Sorting Socks

Am I the only one with an issue with sorting socks?  Am I the only one who always has a pile of ‘single’ socks every week after the laundry is washed, dried, and folded?  I was going to say after the laundry is finished but I find laundry is NEVER finished here.  But back to the sock issue.  What is UP with all the single socks?  Everyone here wears them in pairs.  So where does half the pair end up?  My washer has to be eating some of them.

socks 2

A few months ago, about the end of summer, when the socks were starting to be worn quite regularly, I pulled all my younger two girls socks out for some much-needed sorting.  They wear the same socks, which is nice on one hand, I don’t have to sort by size!  The not-so-nice aspect of it is they can each blame the other one for the ‘single’ socks or the messy sock drawer.socksI hadn’t gone through their socks for a long time so we had quite the mismatched mess.

socks 4

I like socks folded together in pairs with the top of one sock folded over itself and the other sock.  They stay together in pairs that way.  No ‘singles’ allowed.  My teenager never seems to get the memo that this is the way it is supposed to be done in this household.socks 5

I only put back socks that were in pairs and would actually get worn by the girls.  And I added NEW SOCKS to my shopping list.
socks 6

What to do with the pile of ‘singles’.  They were banned from the ‘pairs’ drawer but I wasn’t convinced that the other half of the pairs wasn’t around somewhere.  

socks 7

So I stacked the ‘singles’ that still fit the girls in an old metal breadbox that sits on a dresser in the bathroom.  If the other half of the pair showed up I could quickly find the first half that was already found.

socks 3This was the pile before I sorted out the socks that didn’t fit anymore.  Suffice it to say that I hadn’t bought socks for a long time and most of these didn’t fit anymore.  They went in the garage sale pile.

Considering that I said this took place a few months ago do you want to guess what their sock drawer looks like right now?

At least I know a good method for organizing it if I ever get brave enough to go at it again.

How do you organize socks and have you found a way to KEEP them organized??

Sew a Fine Seam


  1. I don’t really have a good sock sorting system! I’m like you and I only organize them about once a year!

    Thistle recently posted..What To Do With a Big Blank WallMy Profile

  2. Socks go into a mesh “zipper bag” as they are taken off each night and, amazingly, 99% of them still have mates after more than two years. Every now and again, however, someone apparently puts a “single” into the bag…either that or white athletic socks are cannibals…nah….that’s not it…at least not with the cotton ones. xo
    Kimberly from Serendipity Refined recently posted..Valentines Day Heart Paintings and One of Life’s LessonsMy Profile

    • One of our problems here, Kimberly, is that my girls tend to kick their socks off wherever they happen to be when they decide they don’t need them on any longer! And they don’t like to have to pick them up and put them anywhere – I think they think my job in life is to pick up after them. Lot they know!

  3. No method here. Socks drive me crazy. And no joke…my washer does eat socks. I found 6-7 single socks tucked away behind the seal of the door. Oops. :) Now I dig behind the seal after every load of laundry and just about always come out with something!
    Jody recently posted..Whew.My Profile

    • I have heard of washers actually eating the socks! I have a top load but I’ve heard of people taking them apart and finding socks in them. I really think it might be time to check after 15+ years of using the washer!

  4. Well there is one advantage to having boys…all white socks!
    Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage recently posted..Figs From FranceMy Profile

  5. I don’t organize our socks. I just divvy them up between rooms and feel good about getting them washed. LOL! If they don’t have a match, then too bad. Aren’t I terrible?! I feel like if they think they can do it better, then they’re welcome to do the laundry. So far, noone complains…..

  6. We have one of your singles at our house! :) Just went through the wash recently after I found it in the basement.

    I don’t like socks either. I used an over the door organizer with those clear pockets for a while to store socks.

    I like them folded together too.
    deborah recently posted..Teaparty Time {Hello Monday}My Profile

  7. No help here, but I have finally started making my kids fold their own socks! My daughter loves to toss her socks across the room when she takes them off, so I’ve found those singles in some interesting places…. :)
    Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles recently posted..SOME DRAMA FOR THE BUILT-IN BOOKSHELVESMy Profile

  8. This is why I love summer! Like the comment above- I have a certain little 3 yo that likes to decorate various corners with his. The basement is also a problem as they take their socks off when playing and may or may not make it to the laundry pile. Then there’s muddy wet ones that come in from outside (yes they wear shoes) that are unrecognizable. Then when they fold them, when they get too lazy to finish sorting and folding, they throw the whole pile in the “mismatched bin”. Then I hear “I don’t have ANY socks, Mom!” when we are ready to go somewhere. I have seen more than once 2 different socks peaking out from under their jeans. I just look the other way and sigh. The little lady in the house just prefers not so wear them – summer, winter, whatever. ……whew – SOCKS! What a topic!

    • Amen Melanie!! Flip Flops are so much nicer than socks and boots!

    • My daughter prefers not to wear socks ever too, Melanie! It kinda, sorta drives me nuts, but then I think, “I guess they’re her cold feet.” lol. The seam in the toes of socks has always bugged her. She often wears her socks inside out. So much for cute polka dot socks.

      And oh yes, the muddy, wet ones………….
      deborah recently posted..Three Things: MilkMy Profile

  9. I don’t worry about it, it’s my teenager’s job! I’m sure he doesn’t have a system! :)
    Pam @ Simple Details recently posted..update on projectsMy Profile

  10. I completely agree with Lisa’s comment above – the beauty of boys is buzz cuts and all-white socks (plus 1 pair each of khaki and navy for church). :o) When my husband was out of work for an extended period of time he took over the laundry and at the end of each month he would put the loner socks in a ziploc baggie and label it by month. Then the end of the next month he would try to match up the socks from the previous month to the loners from this month. Whatever was left over got thrown out. I guess he figured if they hadn’t shown up within a month they weren’t going to show up at all?
    Mrs. K recently posted..Advent PocketsMy Profile

    • Sounds like a plan! We keep our ‘single’ socks in a bin with the shoe polish and Travis uses them to polish shoes. Work great for that! I just hate putting them there cause I’m just sure the mate will show up as soon as the first one gets used for shoe polish!

    • I agree, Mrs. K! Short haircuts, jeans and a cute shirt, white socks and a pair of tennis shoes….boys are easy like that! Your husband’s system gave me a chuckle!
      deborah recently posted..Three Things: MilkMy Profile

  11. Drives me mad when I have socks that do not have mates. Because it is just my fiancee and I, we have just his white socks, but he has like, four different kinds. Tall ones and then 3 different kinds of short ones and then I have different kinds of my own. Yes, my washer or dryer does eat socks too. Or the sock gnomes come and take them. So I hang onto the ones that don’t have mates for a couple of months and then if the mates never show up, I saw the heck with them and toss them because it is obvious they are never going to show up again. Grrr, quite frustrating! Grinds my gears!
    Heather-Joan Carls recently posted..Flying Squirrels, Flying Frogs, Flying Fish, What’s Next?My Profile

  12. I think you’ve struck a nerve! I HATE sorting socks!!! I have three boys and all the socks are a white, gray or black and I can’t tell whose is whose. I totally gave up a few years ago and have a big sock bin in my laundry room. I throw all the socks in there and let them find the pairs. At least your girls have patterns and mismatched socks are now a fashion statement. Last weekend my husband wanted to get rid of the sock bin and have me go back to sorting socks. I absolutely freaked out inside and told him my mental health was on the line and I NEEDED to have the sock bin to be sane.

  13. We have long abandoned sorting socks. It takes way too much time and energy. We tried the zipper bag method, that didn’t work for our boys. We went to a colorized system, each person has socks all one style and color. If they loose one or they get holes in them we have more pairs on hand. For example my oldest has black nike sweat socks, boy #2 white socks with black toes, boy #3 brown socks, boy #4 white with black nike swoosh. Laundry is easy, they sort their own socks. We do still get singles, but I save them in a little basket for occasional projects, and throw them all away every six months or so if they are not needed. Good luck!
    Jessica@DesignersSweetSpot recently posted..31 Days of Cleansing: Day 15 Own Less and be More SatisfiedMy Profile

    • Sounds like a good plan with boys! My girls don’t mind mismatched socks at all so I guess I need to just be thankful it’s kind of a fashion trend right now so they don’t look like they have no Mother who cares!

  14. I swear that ‘buy socks’ is on my list EVERY week. I do fold them when I put away the laundry but if you find a better system-I am all ears.
    Adventuresindinner recently posted..Summer DreamingMy Profile

  15. I found these plactic discs, called SOCK UM. You put a pair of socks through one and holds the pair together til they go into the sock draw. I have them i na smal basket and when I take my socks off I just put them into a Sock UM. My 18 year ols son was taking my socks and stretching them out. No more now.
    Andrea Keding recently posted..Finally my Finished Scrap/Craft RoomMy Profile

  16. Fortunately it is warm here and we don’t need a lot of socks, so I usually purchase a package of one color for me, one color for my spouse, and one color for my daughter, just so I don’t have to sort.
    sj recently posted..Stone is SelectedMy Profile

    • I may just have to start doing colors for my girls. Bet they’d still have lots of missing socks though!

      • I love how many comments you received on this!!! :)

        Since we are using one kind each I’m amazed how one sock wears out before another. So it doesn’t really matter if you don’t have the other. The problem would be if they want a particular color for an outfit, but it is warm here, so it doesn’t matter. The child is usually socks for sport shoes, uggs, and cowboy boots. She doesn’t wear them with ballet flats.
        sj recently posted..Bead Board & Box BeamMy Profile

  17. Thank goodness I only have 3 people to keep track of. Your single socks are impressive. I am surprised you haven’t come up with a chic way to repurpose them :)
    Amy of While Wearing Heels recently posted..Another QuiltMy Profile

  18. I saw this thing on pinterest …. make a wall hanging with your babies little socks…. Well, you could do that with your girls socks… itd be a way to use up the mismatched socks. hahah
    Belle Hess recently posted..oh little one…My Profile

  19. Hi, Jill! This is so cute. The older my kids get the less I worry with their socks. Especially since my youngest PREFERS to wear mis-matched socks. She does it on purpose! So, I gave up. But when doing the laundry, we do fold them like you do! It really helps!
    Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door recently posted..Chandelier TransformationMy Profile

  20. buy all white socks all the same size. Put them in a basket and you’ll never have to match again. THis is what My mom did when she had for girls at home almost the same size…we all just shared.

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