Monday, 16 May 2016

Sparking Joy In My Sock Drawer

Over the weekend, I realised something had to be done. The situation was out of control. I'd let things slide, and now I had to fix the problem before it became unworkable.

It was time to sort out my sock drawer.

Long ago, I developed a strategy for socks which basically went: buy and wear black socks. It doesn't matter if the pair you wear don't match, because they're the same colour. The problem is, of course, that any plan only survives as far as first contact with reality. I ended up with an undifferentiated mass of socks that had worn differently. Some were on the verge of falling to bits, and the only way I'd know is when I pulled them on in the morning and my toe went through a hole. Clearly, the situation was unsustainable.

My wife, love of my life, fount of all wisdom, shoved a book called Spark Joy into my hands and told me to sort myself out.

Marie Kondo's Spark Joy has changed the lives of millions. By providing us with the simple steps we need to declutter and tidy our chaotic lives, she offers a little zen calm that can be applied to every aspect of our lives. Personally, I found the whole thing a little too neat-freaky, but I was prepared to take on Marie's lessons in sock folding if it meant I didn't have to fight through the tangle of old and new to find a pair I could wear for work.

I emptied out the drawer and set to work.

Like any job that you've been putting off for ages, the whole process was much easier and simpler than I'd led myself to believe. Within twenty minutes, I had a tidy sock drawer filled with serried ranks of neatly folded matched-up pairs. At a glance I could see what I had. I realised that I had more coloured socks than I thought, and that a nice pair of alpacas that I'd got for Christmas had worked their way to the bottom of the pile. The orphans, worn out and crusties went in the bin, but there were much fewer rejects than I'd thought. The end result may not be a tidy mind, but at least I can see what I have now, and can choose what to wear in an instant.

There's a lesson to be learnt here, of course. Most of us are guilty of buying clothes without considering whether we need them, and some of that is down to not being able to see what we have in the first place. Organising your clothes stash gives you the opportunity to find hidden gems you'd forgotten about, or make space for a couple of carefully-considered new purchases. It's a small step towards a more sustainable you. As for me, I found room in my sock drawer for a nice colourful three-pack of bamboo socks that look great and will last for a good long while.

Did the whole process Spark Joy? Well, maybe just a little...

If your sock drawer could use a little organisation, Marie Kondo's book is a great place to start. Check it out here:

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