lost socks—you're not alone

I have a pile of lone socks in my closet, apparently you do too.
colorful socks hung on a line with a blue sky behind photo by Nick on Unsplash
Photo by Nick Page on Unsplash
Years ago, when we lived in Portland, OR I considered hanging all my singletons on a line in a park as a sort of art installation. I imagined others organically adding their own, and maybe even, a sock finding its long-lost partner—a beautiful reuniting of sorts.

I couldn't possibly be the only person with a basket of lost socks. Turns out, I'm in solid company. It also turns out, there are people equally obsessed with the plight of the lost-sock and have studied this nearly universal phenomenon. 

In fact, scientists have created a calculator to estimate how many socks you’ll lose a year. It's shockingly accurate. My family: 119.6 sad socks x the number of years I've been collecting them—you can imagine the size of my basket. Good thing we'll be selling stunning, extra-large baskets—surely I’ll need a bigger one by 2022!

Why can't I let this go? Of course now I'm sidetracked into listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Planet Money and a segment they do: Can’t Let It Go. It's my third time listening. It's still delightful. 

I realize it’s obvious why I can't let go of my lost sock obsession: There’s a basket of them staring at me now and every time I do the laundry, there are more. What to do with my basket of mismatched socks?

orange sock on left foot, blue-green sock on right on blue jean legs sitting on a wood floor photo by Jonathan Taylor on UnsplashPhoto by Jonathan Taylor on Unsplash

I was back in Brooklyn the other weekend. We grabbed bubble tea as we meandered past shops. The kids begged to go into one with t-shirts and pins, painted rocks, and a HUGELY oversized papier maché tree. Behind the tree, way at the back of the shop, beyond the fabulously quirky art, there were sock puppets!

That's it, I think! I've found my socks' new purpose: we'll teach a puppet making class at the hōm market.

Or it may be time for me to learn to let it go. Or use one of these 61 things you can do with your old mismatched socks. I doubt I’ll resolve this anytime soon, I may have to embrace my basket of lost socks as one of life’s outcomes out of my control.

There are, however, steps we can take to decrease our lost socks—since out-of-control is not one of my favorite places to be. Our friends at the Lost Sock Calculator suggest to: 

  1. Switch to plain (colored socks go missing more)
  2. Reduce the number of socks you own
  3. Hunt down the missing ones—they’re somewhere in the house, and
  4. Embrace laundry as something you love.

If you need help with this last point, Laundry Love: Finding Joy in a Common Chore by Patric Richardson is a MUST read! I should probably order one for my mom—she's even more laundry obsessed than I am so I know she'll LOVE the book and his new series on HGTV

Until next week, check out our amazing classes and keep track of your socks at hōm—Sandra

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