Who’s Eating All the Socks? 7 Tips for Corralling Stray Socks
March 16, 2010
My mother always blamed it on the dryer.
“I don’t know,” she would say when I couldn’t find my other blue sock, “The dryer must have eaten it!”
Sometimes I’m inclined to believe it. What does happen to all those socks? I swear I put a pair in the washer, but only one comes out of the dryer. It’s baffling.
Another source of frustration is sorting all those socks, especially when you have a large family. I can never remember whose socks are whose. And sometimes the differences between two socks are so slight that it’s hard to match them up correctly.
Well, here are a few of my favorite tips to get the swarm of socks under control and make sorting a breeze:
1 – Double check: Now I know this may sound like a no-brainer, but the little buggers know how to hide! Make sure to carefully check the washer and dryer at the end of each cycle. I find socks tucked way up under the top rim of the washtub and sitting on that little ledge inside the dryer all the time.
2 – General Sort: I have a family of five – all adults and teens. So we all wear adult sized socks. Mine and my daughters are easy enough to tell apart simply because I know what’s mine. Anything else is hers. But my husband and son’s all wear close to the same size and they all look the same to me. So sometimes it’s easier to sort them in a very general way; white, dark, dress, etc, into separate baskets. Then leave them in a central location for your family members to come identify their own socks and put them away. If you can take yourself out of the individual sorting mix, you’ve conquered half the battle.
3 – Bag Them Up: This one is a great idea for yourself or for baby socks. However, it requires full family participation to work on a large scale. Try giving each family member their own mesh laundry bag to leave hanging from their hamper or in a place where they will easily remember to use it.
4 – Keep Them Together: Try some SockPros. These take a united effort of everyone clipping their sock together before they hit the hamper, but if they remember it works great!
5 – Unique Socks: Buy everyone their own distinctive socks. For example, buy your 2-year-old daughter pink ankle socks, your 4-year-old son black socks and your 7-year-old son white socks with a grey toe and heel. This one actually works well for my situation. All the guys in my house wear gym socks, so each one gets a different toe stripe or heal color.
6 – Do Dots: Take a permanent marker and make one small dot on the underside of your oldest child’s socks. Add two small dots to your next child’s socks and so on. You will be able to quickly see which socks belong to which child. Sharpie also make colored permanent markers, so each family member can have their own colored dot.
7 – Keep a Single Basket: There’s no point in putting a lonely sock away without its missing half. Keep a basket for them in the laundry room so that you’ll be able to quickly match them when you find the missing sock.
What tricks do you use to help keep socks together?