A few years back, a new trend started gaining ground in the pre-teen fashion world that included wearing two different socks at the same time, on purpose. While this edged against my dear husband’s sense of order and routine, I personally claimed it as a favorite and conjectured that it must have no doubt been started by a mom who was tired of looking at the overflowing odd sock basket in her laundry room (which, in my house, is often sitting atop the dryer with random items supposed to be contained therein, spilled over onto the dryer and floor below).
I wanted to meet and greet whomever it was that decided it was not only okay to wear mismatched socks but “cool.” It got me thinking. What else might we do with the perpetual influx of footwear that oft-times makes people swear they put a definite pair into the washer but somehow, between then and the time it came out of the dryer, one of the two mysteriously vanished, perhaps sucked into some unknown blackhole leading to oblivion?
- When my sons were younger, one of their favorite games was to have sock bomb wars. At the time, that was my answer to reducing the number of odd socks taking over my laundry room. I would take a bunch of socks, fill them with flour, secure them with rubber bands and let the boys have at it in the yard, snowball-fight style. They’d build forts and pummel each other with sock bombs for hours to their hearts’ content.
- The odd sock basket evokes strange feelings of anxiety and obsessive behavior. You walk past it a hundred times a day, look at it, decide that you’re going to open the trash can and throw them all away, then quickly change your mind because you know that the moment you do that, you will find the missing socks that are supposed to accompany them to make matching pairs. Every once in a while, you dump the whole thing on your bed and see if there happen to be any matches in the basket itself or if the odd socks you have recently pulled from the dryer might have a long-lost mate in there. (This sorting game makes for a fun grandkid game, by the way. “Who can find the most pairs for Grammy? Winner gets a treat!”)
- Consider this post a solution to help you overcome your odd sock anxiety. The following list includes several creative ways you can use those little guys without feeling like you just threw $20 in the trash:
- When my kids were toddlers, I used to get frustrated when the restraint straps in their car seats would irritate their little shoulders. This was my first eureka moment for odd sock usage! I’d cut the toe part from the socks and slide them over the straps, creating a nice little pad that protected their skin yet did not interfere with the functioning of the seat restraints.
- You can also use odd socks as soap holders. This is an especially great idea if you have a place outside where you like to wash your hands after gardening. It’s similar to the old soap-on-a-ropes they used to sell in stores. Some say this little trick creates more lather and helps soap last longer.
- Do you know if you fill an odd sock partway with cat litter and set by your windshield inside your car, it will keep the window from fogging? How awesome is that?!
- You can also slip longer tube-sock-style socks over your wiper blades if you have to park outdoors in the winter. That way, if everything is snow and ice-covered in the morning, you don’t have to perform the annoying task of digging ice pieces out from under your wiper blades! Simply slip off the socks and, “Voila!” You’re good to go!
Another great use for odd socks is to slip them over your shoes if you are painting. It keeps paint splatters from ruining your shoes and you can easily slip them off and discard them when you’re done.
Do you have a creative use for odd socks that will help us keep our odd sock population to a minimum? (Of course, once we start implementing these ideas, we’ll want our odd sock baskets to remain as full as possible!) Leave a comment and share your odd sock ideas!
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.