Sometimes, less is more. Just getting rid of all the "extras" in your home
gives immediate gratification
The Dreaded Sock Drawer, or floor, or closet!
This is a little tougher than undies, that's why we took a break from the bedroom last week and went to the linen closet. But let's now go back to your dresser. I HATE socks. There are five of us in my household and it used to be such a chore. I'll tell you how I stream-lined our sockcatrastophy in a sec, but first let's start with your sock pile. Just as you did with undies, pull out your sock drawer, dig socks from the closet floor and clean laundry and put them all on your bed. Un-match ones that are together so you can see both socks. Separate each family member's socks into mini-piles. Take out the ones that are torn, have holes, hanging threads, are dirty and dingy. It's time for new socks so don't hold back!
This being said, I DO suggest you keep a couple pairs of good socks that are just stained for yard work socks and children's play socks. Just don't wear them on a daily basis!
TIP: If you must, put the singles in a shoe box and check it after each clean laundry load for matches. After a while you will be able to see which ones truly have lost mates.
If you have more than a dozen pair of athletic socks (for each season), pull out the extras and put in the "donate" bag your extra towels are in. Do the same for your dress socks. Six of each color dress socks are enough. Ladies, get rid of every single pair of hose you own, unless they are unopened. We are starting new! Put up your good stuff and make a note on your pad on how many new socks and hose you can reward yourself with. Do the same thing with your children's socks and in this case, your spouse's socks too.
SOCK PURCHASING TIP: I have two teenage daughters that wear close to the same size socks as I do. To keep us from fighting over socks, I buy each of us socks with a designated toe (or heel) stripe. All of Kelsey's socks, both winter and summer ones, have a pink stripe while Kaylyn's have a purple heel and mine have all gray logos. It takes a little more effort to find socks when buying them, but makes all the difference when sorting and matching them!
REASON THIS HELPS YOU WITH YOUR CLUTTER: Socks are a burden to everyone. Lost mates, embarrassing holes and dingy mis-matched white ones are a terror! And what about those that end up under the couch, behind the dryer and out in the yard (my five-year-old is notorious about this!) It may seem silly, but it adds stress just as your underwear drawer did before you cleaned it out. No one needs 100 pair of socks. Just purging the mess will relieve some of the added clutter.
Extra Points: Over the next few weeks, repeat this process with each type of clothing and accessory you own. Don't try to do the entire closet or dresser at once. You may start gun-ho but you will tire out before you get through the entire pile! Pull every type of one item out. Make a pile for KEEP, MEND/DRY CLEAN, DONATE. Scale back the total amount of clothing and reward yourself with new ones once you are done. Rule of thumb: If you have not worn it in 2 years, get rid of it. This includes shoes, belts, jackets, etc. One way to see if you have worn something is this trick:
TIP: Buy three dozen WHITE hangers. When you wear something and it comes back from the wash or dry cleaners, put it on a white hanger. After a while, you will see the same clothes on white hangers. Anything that is not on a white hanger at the end of the year, needs to go.
Think of it this way - these extra clothes are taking up your space and someone else can use them if you aren't. Take items in good condition to places other than Goodwill. I took over 200 items from my grandmother's closets, including business suits, nightgowns, shoes, slacks and tops, to the women's shelter after she passed. I had over 20 women write to me thanking me for giving them work clothes, nice work clothes that didn't look handed down. Take the items that do need a little help to Goodwill - they will clean and mend them.
So, now we have three things on our list to replace - undies, socks and towels. If you've earned your extra points, you may have a few other items such as kitchen hand towels, sheets, and other clothing items as well.
Next Wednesday - MISSION FIVE - Your Books
Wednesdays in the Simple Life Series are for YOUR CLUTTER (and yes, it multiplies in my home too). I will let you know what I am doing to make simple changes in my own home to clear out my clutter. I hope you follow along and try some of these steps yourself. Please let me know how you are coming along by leaving comments at the bottom of each post. Tell me what works, what doesn’t, if you are bored – whatever – we are learning and growing together.