Research tells us that Britain is becoming a more rational, less superstitious country, but when it comes to socks, you can throw all that out of the window. Otherwise markedly sensible people will tell you with real conviction that their socks breed, that they disappear, and even that they change colour (by which they don’t just mean a white sock ended up getting washed with red things). One thing they all agree on is that socks don’t like to stay in pairs. If you’re persecuted by such mischievous footwear, is there anything you can do to turn the situation around?
Learning to love your socks
The first thing you need to understand is that if you want your socks to behave, you’re going to have to show them some love. You may moan when you’re given them for Christmas, but just think about what they do for you. They keep your feet warm, they absorb odours, they protect you from blisters, and some even battle bacteria – all in a day’s work. In return, don’t they deserve a bit more attention?
Getting things in order
If you’re somebody whose socks have a tendency to wander off across the bedroom floor, the first thing you’re going to have to do to get things in order is have a thorough hunt around all the places they could be. The aim of this is to get them into pairs, rolled together, and safely contained in a chest of drawers. If, at the end of this process, you still have some odd ones, use an old shoebox or similar container to keep them in – their companions may turn up later.
Top tips for sock management
Once you have your socks in order, the focus moves to making sure they stay that way. These simple tips can do a lot to help:
- Watch your washing. Socks love to get lost in the machine, and also take the opportunity to switch allegiances between household members. Stop them by keeping each person’s socks inside a separate muslin bag.
- Don’t wring your socks dry. A gentle squeeze and a bit of time is all they need. Wringing, over time, gives them an excuse to change size until former pairs look like they belong on different people’s feet.
- Make your socks distinguished. If each household member has their own sock colour, sorting is much easier. If some socks need to be the same colour (for things like school uniforms), write initials on the underside with indelible, waterproof marker.
- If you have different summer and winter socks, give them separate homes. This makes it much easier to find the right ones when you’re in a hurry in the morning.
Disordered socks can be a nightmare and you may feel as if you’ll never get on top of the problem, but if you persevere, you will manage it – and even if they don’t show it, your friends and colleagues will be awed by your new power.