Recycle Your Socks

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One of my biggest irritations and yet the most pathetic dilemma is what do you do with socks? Socks present the most patient homemaker a potentially endless supply of frustration. I have yet to figure out how to do without socks and yet I hate the fact that they wear out quickly and unevenly (I know, I need to "chill").


I am thrifty but I, for one, don't attempt to buy thrift store underwear unless it looks nearly pristine, which is why I set about to "...change the things that I can and have the wisdom to know the difference", as the saying goes.

So, what do you do about the fact that socks wear out and get lost? Part of it is to just let it be... just let it be okay to toss socks when they get past repair. But some socks just might be savable. What to do?

Here are some practical tips to make the sock chore more bearable:

Tip #1 Darn Socks

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You can make minor repairs like darning or patch darning. I learned patch darning from Amy Dacyczyn in The Complete Tightwad Gazette. You always have a few holey socks so instead of tossing them, use the really bad ones for "patches". Cut out a patch from one of the worst ones that is about 1/4" bigger than the hole you are patching. Then stitch this patch on over the hole with a nice whip stitch till all edges are well covered. That was a little too fussy for me though so I like the next two tips better.

Tip #2 - Buy Socks in Bulk on Sale

I learned this years ago from my sister in law. She would take advantage of the annual sales on the day after Thanksgiving - infamously known as Blitz Day or Black Friday, as it is "affectionately" known in retail. A big box store would have a 50% off socks deal every year. So she/we would plan a big long sale shopping day and hit the stores for the deals. We would buy the whole family's sock inventory all at once.

Tip #3 - Buy only similar types and colors

Yet another good friend of mine said one day that she never had any trouble matching socks. Hah! You're kidding me, right? No, she was serious and she took me over to her sock basket. I quickly saw her solution to the never ending problem of matching socks and that was to have only one or two colors of socks. She was content to wear black socks just like her husband's so there was no problem finding matches or losing socks. Her boys were close enough in age that they always wore the same white sport type socks. Easy sorting!

Now, I modified this very radical solution for my family of 8 (at the time). I chose long knee highs for me, short black socks for him, white knee highs for the older girls, anklets for the younger girls and white sport socks for my boys. Sorting socks became a more manageable chore now. I could dump the sock basket on the living room floor and have the girls socks in one pile, the boys in another, mine in the chair and hubby's on the couch.

I hope these tips make your sock chores more endurable.

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