Day 222 Declutter or not to declutter…

…that is the question. Well actually it isn’t a question any more because I made a decision. I am talking about my sock drawer, not earth shattering, high drama stuff I know but just one more area to consider.

So I emptied it out, matched up the odd socks that had escaped from their partners, stretched a few pair of nylons (stockings or whatever you like to call them) to make sure they weren’t perished beyond usefulness and pondered over the many pairs of socks that I have to admit haven’t been worn for some time. I took into account that this was my sock drawer so half empty or full it would still be my sock drawer because I had no other use for it. At that point I came to my decision.

I will let natural progression decluttering take place on this occasion. Socks tend to wear out at a fairly rapid pace with regular use so I will use my favourites until they go in the trash and then use the bottom dwellers thus getting full use out of every pair.  Were I to throw away or donate the bottom dwellers I would have to buy replacements sooner thus increasing supply and demand for new pairs.

I know this hasn’t been the most informative or fascinating post I have ever written but it just goes to prove not everything needs decluttering.


My son didn’t want these any more so I gave them to the son of a friend of mine. He is a Star Wars fan.


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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Colleen – you made me giggle – a lot. Thank you. Decluttering doesn’t have to be high drama and big emotions everyday. Sometimes it leads to amusing conundrums as you’ve shown today.

    • Hi Donna,
      glad to have been of service. Laughter is definitely the best medicine so I hope you had your fill. I like to get a little light and amusing at times but I am often affraid my odd humour will be lost on the reader and they will just think I am wierd. I’m willing to take the chance though.

      • Better to be a little weird than boring. Let your humor flag fly! 🙂

      • Colleen, never fear; you are not alone. My husband tells me I have a strange sense of humor –probably because I come from a different part of the country than he does and we now live in midwest USA. I often wonder if others understand my humor or if they are offended by it. But I love to laugh and make others laugh. It keeps one young!

        • Hi Di,
          thank you, that is very reassuring. I must admit I would be lost without my sence of humour too. I most certainly get it from my mum, it is the thing I love most about her, she knows how to have a good laugh.

  2. Colleen after recently decluttering my socks I ended up with only six pair!! The least amount of socks I’ve ever owned. I gave away numerous pairs that I didn’t enjoy wearing, and tossed the stretched and holey ones. I plan to add at least one more pair so I have a weekly supply.

    • Hi Betty Jo,
      I would be ashamed to even count the number of socks in my drawer. They all seem to be in reasonable condition so like I said I will work my way through them.

      • You might want to put the nicer socks aside and use the shoddy socks first until they are worn out enough to throw out. This way the number of socks in your sock drawer would decrease quicker and you’d have fewer socks to deal with. I’ve used this method for several different items.

  3. This is actually an important concept to remember – if your storage space can accommodate the extras, and if you’ll use them eventually (sometimes this takes self-discipline!), then it’s wasteful to throw/give them away. I feel this point is sometimes overlooked by minimalist blogs.

    Good post.

    • Hi Jo,
      you captured my throught process exactly on this one. Sometimes when an item can be used up or worn out and the only reason a similar item isn’t being used is because it’s not your favourite it is inevitable that if you wait natural progression will take place and the similar item will then start being used. Sometimes economic sense has to override the desire to just get rid of somethings. Some of my socks are already getting thread bare so it won’t be long before the bottom dwellers will get their turn. The only risk is if these items are perishable then they will go to waste.

  4. This is so true!!!!! I’ve been doing this method with the sock drawer for quite some time now, as has my husband.

    One thing I would like to do is to get good at knitting socks, so that I have something to make with my hands in the evenings but to end up with something that I can cherish and wear until they’re worn out.

    • You should talk to Willow that comments here often. She is big into knitting. You can check her out at Willows Cottage maybe she could share some patterns with you.
      My son is a skateboarder and I should learn to darn socks as he wears holes in the sides of both his shoes and his socks due to the tricks her does with the board. It can get expensive and wasteful.

      • Hi there! I’m on vacation right now, so I’m just noticing this comment. Yes, Meg, I have sock patterns ranging from basic, simple socks to fancy lacey girlie ones. If you’re interested in talking about sock knitting, let me know.

        • Hi Willow,
          you haven’t spent much time at home lately. Always galavanting around the countryside. I miss your daily comment.
          If I don’t notice a response from Meg I wil hook you up if you are OK with that.

  5. i agree. I have my favorite socks and boxers and then the other ones, I contemplated throwing the other ones out but there’s no need to. They’re perfectly wearable. The socks are matched.

    • Hi Albert,
      there can be a fine line between declutter and waste. This is one and probably the only instance for me so far where “overstocked” doesn’t mean “get rid of”.

  6. I did what I have been wanting to do for years: threw out of all socks that had lost their pair or the elastic was stretched, and donated the colorful ones I never wore. I now have only black socks of the same kind that I don’t need to pair up. I will wear all these out and then buy the next lot of matching socks, so no more annoying pairing up! I do have a couple of pairs of thicker socks, and wool socks on top of that though. Need those for winter!!! In the summer I don’t wear socks at all, and I so love it!

    • Hi Cat’s Meow,
      I don’t wear socks much in the summer either but when I lived in Seattle it was cool most of the year and I think that is when all the socks accumulated. There is one advantage to doing what you are doing with having socks all the same. When one gets a hole you can save it’s partner to match up with another pair when one of them gets a hole. Widowed sock matching how cute.

  7. We’re on the same wave length: just did my sock drawer Sunday. I was thinking about the excess of socks, undies, and t-shirts my husband has. I guess natural decluttering is what will happen, although I’m thinking of removing some and storing them so that the drawer is less crowded and so the ones on top get worn out first.

    • Hi Cindy,
      I think the natural decluttering process would work better if you removed some of the items because otherwise you will just end up with everything wearing out all at once a long time from now.

  8. And Colleen, I like the phrase ‘natural decluttering process’; it’s just normal everyday use it up, wear it out.

  9. I also follow the practice of natural progression decluttering — I just never had a name for it! I love the way you think — you’re an inspiration.

    • Hi Eve,
      thank you for your kind words. I could do with a little pick me up today as I am not feeling at all well. Got some nasty bug I think.