy feet are the best kind.

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