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Challenge: Best Parent Hacks

Before the X-Plan, We Had the Net-Plan

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Decades prior to devising the X-Plan, I was fighting a different battle as a greenhorn stay-at-home Dad. Long before I was worrying about my teenagers surviving an unpredictable world, I was locked in another epic battle.

The Footwear Fracas. The Stocking Struggle. The Battle of the Booties.

Yes. Socks.

Those insensible cotton soles that fed upon the fabric of my being like the walking dead.


I couldn’t keep them on the kids. The dogs carried them from room to room. They littered our home, rarely in matched pairs, and it drove me bonkers. I couldn’t understand how the sneaky devils seemed to slither off my kids’ feet and wind up in hard-to-reach hiding places—under the sofa, behind the TV, buried in our crate of dog toys …

Missing Socks

Ben displaying his baby sister's innate ability to lose socks. Both now fully-socked adults.

I once found a sock in our freezer. How does that even happen?

And after a journey through the washer and dryer?

Those mystic, mechanical portals could somehow beam random socks into other dimensions. Even if you could time travel and corral all of those waifs and strays, the mating ritual became just another tedious exercise of futility.

“Are we now buying socks in singles instead of pairs?” I began to wonder. “None of these match!”

Complaining to a family member (a veteran of the laundry crusades), she suggested a parenting hack that wasn’t exactly a secret, but had remained hidden from me. That was eons ago. Sadly, this helpful little scheme (although employed by thousands), is still unknown to many moms and dads suffering through the Saga de Sock.

No Socks

Cute kids at the beach ... or another game of Find-the-Missing-Socks?

Friends, I have a gift for you: Just as the X-Plan offers your teens a lifeline, the Net-Plan will give you a way out of those laundry battles that continue to sock-it-to-you!

The Net-Plan

Time’s a’wastin’ and those socks ain’t gonna’ match themselves, so let’s just cut to the chase, folks.

Get on Amazon or go to your nearest department store. Buy some zippered, mesh laundry bags (aka: lingerie bags … just don’t call them that in front of your boys; it might threaten their masculinity, but that’s a topic for another day). Purchase enough so everyone in the house gets their own.


Next, hand those little behavior modification bags out to your spouse and spawn with one simple instruction: Put your dirty socks—in pairs!—in the bag. Bag goes in the washer and dryer. Bag gets returned to its owner. Owner then sorts and puts away his/her own socks.


And just like that, you’ve stepped up your parenting game.

Suddenly, you’re spending less time with the tedium of sock wrangling. You have more time for your family (and yourself … we know you deserve it!). An extra benefit: Your kids learn at an early age to become productive members of the household. It’s a simple chore that even small kids can handle (and most little ones will accept the challenge with a sense of pride).

And the biggest benefit?

Stray socks are less likely to wind up in your freezer.

The Net-Plan.

Absolutely nothing new. A lot of folks have been doing it for years. But for those poor souls still struggling with socks stragglers and slipping sanity, please share this with them. Trust me, it will …

(…wait for it …)


… knock their socks off!

But that won’t matter, because they'll no longer be performing without a net!


Be well, friends!

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Socks Everywhere

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