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?


My 8 Year Old’s Hospital Stay Last Week

This past week was one of those whirlwind experiences.  Totally unexpected, but very slow moving whirlwind.  When I say slow moving, I’m talking 9 nights in the hospital slow.  Yes, nine!  Seven of those were in the PICU.  I don’t know if you follow me on Facebook or not.  If you don’t, you don’t know much of my story of this past week.  If you do, you’ve probably heard bits and pieces.

Savannah in Hospital 2

Last Friday night, my husband and I came home from a quick evening shopping trip in a nearby town to find our 8 year old daughter, Savannah, in respiratory distress. Our teens were babysitting and have been trained what to do when she is having asthma issues.  She was originally diagnosed with asthma almost 2 years ago, after a collapsed lung and a life flight and we have been using the inhaler or nebulizer as needed since that time.  On this particular night, our teens had been keeping us abreast of the situation and we were told that she had needed a couple of breathing treatments while we were gone and had used her inhaler.  Nobody realized she was still having trouble breathing as she was just laying on the recliner resting, looking tired and no longer complaining. When I got home (shortly after her treatment), I asked her to meet me in my bedroom so I could fully assess her without any noise. Just walking to my room had her so completely out of breath that I was worried. I called my husband into our room to help me evaluate her and we did a couple more breathing treatments to see if that would help.  It didn’t help, so  we decided we needed to head to the ER.

 

 

Her oxygen saturation levels were low, so they put her on oxygen and began more breathing treatments and steroids.  Since she wasn’t improving fast enough, the doctors decided to admit her into the hospital.  They had taken X-Rays and had seen a small spot of pneumonia on her lungs, too.  After staying a night there, they decided to move her to a larger hospital that was better equipped to deal with children in respiratory distress.  Specifically, they wanted her in a PICU unit.  She had been working for too hard, for too long at breathing.  

 

They transferred us by ambulance to a hospital about 2 hours away.  We were met by a myriad of hospital staff getting her checked in and ready for the new treatment plan.  My husband and I had felt apprehensive about going back to this hospital (the same place she had been life flighted to a couple years prior), but once we were there, we felt a sigh of relief, knowing that these people really knew what they were doing and would not take anything we said lightly.  Just being in a place that specializes in children can make all the difference in the world!

 

The first part of the plan was to place her on albuterol breathing treatments continuously.  This was equivalent to getting 20 breathing treatments an hour.  Something that literally makes your hands tremble because you have so much in your system.  Because her respirations were still so high, she was at risk of aspirating, so the first rules were to go in effect.

 

No Eating or Drinking

 

Now that sounds mean, doesn’t it?  Apparently the need for food isn’t as great as the need for breathing.  Go figure, right?  :D  If she were to aspirate any food, that could have made her recovery that much harder, if not impossible.  It was already hard.  We didn’t need it even harder!  But, it was so hard to tell her, “I know you’re hungry honey, but you have to listen to the doctors”.  All she could think of was food, food and more food!  Her mouth was getting so dry, too!

 

We arrived at this hospital on Saturday evening, late.  Her last meal had been at supper time.  Apparently the other hospital didn’t have any trouble with her eating, as they fed her multiple times.  It wasn’t until Tuesday when they decided to let her have clear liquids.  None of her options tasted very good to her, so she held out as well as she could until the next day when they finally let her order yogurt.  She gobbled up 2 containers of it, almost immediately.

 

As she progressed, they allowed to her to eat more and more.

Savannah at Hospital 2

 

She stayed on the continuous breathing treatment from Saturday night through Thursday afternoon.  She then slowly moved from every 2 hours to every 4 hours and finally on Saturday (a week later), they moved us out of PICU to the regular Pediatric floor.

 

After a partial family sleepover (me and 4 of my girls) in our room that night, they sent us home on Sunday.  We left with an upgraded asthma status (mild/persistent from intermittent/as needed).  9 days in the hospital was a long and boring way to spend that week of our life, but we’re so very thankful that modern medicine can help us so efficiently!

 

Savannah is now home and feeling pretty good.  We are still giving her a breathing treatment every 4 hours and she is now on a maintenance steroid inhaler, until further notice.  She had had a mild cold at the onset of this, and we believe that the cold, coupled with allergies and chlorine are what caused this to get bad so quickly.  We are now taking beginning steps to make her bedroom as allergy free as possible.  A total room clean out and vacuum session, mattress and pillow covers and even new paint on the walls.  We will be doing everything in our power to keep this from happening again!

 

Savannah & Quinnly

 

If you’d like to read more about how we entertained her during that time, please click here.


Make Education Fun – Even in the Hospital with Disney Junior Games

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  

#Ready4Preschool #CollectiveBias

Make Education Fun with Disney Jr Games

If you’ve not been following me on Facebook, you may not know that my 8 year old daughter is in the hospital with pneumonia, a complication of her asthma.  She’s having to be on continuous breathing treatment in the PICU, where they give her albuterol, steroids and regular chest percussion treatment to hopefully rid her lungs of all the fluid and mucous within.  The first  58 hours, she wasn’t allowed to eat or drink.  You can imagine how bored she was getting.  Thankfully, I had bought these Disney Junior games and they have really saved us, when we thought we were running out of things to do.

Savannah in Hospital

I had previously purchased these educational Disney Junior games at Walmart for my 5 year old daughter.  We homeschool and I thought she’d have fun practicing her writing and math skills with them.  After all, what little girl doesn’t like Mickey Mouse or Doc McStuffins?

Disney Junior Games - In Store

 

I bought the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Learning Schoolhouse Activity and the Doc McStuffins Alphabet Learning Activity.

Disney Jr Learning Schoolhouse Activity Doc McStuffins

We used the Learning Schoolhouse Activity here at the hospital.  When I first opened it up, I was a little worried.  It’s actually supposed to be for a Pre-K to K aged child, and here I was trying to occupy my 8 year old with it.  While some of the activities were a little young (like the ABC flashcards), we were able to improvise and have a great time with it.

 

Features of the Learning Schoolhouse Activity

 

Learning Schoolhouse Activity - #Ready4Preschool  #shop

 

  • Learn to Tell Time
  • Practice Handwriting
  • Build Math Skills
  • Learn the Map of the U.S.
  • Letter & Word Recognition
  • Pretend & Play School

 

We used the US Map to quiz her on her states.  I would think of a state that we’ve been to before or one that someone we know has moved to, and she would use her pointer to show me where that state is on the map.  She’s not very strong on her geography, so this was a great educational activity that also proved to be fun, as we told stories about these different places.  You can see where she’s pointing at California, the state I was just in last month for a blogging conference.

Disney Jr Learning Schoolhouse Activity 4

 

She also used the word and picture magnets to make stories on the built in dry erase board.  In fact, that spurred her imagination even further and she decided to make more stories and books for her siblings to give them when she got home.  You can see one of her short stories here.  Her handwriting is pretty messy as her hands were shaking the whole time, thanks to the medicine.

 

Disney Junior Games - Where to Buy

 

She practiced her time telling skills.  We have a clock in her hospital room and I noticed how she was doing really well at knowing what time it is.  We’ve done time telling with her math programs in the past, so this wasn’t new to her, but since we haven’t really practiced it this summer, it was a good chance to go over her clock skills and see if she could figure out what time it was.    She did great and is now almost a pro!

 

Disney Jr Learning Schoolhouse Activity 3

 

We’ve been in the hospital for 4 full days now and we’ve done so many things, we had thought we’d run out of fun stuff to do.  Even watching TV was boring her.  These Disney Junior games saved the day and I’m so thankful I accidentally left them in the van at the perfect time!  Savannah says she can’t wait to get home, so that she can play school with her little sister, Avery.  Since these were originally purchased for Avery, our 5 year old, she’ll get a lot of use out of them in our school year, while the older children are doing their own school work.  I love that they can use these to have fun AND learn.  After all, learning doesn’t have to be boring, does it?

 

If you’re interested in purchasing some, you can find them in the school supplies section at Walmart.  In addition to the ones that I mentioned above, you can also find:

 

  • Learning Easel Activity Center
  • Counting Learning Activity
  • First Words Learning Activity
  • Rhyming Learning Activity
  • Numbers Learning Activity
  • Colors & Shapes Learning Activity