How to “KonMari” Your Sock Drawer - Sockwell

How to “KonMari” Your Sock Drawer

If you aren’t familiar with Japanese tidying expert Marie Kondo’s detailed and methodical approach to decluttering, you are falling behind on the pop culture train. 

Written by: Sarah Bailey, Tidying Up Enthusiast

Have you been bit by the tidy bug? You know, the one that forms a deep itch to clean and organize anything and everything in sight for a spotless finish. It wasn’t until a couple years ago, when a friend suggested I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, that I truly learned the art of a tidy home. As someone who is always game for trying the latest “life hack,” an obsessive organizer and an aspiring minimalist, I knew it was only a matter of time until I gave this book a go.

If you aren’t familiar with Japanese tidying expert Marie Kondo’s detailed and methodical approach to decluttering, you are falling behind on the pop culture train. As a #1 New York Times Best Seller book and now Netflix original series titled Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, America’s latest obsession of clearing clutter has been deemed the Marie Kondo effect

Expert Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which oftentimes, only digs you deeper into an endless pit of cleaning. The category-by-category approach known as the KonMari Method™ is said to leave you with lasting results.
With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home – and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire. 

(Kondo, Marie. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale, 2014)

Categorize the process 

In May 2017, my husband and I made a big move as we relocated from our home in Destin, Florida, to Chattanooga, TN, also known as “the best town ever.” Like most, we had accumulated so much junk throughout the years that the thought of decluttering pained me. We decided to focus on our big-ticket categories in the weeks before the move—those being the items we collected the most—clothes and books.

It was a half-hearted attempt at tidying, but it was timely and encouraging. Following the initial move, six months later we moved into a smaller home; an adorable 1930s cottage with a lot of charm, but unfortunately, little storage space. Thus, we made a second attempt at decluttering, this time covering all categories of items. With our newfound skill of organizing, we were moving one step closer toward the Marie Kondo level of cleanliness, and I couldn’t help but pride ourselves in our progress.

The following month, I transitioned into my position at Sockwell, where my collecting habits took over in one category in particular—socks. Not just any socks, life-changing socks. These high quality, therapeutic, and modern foot huggers made it impossible to turn down any style, color or fit. And soon enough, they were the only styles to touch my feet and completely consuming my sock drawer.

Thus, I performed an emergency KonMari session on my sock drawer. Cotton socks and synthetics didn’t stand a chance during the elimination process. I thanked each sock before tossing as per the method, but quietly wondered how I suffered through sweaty feet for three decades. Half an hour later, my sock drawer contained only those that bring me joy and serve my feet. What a glorious accomplishment.

It’s all in the folds 

One of the most impactful tidying elements from Marie’s toolkit lies in her folding technique. And while most of us toss our socks into a drawer with the mere hopes of keeping our pairs matched, chances are your pre-KonMari methods aren’t as efficient as you think.

"The socks and stockings stored in your drawer are essentially on holiday. They take a brutal beating in their daily work, trapped between your foot and your shoe, enduring pressure and friction to protect your precious feet. The time they spend in your drawer is their only chance to rest. But if they are folded over, balled up, or tied, they are always in a state of tension, their fabric stretched, and their elastic pulled. They roll about and bump into each other every time the drawer is opened and closed. Any socks and stockings unfortunate enough to get pushed to the back of the drawer are often forgotten for so long that their elastic stretches beyond recovery.”

(Kondo, Marie. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale, 2014)

Chances are, your current sock-folding method is not only ruining the structure of your socks, but also distressing them. By switching to the KonMari method, your socks can rest at ease, and in complete organization. The instructions can seem tedious at first, but once you get the hang of it, the space-saving benefits are pretty substantial. 

The 5 steps to perfecting the KonMari fold

KonMari sock folding method
  1. Lay one pair of socks flat, one on top of the other.
  2. Visually divide the sock in thirds.
  3. Fold one side in, about 2/3 of the way across.
  4. Fold again to meet the other side.
  5. Turn it over so it stands upright.

The instructions change slightly depending on the length of the sock, so finding a method that works best for your sock assortment is key. For instance, no-show styles, like our Undercover, as well as micro socks can simply be folded in half, while quarters and crews will work within the standard method. Over-the-calf styles, like Damask, can be folded in thirds or folded in half twice.

You’ll know you’ve found your method when all of your socks line up into a relatively uniform height and width, regardless of the sock’s size.

Tidily ever after

Keep your sock drawer tidy by taking new socks out of the packaging before they make it to the drawer. Just because they are new, doesn’t mean they need to be isolated from their drawer mates.

Establish an order. Group your socks together by sock height or categorize by which options are most relevant for your typical day and put those in the most accessible locations. You’ll also find that subdividing your sock drawer with boxes or dividers will help keep your drawer organized long term, especially as you add and remove from your collection over time.

Sarah Bailey, Sockwell marketing directorThrough the KonMari method, you’ll experience the beauty of seeing every sock you own the moment you open up your sock drawer.

Do your socks spark joy? Share your #KonMari sock drawer with us by tagging us on Instagram or Facebook for a chance to be featured on our page.