Organizing Your Socks – How Do You Keep Them Under Control?

This sock organizing post is brought to you by Sock Dots, sock identification in a snap.  

 

 

19 Ways to Organize Your Socks - 52 Week Organized Home Challenge

 

Are you ready to get started? I know I am.  It’s crazy really.  My socks are overflowing to the max.  I think my MIL gets my kids all sorts of different socks for Christmas each year.  I buy them socks when they need them, too.  AND apparently we never get rid of them, unless they have holes in them.  So….. getting through the sock basket is a really exciting thing for me!  I’ve had this overflowing basket in my room for months. Literally.  Months!  (I told you I was a disorganized mess!)  It vomits all over my floor on a regular basis.  I start wondering why I’m wading through socks and realize that someone must have been looking all the way to the bottom of the sock basket to find the perfect match. So, currently, my system goes like this.

 

1.  Do a load of laundry

 

2.  Fold all clothes from said load, including matching any socks that go together.

 

3.  If the socks don’t have a match, they go into a laundry basket that is especially for unmatched socks.

 

4.  Some day, I will match socks from basket if I ever get desperate enough.

 

5.  Be afraid of throwing them away.  You may have the other sock in the laundry.  (ha…that doesn’t help me one bit, does it?)

 

SO, as you can see.  My sock system isn’t working very well for me.  I have several hundred unmatched socks.  Seriously.  We have 9 people of differing sized feet in our house.  We have a lot of socks.  We have more unmatched socks than matched socks because apparently, I never wash the right socks together in a load.  Here’s a picture:

My Sock Basket - Time to Get Organized!

 

I’ve threatened to start over, but I can’t bear the thought of spending $100 or more in socks for the family when we already have so many pairs.  I’m out to find a system that works better for me.  Ultimately, I need to get rid of all the ones that have no matches.  I need every sock in the family to have a match and if it doesn’t, it’s going to have to go away.

Last week, when I announced that we are going to work on socks, I was amazed at all the awesome ideas that you sent me.  You all are brilliant!!  There are so many great ideas to try.  I was really excited about one product in particular, that you could use to really simplify your sock sorting if you happen to have a large assortment of socks that aren’t exactly the same (like me), but you don’t want to go purchase all new socks (also like me). A big thank you to Clary who told me about the company, Sock Dots.

Sock Dots

Sock Dots for sorting Mismatched Socks

Sock Dots are a way to color code your socks, so that you know who they belong to.  Each person is assigned a color and you snap the sock dot onto the sock, so that they can be easily and quickly matched with it’s owner and it’s mate.  It stays on permanently, even through the washer and dryer!   I know what you’re thinking…..what if that one person has a bunch of different kinds of socks, then what?  Well…get a Match Maker Tin.  Here’s the explanation of that from their website:

Match Maker Tins are designed to match up a specific pairs of socks. Socks with the same color Sockdot combinations (ie Red top/ Yellow center) belong together. This insures the wearer the same wear and tear on that mated pair.

As you can see, I think that Sock Dots would be an excellent way to organize our mounds of socks.  I think maybe a mom came up with that idea.  :)  What do you think?

 

Ask the Readers:  How Do You Organize Your Socks?

(Pin this picture!)

19 Ways to Organize Socks - SidetrackedSarah.com

Here’s more of the ideas that you all sent me.  If you sent me an idea and it’s not featured don’t feel bad.  Either it’s a repeat or very similar to another idea that is already on this list, or I just simply didn’t have any more room.

Crystal says:  “On the socks I don’t bother to match them….too time consuming. However each person in my house has a mini basket on their dresser that I just drop their socks into. When I buy new socks I toss out ALL the ones that were in the basket before I put the new ones in.”

Linda of Apron Strings & Other Things shares about how they have a sock basket similar to mine….but her system works quite a bit better than mine has.  I have a feeling she has a better place for her basket.  :)

Julie says:  “I buy all the same color and type of socks for each of my children – that way if one goes missing its mate has a whole drawer of new mates!”

Judi says:  “We have eight children. When doing the laundry the children have a bowl with elastics in their room. They are to put their socks in pairs and put an elastic around either the top or the toes. No more socks being eaten by the washing machine and putting socks away is a breeze, they are already together.”

Sarah D. says:  My tip for keeping track of those socks that are missing a mate: 
I hang up a shoe bag (in the laundry room or a closet) and organize the socks into pockets. You can do it by person and then by color/style, depending on how abundant your spare sock population is. We have one organized into little guy socks, little girl socks, big boy whites, big boy darks, big boy colors, Mom’s, Dad’s whites and Dad’s darks. Periodically I’ll go through them and throw away any that seem to be hopelessly parted.

Dawn says:  I keep my socks organized by buying each kid different socks. My oldest likes to mismatch, so hers are all different colors and designs. The youngest only has pink Old Navy gripper socks. The two boys in the middle, one has gray w/ colored heels and the other has white with colored heels, all from Target. No matching necessary! Just sort into the right basket and away you go!

JoLynn says: I have a basket that i throw all the socks into when I’m folding clothes. Then I have the kids sort and fold them.  About once a month, when i know all the clothes (or most of them have been washed ) i throw the extras away. I figure if the match shows up we have tons of socks anyway. 

J. Woody says:  I bought all of my children and myself a lingerie bag to put our dirty socks in. 

Lori says:  I buy at least two packages of the same identical types of socks, which are different from other household members’ socks (my current ones are Hanes with grey bottoms, which also don’t look as dirty when they get older), and just stack them in a pile. When one disappears or gets holes, I throw it out and barely notice. If you start to notice there are fewer, start with three packs or buy another pack. (Only open one pack at first though, to make sure you like them first.) 

Tricia says:  My sock trick is just for my husband and I (our 4 boys have left the nest).   First, I go through my sock drawer and match everything up. All single socks go in a clear zip lock bag – bag goes in the sock drawer.  Then periodically, the singles will appear while I am folding clean laundry so I get the zip lock bag out and match the socks together.  Use plastic clothes pins to match them when they are dirty. There is a certain brand that can go through the dryer. I’m still trying to train my husband and my kids (I am willing to pay my kids for each clip, but at least my socks are so easy to fold. I guess if you bought enough you wouldn’t have to un-clip them, just toss in drawers.  Eventually when it is clear that a missing sock is gone forever then that one becomes a dusting or polishing cloth.

Sarah P. says: I use plastic clothes pins to match them when they are dirty. There is a certain brand that can go through the dryer. I’m still trying to train my husband and my kids (I am willing to pay my kids for each clip, but at least my socks are so easy to fold. I guess if you bought enough you wouldn’t have to un-clip them, just toss in drawers.) 

Amy says:  I clip lost socks on a line strung across the ceiling of the laundry room, they usually get collected now not so much when the kids were little though!

Holly says:  I make these cute little signs to hang in laundry rooms for those pesky missing socks (you wouldn’t believe how many matches I ended up pairing up because of this)

Sock Holder

 

Jennifer says:   I have the BEST way I have ever heard of to keep socks organized.  I buy ONLY one kind of sock for starters.  It’s from Belk and it’s called Gold Toe.  I only buy crew (middle ground for those who like tall and those who like short.  Gold Toe labeled their socks with a stripes, more stripes for bigger sizes.  We purchased a “sock tower” , as we call it, from Target.  It is a large plastic look alike piece of furniture.  It comes in different colors plastic but ours is just the standard white with clear drawers.  All drawers are labeled with masking tape ; a 1, 2, or 3.  Those are the three drawers at the top.  The two larger drawers at the bottom go for big kids (12 and up) socks AND church socks for all sizes.  Again, or the older kids socks I have only crew and they are sized 10-13 (that is only one size by the way).  That is as big as I have so farJ  The two larger drawers at the bottom are also labeled BOYS CHURCH SOCKS or GIRLS CHURCH SOCKS.  Again I only get gold toe church socks as they are “pre-labeled” from the factory.  One, two, or three stripes.  NO MATCHING EVER REQUIED!!  Church socks do have to be more matched than regular, but at least they get in the right size drawer because they (meaning kiddos) count the stripes, even if they don’t make the match.  When we are given socks we re-gift them, or give them back to the person who gave them to us – politely explaining why.

Marianne says:  I have a clothes line with lonely socks. I have them all hanging so they can easily be paired if the other turns up in the next wash. Every 6 months I put all the single socks away. I pair them with the ones that were put away 6 months ago if I can and the remainding of the batch of single socks I put away 6 months ago are thrown out.  Here’s a picture:

Mismatched socks on a clothes line

 

Elizabeth says: I can relate to the sock problem and I have a solution.  The rings that are left on bottles and milk jugs.. To remove these use a butter knife and pry up.  Put the ring around the pair of socks before washing. Use the milk jug ones for thicker adult socks. This works great. No sorting or lost socks after drying.  

Laurie says:   Mismatched socks: I keep a bag in the laundry room that all mismatched socks go into.  Once in awhile we go through the bag and look for matches.  (Turns out my 4 yr old has great talent and patience for this)  We matched up almost 20 pairs of socks last time we went through the bag.

My other big annoyance is trying to get out the door, and one child (or more) can’t find a pair of socks.  In cold months I now keep several pairs of socks in the closet near the door.  This is my “emergency stash” that I draw from when when time is of the essence and socks are needed.  (You just have to remember to replenish the stash on laundry day.)
Have you noticed that sock companies are starting to make it easier for us moms?  Sometimes we have problems matching socks because we have two different sizes that are the same color and brand.  Last time I bought socks, the smallest size had one line of color near the toes, middle size had two lines and large size had 3 lines.  It makes matching so much easier.  Sometimes it’s hard to buy a different brand for each child, though that too can work if there are enough options available.
Jennie says: I have a gallon ziplock bag in my laundry room and any odd socks are put in there. When it gets full I match up any that are pairs. After a while I trash the ones that are still odd.   Another way (which I need to do) is buy the same brand & color socks each time for each person that way I should always have matching ones!

Unfortunately I did not quite finish my sock basket (yet).  I went away on vacation before I could get it completely done, but you should see how many we have folded so far!  My plan is to finish matching them up and to start by throwing out all of the ones with no mates.  Then, I will throw away any bad condition, stained and/or thread bare socks.  Finally, I will give each person in the house 10 pairs of socks and start using the Sock Dots system.  I will keep some of the extra pairs, just in case we lose some, but I’m not going to allow the sock clutter to take over my bedroom again!

 

What about you?  How did you do with YOUR socks?  If you have more ideas, please leave a comment, we want to hear them!!

Now It’s Your Turn!

Next week we are going to be working on our vehicles!  Do you have a great system down to keeping your vehicle cleaned out?  Do me a favor and email me, leave me a comment or post about it on Facebook.  I’d love to hear about it so that I can share it with the rest of my readers.  Pictures would be great to see, too!

If you want to know what we’re working on next, please go to the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge page.

Will you join me in this 52 Week Organized Home Challenge?


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Do You Ever Let Your Bad Day Take Over?  - SidetrackedSarah.com

 

Have you ever just had one of those days?  You know the kind.  Everything you touch or do goes wrong.  The kids are misbehaving and you keep trying to accomplish something but nothing works. Oh and then there’s the one kid who must not have slept very well, because he or she (or both of them) keep crying.  All. Day. Long.  This was me, yesterday.

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Breakfast Stations: The Easy Way for Your Kids to Get Breakfast

DIY Breakfast station...making life easy for mom and healthy for the kids. 60+ days of self-serve br

Getting breakfast on the table can be such a challenge!  My friend Kim from Not Consumed has created a great way to help you get your kids fed in the morning.  The easy way!  You know me, I’m all about doing things as easily as possible!

She creates packs of food, either in the fridge or in the cabinet, that are single serving that her kids can grab for themselves.  This is perfect for kids who are going to school or even those of us who keep our kids at home.  It’s just another way to help us in our jobs as busy moms!

Kim has included all of her recipes and printable kid friendly instructions in one easy to download pack and today they’re on sale!  The instructions walk the kids through how to prepare that food.  The price on the combo pack (breakfast stations 1 and breakfast stations 2) is going up every hour today, so be sure to go and grab your set as soon as you can, to get the lowest price.  If you miss the sale, don’t worry, it’ll still be worth it!  Just click here to read even more about it.