The Great Laundry Adventure- Socks!

Socks are a huge pain in my rear! 5 people with 5 different sock stashes that go in 5 different place- it becomes more than a pain to get socks in their rightful place. To add to my troubles, Imogene and Aidan take joy in playing with socks- thus spreading socks all over the house! They put them on their hands and wear them as gloves. They layer them on their feet, paying no attention to matching. On any one given day, each child can dirty up to 8 socks! Of course, these creative toddlers never put their socks where they belong, they just throw them where they happen to take them off. I have found socks in toy bins, under the couch, under beds, stuffed INSIDE toys, lying around, and back in the clean sock buckets. Clearly, I need help with my sock problem!

Tip #1: Place all of each person’s socks in a small plastic bin. Don’t sort. Just put them in the bins.

Okay, so we solve my matching socks problem, but that’s it. And inevitably my kids will be wearing mismatched socks, which is already pretty typical. Let’s see if I can find some more tips!

Tip #2: Buy each person in the family a zippered mesh bag and have each person place their dirty socks into the mesh bag. Launder the socks in the mesh bag.

Now here is a tip I love! Solves my sorting problem entirely. Now if I could only get them to actually put the socks in the bags!

Tip #3: Buy all kids all the same kind of socks with no variations.

Okay, if the size were not a factor, then I guess this could work. But they’d be wearing boring white socks all the time. Not to say it isn’t tempting and if my sock woes continue, I’ll be at this point before long. I’d prefer a solution that lets them keep their fun socks. It does solve the matching socks issue, since all the socks match.

Tip #4: Sew snaps on the inner top portion of each sock. Have kids snap socks together before placing them in the wash.

You could also use “sock locks” to secure socks to one another in the wash.

You could also use small clothes pins to secure socks together before they go into the dirty clothes. (May be loud in the dryer!)

So, I have seen this done and the snaps are barely noticeable on the sock. It would solve your sorting issue with finding matching socks. The problem for me would be the time it would take to sew snaps on every single pair of socks! I guess if I had a snap press, it wouldn’t be too much work- but the snaps would be much more noticeable.

Tip #5: Buy each person only one style of sock, but each a different style or brand. (E.g. Child A has white crew socks, Child B has white ankle socks, Child C has white fold over socks. OR Child A has white Gold Toe socks, Child B has white Hanes)

Buy each person their own color of sock. (Child A wears pink, Child B wears blue, Child C wears grey, etc.)

Okay, so we’re going a step further toward being Sock Nazi. I’d prefer to leave the kids with options. I don’t like wearing plain white socks, so I hate the idea of forcing them toward that. Plus, at some point you run out of options for each child. (With just 3, I’d be hard pressed to find 3 styles or brands that were different enough to tell which sock is which.)

Tip #6: Take individual sorting out of the mix. Sort socks more generally instead of by each individual family member. (Older kids can sort their own from the general pile of kid socks.)

Quite obviously, I don’t have older kids, they can’t sort their own. But Aidan and Imogene do wear the same size socks, so maybe I could implement this tip with a general “toddler” basket of socks! And in a few months when Emery’s feet catch up to him, I’ll have one basket for all the kid’s socks. That might be helpful. Although, The Pastor may not appreciate his son walking around in the pink floral socks he picked out, but I could maybe convince him to get over it. (I did convince him pink diapers on a boy are no big deal.)

Tip #7: Make sure you get all socks out of the washer and dryer. Make sure all socks end up in the same load of laundry. It is much easier to match socks when they are all in the same load and don’t get intentional or accidentally place in different loads.

With my current non-method method, this would be impossible. There is no way I can currently ensure that each and every sock pair ends up in the same load. However, with the proper sorting method, I can do this. Makes sense that if they get washed and dried together, they are easier to put away together.

Tip #8: Label each sock with a magic marker. You could use a “dot system” (e.g. Daddy has one dot, Mommy has two, Child A has 3, Child B has 4, etc.) or write small initials on the bottom of the sock (or inside cuff if you prefer.)

So, the dots and initials in our family would prevent socks from being passed down. (I suppose if I used dots, I could just add more dots as socks got passed down.) Also, stains on socks may make it hard to differentiate between dots. Plus, it would still take me quite a while to sort socks, even if they were all marked with the owner somehow.

Tip #9: Buy Old Navy or Circo children’s socks with the label on the bottom.

This is pretty clever. You’d match sizes since the size is clearly marked on the bottom. Smart. But you’d be limited to Old Navy or Circo socks, but at least you could have color! If all else fails, I’m throwing away all our kid socks and stocking up on Old Navy socks!

Tip #10: Ditch socks.

Yes, I really did come across that tip. I suppose if we lived where it was always warm and could do sandals all the time, I might. But it does get cold a few months out of the year here in Georgia, so socks must stay. I will not , I repeat, WILL NOT! allow my family to wear their tennis shoes with no socks. It grosses me out. Plus, how could I ever hand shoes down from child to child if they are wearing them sockless? Yuck! So, clearly this is not an option for me.

I do hope to implement several of these tips! Hopefully, you can find one or two to help you out as well!

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