Sock It To Me

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Personal Organizing
OnΒ a whim I posted to my Facebook status the fact that I was taking suggestions for what to blog about tonight. My choices were (in this order): 1) my sock drawer (thanks, Fred D.) 2) the Leon County Middle School football jamboree yesterday (go Rams!!), and 3) the glaring public failure of several sports and political leaders to display civility this week.
I love a writing challenge. Whereas my kids probably don’t find the periodic “Writes Upon Request” exercise in school “fun,” to me having the opportunity to prove I can find an angle on just about anything is truly an opportunity I welcome.If I was going to do the sock drawer option, I had to do inventory of the “before” state:Personal Organizing The situation was dire. There is clearly a reason why every time I go into my sock drawer, I futilely paw through all these orphans and castoff items from the last four years of my life, thinking somehow the occupants of sockland would have found compatible mates and conspired to make my mornings easier by being prepared to complete my outfits. I commenced to make some sense out of this mess. Out of nine pairs of socks, five stayed, one went back to their rightful owner (my husband) and three are outta here. The seventeen orphans, many of which belonged to one of my children, are also gone.
The rest of the inventory included:
    • hosiery and kneehis (now organized)
    • two jewelry box/pouches
    • two girls’ gold cross necklaces
    • a blue fanny pack
    • a hot pink visor (now retired)
    • a blackberry belt clip
    • a motorola charger for a phone from about five years ago
    • a set of ipod earphones
    • three funky blue plastic things that must have corresponded to something sometime
    • a bandaid
    • two reflectors from running
    • a drawer sachet knitted by my mother in law
    • a red stocking cap
    • a pair of blue biking shorts circa 1987
    • a picture of Wayne Kevin at 18 months (keeping!)
    • three crayons
    • a non functional ink pen
    • 3 shoestrings
    • a toothbrush and toothpaste in a ziploc bag
    • a cheap poncho
    • a blank check
    • 4 pieces of genuine trash
    • a Land’s End invoice from March 2005 for a pair of pants that went to Goodwill long ago
    • one penny.

My family was mystified by the sight of me on the floor of the bedroom, typing in the sock drawer inventory into the laptop. The nice side benefit is that since my daughter was watching the Video Music Awards, I got to share a little of that with her (and knew when to send my 10 year old out of the room). Here’s the end result:Personal Organizing
This little exercise reminded me of several scenarios set forth in the book I am reading, Freakonomics. The author does a thought-provoking job of explaining why sometimes events that we think are directly correlated are, upon further exploration, not as straightforward as they seem. I am a little upset that reading to your children isn’t necessarily correlated with success in school, but I would still argue it is time well spent. Anyway, is having a clean sock drawer going to correlate with cleaning out some mental baggage and simplifying my life as I would like?

Right now, I would say the “before” picture is truer to my current reality than the “after.” Hopefully, making this one small inroad into taking inventory, discarding the unwanted and unneeded “stuff” from my life and spending time on organization will make a small deposit into my satisfaction “bank.”
Personal Organizing

If not, I’m still richer by one cent.

14 thoughts on “Sock It To Me

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  3. We just moved and couldn’t believe how much stuff we collected in 22 years. Goodwill, donating my wedding dress and my MIL’s fur coat (never wore) and throwing out tons of no-longer-used things felt great. So much more to go. Cleaning sock drawers sounds simple but look at your inventory! Lighter and lighter – in socks and in spirit.

    • How DO we accumulate so much stuff? I mean REALLY? We have the last of my mother in law’s closet contents at our house right now and I’m dragging my feet on taking them to goodwill. Probably time to really say goodbye. Thx for your comment!

    • Thanks! I’m actually in a conversation right now in a Facebook group … it’s about the book Deep Work (whose author doesn’t (gasp!) believe in social media but one of the participants in the discussion was talking about going to a Gladwell appearance where they weren’t blown away. The book Deep Work also talks about him (and literally uses the phrase “poking holes” — have you been reading over my shoulder?! But MG has been the catalyst for some good discussions at our house. He raises good questions.

    • I think I need you more than you need me when it comes to productivity tips! But I think a few things stand out: 1) It was a manageable task (moreso than “clean the bedroom” 2) It was suggested to me by someone who brings back good memories so every time I am in that drawer, I think about our friendship and not letting him down and 3) there’s a reminder that all those times I threw a crazy receipt or something without a home, I was making myself a job down the line — I could have made decisions about those items then and been done with it! πŸ™‚

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