A Confession

My name is Char and I hate laundry.

Specifically, I hate matching socks. And, it’s gotten out of control.

Way way way way out of control.



It’s too late for help. I think I’m going to buy everyone new socks and start over.

Yes, really.

So, do you have any tips to keep my from finding myself in this situation again in a few short months? (Especially if you have 3 little boys in a row who all wear white socks that look exactly the same, though apparently they’re not and leave them in weird places so complete pairs very rarely make it into the same load of laundry…)

Maybe I’ll just move to Hawaii and make them all only wear sandals.

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  1. My friend came up with a great idea, she got sick and tired of having to match up her kids socks so she got me to make 2 draw string bags made from net/voile and now her kids have one each, they go into the machine in the bag and come out together! I even used iron on transfer paper and put her kids names on the bags so there was no way of them going astray.

  2. My kids found a solution for me. They just stopped wearing matching socks. They don't even care. They just grab two socks and go…

  3. I have 3 little boys and my solution is 'find and put on what you can'! If they don't match I just shrug it off =o)

  4. Sarah Maccarelli says:

    OMG! I can relate. I never put the socks together. I have no problem washing and drying and folding anything else, but socks are the worst. You are not alone!

  5. I don't match socks. Each family member has a small "sock basket" and after the load of socks is done (yes, I have enough socks in this house to comprise an entire load), I line up the baskets and toss socks in. It's up to them to match their own socks in the morning. Or not.

  6. PinkGranny says:

    Great idea Louise! I am trying to wash a load every day or every other day. It probably seems like a lot but it is easier to manage for me and I would rather fold one load and be done than wait around for several loads. It is not perfect but better than what I used to do….baskets like the one above hanging about in the bedroom and a frantic husband lookiing for socks or shorts when I was still in bed.

  7. Jessica Humrich says:

    I hate matching socks and when I got married I told my husband I would not do it. All my socks are the same and they all just get thrown in a drawer. That way if one gets a hole I don't have to throw away the pair.

    I don't have kids yet though so I don't have any tips from my own experience but my mom did start to buy "crazy" socks for my little sister. Apparently the trend is to mismatch your socks these days.

  8. You can throw out all of these and buy socks that have colored lines at the bottom. Get different colors for each child. Then make your own bag like Loiuse mentioned or wash them in lingerie bags.

  9. Probably a bit anal but…my mom had 5 kids and we all wore very similar socks in very similar sizes. So, on the bottoms of our new socks with fabric marker she would write the first letter of our first name, L or R for left or right, and then a number. So for example, the first pair in the my package was always HL1 and HR1. The second pair was HL2 and HR2 She never folded our socks for us. She'd just give us all the socks with our initial and we had to match them up. It worked out well and even the youngest could match them up. BTW…the reason she matched the L and R were because then each pair wore evenly…I told you it was a little bit anal. ;-)

  10. Mary Teresa says:

    I've heard that putting marker dots inside the sock cuff works. Oldest gets one dot, second gets 2, next gets 3. That way if you pass your socks down through children (works with clothes too) all you have to do is add a dot to know which child the socks or clothes belong to. =)

  11. Kris {The Freestyle Mom} says:

    Wow! I think you have me beat in the sock department. I just posted about how much I can't stand laundry too. And sadly I have no answers because my kids socks never match.

  12. Karilyn Carreon says:

    I always leave matching the socks till last! Best solution … everyone has separate laundry baskets in their room … solution, one kids laundry at a time …if not all their socks make it in to their basket pretty soon they will have no socks to wear!

  13. The best solution….LET your 4 year old match them up! It is a fun thing for him to do and it keeps him out of trouble! :) Good luck!

  14. My mom safety pinned our socks together at the toe so that they always got washed together. And I think for awhile she sewed different colored thread on the toes of our socks.

  15. I feel your pain (I've got a bigger basket for my socks though).

  16. Crunchy Sews says:

    I think the Hawai'i idea is perfect and I wonder if I should suggest anything else and chance discouraging you from making the move. ;)

    From the time my kids were small I involved them in picking out their own socks and pairing them. It was time spent together so we all enjoyed it. When they got older and balked about helping out with that chore I informed them sock matching was a service no longer offed by the Mom-Laundromat and tossed their socks in the pile with their folded laundry as it came out of the wash. What to do with the socks from there was up to them.

  17. Duzza Bear says:

    Go buy a few bunches of the six packs of all the same socks and give the rest away. Then they always match. Saved me a lot of time. I hate laundry so much. Not the sorting and washing, just the folding and putting away part. I suck at it.

  18. You can buy light mesh material (the kind that has holes in it and dries quickly) at Joann's and sew your own laundry bag, or you can buy them at Walmart for 97 cents and they zip closed. Now the trick is getting the boys to put their socks in the bag…!

  19. lorchick @ ON{thelaundry}LINE says:


    Okay seriously, I only just started matching socks. I still don't do it for my hubby, he has six million black socks and they all go straight in the drawer.

    You need different socks for each kid, if you want to really simplify. Like blue for one, green for another, blah blah blah. And between you and me, I won't judge if you don't match them and just toss them in a drawer. I only match my 3 yr olds because it takes her six years to find a match in the morning by herself and HEAVEN FORBID she wear socks that didn't match. It wouldn't bother me if she wore mismatched socks, I would just blame it on her dressing herself. She's three, she gets a pass. She, however, MUST have matching socks.

  20. I made it my kids jobs to match their own socks, and they chose to wear mismatched socks……..I don't care what they have on their feet. That was in elementary school. When we started taking in foster kids, ( had 7 teenage girls at once) they all followed suit. Now that my girls are in college, they still wear mismatched socks, but are slowly starting to match them, but they also do their own laundry too.

  21. My tips for ALL of those similar white little boy socks is to simply write the size on the bottom. I am sure they get handed down (if they are in good shape) so a name or initial wouldn't work. But if you knew it was a size 5 you could match all the 5's together. Another great "learning" tip is "let" the kids do help. My 5 year daughter is in charge of matching sock and sorting them into piles for each person to put away.

  22. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    Yeah…we have the mesh bags. It didn't help so much. And I felt like the socks didn't get as clean.

  23. A couple years ago I bought my husband lots of the same socks when the were 50% off the day after Thanksgiving. I bought about 12 pairs each of everyday socks, dress socks, and athletic socks. I have a container for each in his drawer. Now we just throw them in the container when sorting. It made life so much easier.

  24. No advice, only commiseration. My 5 year old loves to pull his socks off and hide them somewhere under random furniture. My 1 year old will pull his off, eat them, and them make them magically disappear somewhere in my living room. I'm glad my oldest loves to wear mis-matched socks because that is a lot of what I have in his drawers!

  25. Rachel Berry says:

    I have a 2 small baskets that I got at the dollar tree that I use for my kids socks. The girls are in the white basket and the boys in the blue basket. Mom & Dad's are in a tall wicker basket.

  26. I have three little boys and I keep all their socks in one bucket at the front door (so we have them when we need them) and they all share the same socks. I only buy them three basic colors of socks: dark blue, white and red (the christmas socks!!). So easy to match when you only have three colors (who cares if they are wearing a 2T and a 3T sock!). I just need to teach Grandma to stop buying them all those patterned socks (which I refuse to match and let the boys find their own pair if they want to wear them!)
    Have fun tackling the socks!

  27. I love Louise's idea.

    I've seen it taken a step further and each kid gets a colored collapsible hamper with a matching small net bag (socks, underwear, etc). Then whatever is in that hamper goes in the laundry together, on warm, all go in the dryer together, and all get folded/put back together.

    You could even put the folded clothes back in the hamper and let your kids put them away. Or if you're a magician, give your kids the entire unfolded hamper and get them to do their own folding/putting away! If that happens, you're definitely taking David Copperfield's job!

  28. Jamie @ Happy House, Happy Home says:

    i'm no help… all i do is toss all the socks in one bin, and its a free for all with finding a pair to match. and personally, i dont really care if white socks with gray stripes on them get worn with a white sock with black stripes. ;) i have better things to do than match up socks {like more laundry!!}!!

  29. My mom always did a small square satin stitch at the toes of my dad's socks. As new packages of socks were purchased, a new color of thread was used for the toes so that an old worn out sock wouldn't be matched with a new fluffy sock. As a kid, it was my job to match up toe colors & put them away in dad's sock drawer.

  30. What are these socks you speak of? What are they used for? Are they compatible with flip flops, cause we just wear those year round.

  31. My mom has 3 boys all 2 years apart. Years ago she started this. One got ankle socks, one got tube socks and the other got socks with a heel and cuff. Then for undies. One wore briefs and the other 2 wore boxers. Cuz they were same size she just bought a bunch of packages and assigned them a few colors. One gets blues & greens & other gets reds and greys. Done.

  32. Courtney @ Kisses Come in Twos says:

    I don't have kids at home, but I do have a husband who wants his socks matched based on type and "even wear" (what can I say, he's an engineer :) so when I open a pack of socks I label the bottom of each. I used to number each pair, but now all the socks in a pack are labeled with the same letter thus all the A's go together and so on. I decided it wasn't a bad idea since it helps me sort them so I started labeling mine with a different color.

  33. I always buy my boys the same brand of socks, with the same fit. No problem there as the only where white and black!

    For girls, I do similar, as they mostly were white. I always match at the end of the laundry (mostly after the white load). Which ever one doesn't have a mate does into a bag I hang in my laundry room.

    About once a month I go through and match the ones I can… and throw the rest away! :)

  34. Carolyn Windley says:

    A friend introduced me to a game called "clean up the room". In her version the kids through the socks back and forth for a set amoubnt of time at the end of that time you see which side of the room is cleaner and that side wins. My version is all about the socks! You put all your clean socks in the basket (look your half way there) take all kiddos in the largest room you have and throw the socks high into the air. The kids scamper around trying to match as many as possible. Maybe once a month have a saturday sock party and let the kids help. Mommy's need help too. :)

  35. Jo (booga-loo.blospot.com) says:

    I too suffer from this sock dilemma…
    Mine are all still in the laundry basket (clean) WAITING for me to shove them in someone's drawer. I gave up finding their pairs though – it's a good learning skill for the kids to do, no?!!

    I love the idea of the mesh bag.
    I've heard of some moms buying each child their own colour (one child only has blue socks, the other black etc).

  36. (un)Deniably Domestic says:

    I hate laundry for this reason and more. The only time I don't seem to hate laundry is when the grading pile is too big, then I somehow feel compelled to do laundry instead of grade. Hmmmm. I used to battle the lost socks, but now that we have all teens in the house, I have learned that mismatched socks are a fashion thing. I can live with that. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  37. i put a lingerie bag on a hanger with clips. throw the dirty socks in there, then on laundry day, zip it up and throw it in. take an empty lingerie bag and attach it on the hanger and the clean socks go in their drawer. never to be folded. yay!

  38. I've always been very anal about matching socks but I will say that now that my oldest is 11, she gets to match her own socks for the most part. The way she messes up a perfectly neat drawer in ten seconds flat! There is no way I will put energy into it anymore. She gets one over haul by yours truly per quarter and that is it. The other ones are too small for this yet but then again, they don't mess up there drawers yet either so it's not that hard lol. BTW, I have no real system but I do match it all up and fold the load completely when it comes out of the drier…that seems to help me not get overwhelmed by it all.

  39. years ago i started buying the same type of socks for all the men (3 boys 1 husband) I bought a basket for the tall white socks, short white sock, dress socks and girls socks. I sort the socks into those baskets and everyone finds the socks they want. Since they are the same brand of socks, I just periodically buy a new package and we're in business.

  40. ninjadesigns says:

    i have no children and i still don't wear matching socks… but then i'm just that kind of person and everyone has grown to expect that from me. if i ever have children i should expect that they'd be much the same way. who wants to wear socks anyways? mine come off as soon as i get into the house…

  41. SpartanGirl says:

    I have 2 sock strategies here – one is to let the kids sort and match them (they love it for some reason) and the other is to let them wear mismatched socks. My daughter thinks wearing matched socks is TOTALLY uncool, so why bother matching! :D

  42. I attach a lingerie bag to the side of my boys' laundry baskets and each time we take off socks, they go straight in there, then they get washed in the bag and you have them all together. You could put their name on the bag in permanet marker to make sure you keep them striaght. I also "ball" up our socks so they stay together in the drawer.

    Good luck. :)

    I think I saw this on the TLC show, 19 kids and counting… they get a "tag" gun (like they use in stores) and use that to put them together BEFORE they go in the laundry.

  43. We use lingerie bags in my house, one per person.

  44. My mom had 3 boys in 5 years and her solution was to take a sharpie and put one dot on the toe of each sock for the oldest, two dots for the next oldest and three dots for the youngest. She did the same with their undies so at a glance she could tell who they belonged to.

  45. Christine Jargick says:

    funny. I've never had a problem with my socks. My son and my b/f do their own laundry. My daughter….I find her socks in the strangest places. Its a wonder they get washed at all….

  46. I guess I'm just anal because I can't imagine NOT matching our socks. It's just my husband and I, but I always match every pair of socks and put them away. ;o)

  47. lol. I would suggest the dot method or just buying everyone their own color (if they are white…then with a colored stripe at the toe or at the top) or even just those ones you find with the sizes listed along the bottom that also act as traction. I was in the same predicament a while back and just tossed everything and started over. So far, it's AWESOME! Hope you find something that works for you.

  48. Candace@craftysisters-nc says:

    There's a couple I know that used to run a "roto rooter" company. She said the washing machine really does suck up socks, especially little socks. That's what I keep telling myself when I look at my pile just like yours. I have four boys worth of missing socks! I say…just buy new! :)

  49. Life in the Heavrin house says:

    Matching socks is something my husband does for me. If he didn't… I would have a sock pile like that!

  50. My dad was doing the laundry, and he used to make us fold our socks together (as in a pair, not all of them). We had to get used to it, because he refused to wash seperate socks. after a week with no socks we caved in.

    Another advice, have a color coded socks. buy new socks, decide that size 2 is always blue, size 3 is black… no more guessing.

    I like the first option, I actually started it on my own home, hubby got used to it quickly, I'm sure when my son is old enough he'll be sucked right into it.

    Good luck!

  51. I make my kids (13,11,8) do their own laundry. And fold them. I don't have nearly the same problem with my own socks. Hubby's socks usually just get dumped in his drawer, but since all his socks are the same, it's okay. He just grabs 2 to wear and they always match.

    My sister pins her kids socks together in pairs (safety pin).

    My other sister puts each kids in a mesh bag she found in a kids section somewhere (Target, maybe?).

  52. Beth @ Sand To Pearl says:

    My daughter wears mismatched socks daily. I put them together, but somehow between the shelf where I put her clean clothes, and getting them into her drawer, they get all lost and find themselves alone, until she pulls them out of the drawer and they find a new "friend", because really, who wants to wear matching socks?

  53. I have my kids put their own dirty clothes in their own dirty laundry baskets so when I do laundry, I only wash one kid's stuff at once, so things never get mixed up. I mean, maybe it makes for more laundry, but it keeps things together that go together!

  54. jhawkgrl19 says:

    I have three boys. Here is how I conquered the sock issue in our house. Everyone has white socks. They have the no-show anklets and crews, for summer and winter. I understand that a couple of colored dress socks are necessary for times when dressing up is called for, but other that that colored socks are a no-no in our house. It makes sorting easier to just have only two kinds of white socks. Now you may be asking, with all the socks looking the same how can you tell who's is who's. Sorting by size is a nightmare since its hard to judge with the naked eye. I take a black permenant marker, and on the inside of the sock, at the top of the sock where the elastic ridges are I make a mark. Just a small one. It won't bleed through. One line for the oldest, two for the middle child, and three for the youngest. I actually do this on all their clothes to tell what belongs to who. That way when an item gets handed down to the next child I simply have to add one mark. Do this to your socks as soon as you take them out of the pack and then everytime you fold socks, all you have to do is see how many lines are on the back of the sock to match them up. Ta-da!

  55. I like to only buy white socks for everyone. Then I spend a couple hours (totally worth it) when I first open them and stitch a special color for that child. Then when I go to match them I know exactly what sock goes to who and what stack of folded socks go to which child. It has worked wonders in the time it takes me to fold socks. My kids even like to help! Good luck.

    [email protected]

  56. hahaha.. good idea, we wear slippers all the time so honestly i think my son has only 2 pairs, yup thats it. My husband wears shoes to work so he gets just the plain black hanes socks and as soon as theyre removed they go with his work laundry.

  57. My mom assigned each of us a color and she'd take some embroidery floss and make a little x by the toes in our color when she bought us new socks because we all wore plain white ones that looked the same. You just have to remember to do it when you buy new ones. My mom doesn't do it anymore, since it is just her and my dad living at home now, but when I try to help her with laundry I looked for them still.

  58. My sis-in-law buys a different brand of socks for each of her kids. The youngest (of three boys) has to wear girl's socks b/c she couldn't find another brand of boy's socks at the time. He's 18 months though, so at that point it doesn't really matter unless there happens to be a ruffly pair in the bunch. If you do it that way they're pre-marked! Easy to match. Or for your kids to match…

  59. Bekka-Reeeeeeee says:

    My mom had 3 girls & all of us wore the same size socks. To keep the separate, my mom would stitch a little tiny dot onto each of our socks — each of us had a different color (mine was green!). Then, when she did laundry, she would put the green dotted socks into a pile, the blue dotted socks in another pile, and the red dotted socks into a 3rd pile. She didn't bother PAIRING the socks so to speak, but would hand each kid their respective piles & let us put them in our dressers.

  60. Yep my mom did the dot thing too. 1 dot for me, 2 dots for my brother, 3 dots for her, and so forth. Seemed to work!

  61. Jill@Barnes Yard says:

    Not even joking, I have the exact same mismatched sock pile in a laundry basket!

  62. Quilter in the Gap says:

    First of all…don't throw all those socks away…You mean to tell me you can't find anything to do with those. There must be a king size quilt there. LOL Plus there are a great number of dust rags, oil checking rags, and the list goes on and on.

    Secondly, I don't mate socks!! I have a 14 yo and she says mating socks is so "yesterday" seriously!?!?!? So I started looking yep, sure enough, none of her friends wear matching socks either. I buy all of DH the exact same socks, no need to match those. and I don't wear them. I hate socks!

    In summary, first make a quilt with all those left overs…then buy different socks for everyone but all the same for each individual and stop mating!!! Well socks anyway.

  63. I am totally for the sandal idea! We are big flip flop wearers in the summer – I'd wear them all year round if I could. But these crazy midwest winters prevent me from doing so!! ;-)

  64. The Starks says:

    my mom always had us kids (she had 5 of us) play a "game". She would lay all of the socks out and set a timer, whoever had the most matches all rolled up at the end would win a king size candy bar. everyone else just got a bite size one :)
    The socks would be all matched up in a matter of minutes!

  65. Michelle Mouse says:

    Gold Toe EZ Match socks. http://www.goldtoemoretz.com/store/categories/GoldToe/Kids/Socks/

    And then it's my ten year old son's weekly chore to sort them all.

  66. Mommy's Thimble says:

    OK. Here's what I do. Whatever socks don't have matches in the load I have just finished folding go into a separate 'unmatched' sock laundry basket. After I have finished all the loads of laundry (this usually takes me 2 days – I have 4 kids), I have the kids race to see who can get the most matches. The kid with the most matches (and I check for accuracy) gets a treat! I don't have to do the matching and it is fun and not a chore for the kids to do it if there is a friendly competition!

  67. This is hilarious. One of my biggest pet peeves is lost socks. I make my kiddos take their socks off and fold them together immediately. That way I know the match is there when I throw them in the wash.
    A friend of mine who has five kids…she makes them all wear the exact same socks. Size and all. Then she throws them all into a community basket for easy access.

  68. Jen-CraftOManiac says:

    Hi Char-

    I HEAR YOU WOMAN! I just did my laundry room post on my blog yesterday http://craftomaniac.blogspot.com/2011/02/laundry-room.html

    and my solution… {A Lost Sock Basket}… YOU CAN read more on my blog/link. Good luck. winks- jen

  69. I love the idea of the lingerie bag for socks. My mom had 4 girls, pretty close in age and shoe size. Her solution was a quick stitch in the toes when the socks came out of the package (we didn't have all of the fancy colors for the toe stitches that you can find now). This also worked for other goodies we had the same of. My color was always purple, my older sister was pink, younger was green, and youngest was yellow. We also had the sock basket problem, though. We were on our own to dig through the basket and find our matches.

  70. Rebecca@This Present Life says:

    I'm glad to know I'm not the only mom who has a hard time with the laundry…although mine isn't limited to just the socks. I keep hoping the laundry fairy will come visit my house, but until then, we'll just keep living out of our laundry baskets!

  71. Simple, buy a stack of sock clips & make everyone use them. Each child has a pile of them in their room, they put their socks on them as they take them off & they go into the laundry basket already paired. If you don't like folding socks neatly away, you can leave them on the sock clips in the drawer.

    My children are 10, 7 & 4 – we've used this for about 6 years for their socks & our own.

  72. I saw a mom who had each of her kids rubber band the pairs together. I just wear ones that don't match :)

  73. This is kind of humiliating to post, but I got so frustrated with never finding socks for my boys (never mind matching ones), that I tend to pick up a new pack for them at least once or twice a month. Seriously, there must be 500 kid socks in my house and I'm lucky if I can scrape together enough to cover four feet each day. The boys strip them off as soon as I turn my back and stash them who knows where.

  74. I also have laundry baskets full of socks… but I also have baskets full of shirts, pants and everything else…. why fold it and put it away??? it just gets dirty and ends up back in a basket :)

  75. Heather (wife to Dave, mom to Jenna and Adam) says:

    okay, so 74 people have already offered advice, but here's my two-cents anyhow::
    i just started making a basket of all the socks. after about 2 weeks, that basket was overflowing and no one had socks to wear (including me!). so, i went back to the old, sucky method and just matched them when i folded laundry. as long as i find 3-4 pairs in each laundry and search for stragglers for a few minutes, it stays under control. i do have a big #10 can with 'lost socks' on the dryer.. it's only so big, so i can't let it get outta control. my mom STILL (even though she has zero of her six kids at home) has two baskets in the corner of her room with mismatched socks. DON'T let that happen to you!

  76. I am lucky…my daughter prefers to wear socks that aren't alike. I just put two together..the weirder the better. LOL!

  77. My mom would mark the toe of our socks with a magic marker (one color for each kid). Probably not the most stylish, but it was easier to keep track of the owners that way. :)

  78. Emily Anne Knight Williamson says:

    I only buy one type of socks… that way I can pair any two together and they match. I of course have a few funky pair but they are polka dots or something crazy- so they are easy to match. I buy my dress socks in value packs so I 3 of each color and they are all interchangeable too. ( =
    My husband on the other hand… I use the mesh bags they go in the wash. If I can get him to put them in the bag when he pulls them off… we're doing good. I always seem to find stray socks in the most random spaces, like under the couch cushions, or tucked away in the dog's bed? Weird.

  79. i know, socks are stupid. my basket looks just like yours, and every once in a while i sit down and spill them out and i do find some matches.. other times i just throw them in the trash and tell my 4 kids to to dig through the dirty clothes. really.

  80. I'm one of 10 kids, 7 boys and 3 girls. I remember growing up we had a sock pile and an underwear pile. I remember sitting on the pile of white socks digging for socks that were the same size. I remember wearing boys underwear when I was little! Guess I couldn't find any clean girl underwear in the pile.
    I love the memory of digging in those piles.

  81. http://hubpages.com/hub/Organized-Home-Laundry-Day
    Do your laundry like this and throw the socks in with the particular person's clothes.

  82. I am so relieved that I not the only one. I did exactly that. Bought new socks! Alas the sock monster returned. I again tired throwing them out but this time my highly organised husband found the bag in the big . In his infinite wisdom said he would do it. Weeks later I picked the bag up off our bedroom floor and went straight to the bin, with no complaining from him. I hate socks. Now you want a sock, get it yourself. Don't need lots of socks in Australia. That's what flip flops are for.

  83. kierste @ brown paper packages says:

    Maybe this is an upside to having twins?? I wash my girls' laundry together, then my babies' laundry together, and Ryan's wash alone. I don't like mixing up sizes when I wash clothes.

    I know. I'm crazy. But it does help when it comes to matching socks.

    That didn't help, did it?

  84. englandmom14 says:

    i didn't read all the comments so i don't know if my idea was offered already, but here goes?

    first buy three different types of socks for the boys. maybe: white, black, grey or white with different colored stripes around the top. then when you launder, put all the socks in a separate basket as you remove them from the dryer. next up? give the basket to the boys and as them to make pairs. done! any singles can stay in the basket to await another load. as for socks scattered throughout the house…send the boys on a treasure hunt and offer an incentive for them to find them. i.e. a trip to the park or a special game of show. good luck!

  85. With 5 boys, this includes my husband, they each have their own style of sock.

    DH get long socks, son #1 gets no show, son #2 gets ankle, son #3 gets crew, and son #4 gets color heal and toe. Then I just give them their socks and tell them to make their pairs.

    Makes things so much easier for me.

  86. UtahMillers says:

    OMG I nearly fell out of my chair laughing!! I have the same profound hatred of folding towels!! I should send you a picture of my towel pile. HA HA HA HA HA HA

  87. I have four kids (13, 10, 7, 5). They each wear white socks. BUT each wears a different style or brand. Brilliant tip from my friend!!

  88. All my boys wear the same ankle length white socks, so frustrating, so I assigned each of them a brand (which luckily has a different color writing on them due to branding or child size)

    When I take the socks from the dryer they go into a basket and while they watch TV they have to fish their color from the basket and put them in pairs.

    All I have to do is come by and roll them, then they put them away. The older boys roll their own, even less work for me.

  89. Rob and Kate Taylor says:

    That's so funny, I actually made a post like this a couple of months ago. I have yet to gain control of our laundry and I am way worse off than you because I only have one child and he's just 17 months. So best wishes!!! :P!

  90. I HATE laundry…every bit of it! Sock are the worst too. I can't tell you how many time we've chuncked them all and bought new ones. I wish I could remember where I read it so I could give credit but even thought it seems like a lot of work, it's turn out worth it for out family.

    Everyone gets a color and I take a quick second to sew a seam at the end of the toe. I know that green goes to S, blue goes to A and yellow goes to my J.

    I also have a sock monster in the living room and each bedroom. It's one of the small trash cans with the swing lid for a desk that you can get from the dollar store. I made the lid to look like a monster mouth and the boys do better at throwing it in for the monster to eat! I'll try to take a picture and email it to you if your interested!

    Kristi@[email protected]

  91. Char, I think that little pink polka dot sock in the front on the left is a match to one that I found in the wash today. Does it say THURSDAY??? If so, I'll send you my address so you can return it. :) Just today I asked my hubby how many socks we really need…considering tossing them all and starting over myself.

  92. It was very interesting and informative to read all the tips on laundry! I'll have to try some of the ideas because I hate laundry. With a passion. Which is why it is one of my New Years resolutions to try and be more consistent with it so it doesn't consume me (or my laundry room). I have 7 kids, 6 boys and 1 girl. Finding matching socks for 9 people (counting my husband and I) can often be a nightmare. My solution is to never wear socks if possible. Flip flops in the summer and snow boots in the winter (I figure boots are soft and squishy enough they really don't need socks.) Fortunately my kids are fairy close in age and somewhat size. For when we need socks, I buy 1 type, same size sock for the oldest three boys, 1 type, same size sock for the youngest 3 boys and 1 kind for my daughter. So the sock may be a little small for the oldest of the three, just right for the middle, and a little too big for the littlest of the three, but at least they have socks. The oldest boys have blue on the bottom, daughters pink, and the youngest black. So I only have to separate 3 types for 7 people. Even though it's probably a fashion no-no, the boys even wear white socks to church. Because once again, they at least have socks. I've been trying to wash, fold, and put away 2 loads every day so it doesn't get overwhelming (like today when I had to finally fold and put away 8 baskets full because I got behind. Hey, there's 9 of us. We have a LOT of laundry). I have a basket that holds folded socks and a SMALL basket for unmatched. (It has to be small to force me to match them more often). I don't even put them in their room, because their rooms are black holes and they'll never come out. My husband is the only one with specialty socks and socks in his drawers because he's special like that :) As for me, I never wear socks. Even in the winter. And if a rare moment arises that I do, I steal a pair from my husband.

  93. Barefoot Apron says:

    You all should do what I did….. found a man who loves socks. He gets them for all holidays and from everyone in the family. He actually has 2 sock drawers he has so many. He HATES laundry with a passion, and one night I made him help me. He picked out all of the socks and said " I don't mind folding socks. I LOVE socks. They are like little piles of loveliness." ( with a satisfied smile on his face.) OMG I have never laughed so hard in my life!! He's a mechanic and every inch of him is usually black with grease, But he is in love with brand new bright white socks. So for his adorable comment, it's now his job! :D

  94. I *try* to match up socks as they come out of the dryer with each load…then it doesn't get overwhelming. But, if it's a week like this week, and I've done more sewing than housework, I have a huge pile to match. So, I call in my 3 kiddos and put them to work. I will either pay them a nickel for each pair they match or pay them with M&M's or some other treat. I've even "rented" an on-demand movie for them to watch on the big tv for being such good helpers. :) Good luck!

  95. I don't wear two matching socks. My daughter didn't either; she's over 18 and moved out now, so I don't know quite what her sock-life is, but why wear matching when it's so much more fun to have bright, mis-matched socks?


  96. Hands Sew Full says:

    OK I will make a confession too…..I actually hire someone to fold my laundry…socks and all. Sad but true. I love doing laundry and no one is allowed near my machine and products…but to fold…I don't think it's gonna happen. So to keep us all sane and not ragged looking… Sweet Shirley was factored into the budget. Out went any Mamma "self care" treats and in my books it was a great trade off! I just can't face folding the laundry!

  97. Amelia Poll says:

    This may be more time than you are willing to put in it, but you could assign each kid a color, and get embroidery floss in that color. Then put a small stitch in the toe of each sock that is that color. It may not help matching socks, but it will at least tell you which sock belongs to whom.

  98. My name is Erin. says:

    I recently built this little gem that has made a WORLD of difference in our laundry life: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150167510810760&set=o.192123916614
    Photo is from the Knock Off Wood facebook site. You can find the plans for the laundry dresser on ana-white.com that I altered to suit our needs.

    We sort the laundry by color as soon as it goes down into the laundry room, then I keep a basket under the dryer for socks & undies, while I sort and fold everything else straight out of the dryer. After 1-3 loads (depending on my mood) I either sit in front of the tv to sort, or I make it a matching game for my kids (5 & 3 y/o) by picking out one sock with it's mate in a pile of 3 to 5 socks and they find it's match.

    Good luck… I know how maddening it can get. Hence my drastic measures building project. It was soooo easy and well worth the time, effort and money.

  99. petesprincess says:

    when i get finished sorting and matching the socks I put the extras, by category in gallon ziplock bags…eliminates me from sorting them again…So the next time I have extras in the laundry basket I go to the ziplock bag with say the boys socks and see if one matches. If not I add it to the bag. I have a bag for no show socks, boys, girls, colored, my hubbys and has made my life easier

  100. Staci Lyn says:

    Just use a safety pin. Pin them together when washing them, and when putting them away, write initials, numbers, and "Sections" on them . Then when the short person leaves it laying around, you know who's it is, what its match is, and you can tell the child to put it away.

  101. I'm not sure if anyone else suggested this but it's similar to the safety pins. We use those plastic clothes pins you can get at the dollar store, they have three different colors. Each person was assigned a color. When they take off the dirty socks they are 'supposed' to clip them together with their clothes pin. Then they go in the wash and dryer clipped together and put away. I just keep a container to collect the plastic clips in their drawer with the clean socks. Any socks not pinned get put in sock jail (small basket) and can be matched later by whoever runs out of socks first. ;D

  102. The Ballard's says:

    Char, if you really hate laundry, you might appreciate my thoughts here:


  103. Someone else mentioned it already, but my idea was to use thread or embroidery floss and darn the toe with it using a different color for each person, that way it's easier to match up the socks especially if the socks you are sorting are similar sizes.

  104. How about Arizona? Much cheaper than Hawaii, and so far (in the 9 months we've lived here) flip-flops have been entirely suitable footwear for the weather, nine days out of ten. :)

  105. Like a few other folks, we use the dot method. Oldest 1 dot all the way to the baby with 5 dots. I still hate matching them. I spent 35 minutes the other day matching a basket bigger than yours.
    I have a friend who's boys all have different colored toes on their socks, Hanes I think. She likes it since she can easily say "Erik, your socks are on the floor" and know for sure they're his. Plus matching is super easy.

  106. Wow… I had no idea. It's so easy when there are your socks, husbands socks, and baby's socks. I never dreamed of what two babies' socks would be like. Can you write their initials on the socks with permanent marker? :) I'm definitely not the most creative and I'm sure there are better ideas above me. :)

  107. I have 4 boys and a hubby; they all wear the same white socks. and yet I still have a pile of socks like this too lol. folding socks is the worse!

  108. No need to toss it all away. I'd say, consider yourself trendy…check out http://www.littlemissmatched.com/

    I just wish I'd thought of if first!

  109. Sock Party Time! That is what our house of 7 children did in the past! I would sort the piles (whos r whos), then all the kids would come and help match their own! The older kids now laugh about the "sock partys" they once were INVITED to!

  110. These girls have some really fun ideas! I just taught my little ones to match their colored socks when they were about two. Now that they are older, I just put their socks on their pile ~ they still do the matching for most of the socks in the house. At least they are in a drawer in the right room…not waiting for me. Blessings!

  111. My mom had a sock drawer in the laundry room–seriously. And every once in a while, she would empty it out and say she's give us a nickel for each match we made. It was awesome!

  112. get a bigger laundry basket.

  113. I personally like the Hawaii idea…but, when my kids were little I put the first letter of their name on the toe of each sock and when the laundry came out of the dryer I made them find all their own socks and put them away. Worked great and helped them learn to recognize a few letters!

  114. Erika Hill says:

    The mesh bag seems like a good idea. My aunt used to do a "sock train" every laundry day, where she would just dump all the socks out in a (mostly) straight light, and have her kids help her find the mates. You pick up the first sock you come to, and go through the line until you find its pair, and then go back to the beginning and do it again. It was fun when I did it while staying at their house, but I see how it might get old fast…

  115. I had the same problem, but I had 6 boys! At one time we had 73 unmatchable socks! In the 80s – red stripe above blue stripe but the closest match was 3 stripes red, blue red! etc.
    I also bought everyone all white socks. When the boys pulled out of the basket a long one and a short one, the long was scrundhed down to 'match'! Good luck!

  116. Peanut Stitches says:

    I throw them into piles as there are just three of us (little boy, my husband, and me) and then let Porter match them up. Needless to say, it takes a month to do it all. :)

  117. I have four kids and I only buy white socks. Hanes has "hanes" written under the toes and each size has its own color. So when I find random socks around the house, I can just look at the color on the bottom and know where they belong. We don't match socks. Because they're all white, it just doesn't matter. My son's have two pairs of black dress socks and they stay in a separate drawer with his belt so that we can always find them.

    I have heard of someone who would pin the dirty pair together with a safety pin when they took them off and then throw them in the hamper. So they were washed and dried while pinned together, does that make sense? It was a little initial extra effort but at the end of it, every pair had a match. The white sock thing works for us so I haven't tried it but I imagine it would be great if you had a lot of patterns to match.

  118. ok, maybe this has been suggested, but if not, here's my two cents…. buy each child a lingerie laundry bag…those mesh zipable ones…and when the socks come off..they go in the bag! When you do laundry, you zip the bag, and wash…then at least they are sorted by child! or i like the sandals in hawaii idea too!

  119. I have 4 boys who all wear white socks with gray on the toes so I understand your pain. I've started simply writing their initials on the toe with a Sharpie. Because my boys go through sock so quick, we don't get a chance to pass them down. Good luck!

  120. I've read similar comments, but a different permanent marker color for each child and a dresser in your laundry room devoted to just socks. Mark the bottom of each sock with an "X" or the first letter of their name. Each kid gets a drawer and all their labeled socks go in the drawer (unmatched). In the morning, they head to the laundry room to fetch their socks. No biggie.

  121. Oh Char, I feel your pain. I have a basket like that just for ours, and another that's kids' socks :( I just bought everyone new socks and I'm tossing the others. We get the Hanes ones too- red and green writing on the toes for the boys, and the baby girl's have pink bottoms.

    I was just saying the other day that I can't wait for summer- less socks to deal with!

  122. I almost didn't comment because you already have 121 and I'm sure there are others saying wiser things, but I had the same problem until I realized… it's actually become fashionable to wear mismatched socks. I'm not kidding. You can even BUY socks that come mismatched. My girls even. I have 6 kids and one thing I know is that little boys don't care if their socks are matched and long pants hide it most of the time. And nobody actually cares if your kids socks match, either.

    After having sock baskets like yours for years, I've gone to putting the socks, unmatched in each of the kids' piles of laundry and let them figure out the matching if they want to. Good luck!

  123. I have 4 boys, the 3 oldest ones each wear a different kind of Hanes socks that are already color coded. It makes it easy to match and easy to replace lonely socks when I need to buy more.

  124. Just bought socks at Target because each pair had a different color toe. Made it a lot easier.

  125. You are my hero. I am going to buy new socks and start over too.

  126. Growing up my mom made us use these sock holder type things before we put our socks in the dirty laundry. They were similar to these:


    We got in big trouble if she found a pair of socks without a sock holder. It made the sock issue much easier. No finding mates and no lost socks. You only had to pull the holder off, roll them together and then figure out who they belonged to.

  127. That was one of my biggest problems too! I just went to the dollar store and bought some baskets…one for each member of my family. Then when I was sorting laundry, I threw it in the appropriate basket. Then everybody takes care of matching and putting away their own socks. My kids are far enough apart in age that I can tell them easily apart, but my mom always put a stitch (we each got a particular color) in our socks so we knew whose was whose.

  128. Well not that I do this…but what I did while growing up with 4 brothers and me in the middle. My mom expected us to take a large saftey pin and pair up our worn socks and then put them in the hamper…
    Also she also took the boys socks as she bought them and sewed just a little back forth stitch at the toe in specified colors for each brother. So they were color coded and she knew who's were who's.

  129. sarah*spunda says:

    ack! I hate sock match,too! I had the kids thinking it was a pretty fun game…for a time or two. I had that same huge basket of socks at my house until yesterday…..the key to get rid of it? Have Baby #4 then your mom will come to visit for a few days and you can pawn it off on her! It's quite a commitment (18+ years) and there's no guarantee it won't grow itself back (of course it will!) but it's done for now! Good luck with yours!

  130. It's super easy! When you take socks off put a rubber band around them and put them in the wash. When they come out they are already together!

  131. Audrey Ayers says:

    **I have 3 boys and 1 girl also, and here's what we do to keep SOME sense of sanity. Each boy gets a different brand of sock. One boy wears hanes, one wears champion, one wears something else (can't remember the name) and my daughter wears something completely different. The result is: no matching whatsoever! Throw them in a drawer, basket, bucket, whatever and pick 2 at a time. Replenish supply as needed.

  132. jenpetersen says:

    Assign it as a chore for Macy.

  133. My mom was cruel… I started doing my own laundry (washing, sorting, folding) at the age of 5 (with some supervision). So I was in charge of my own socks. Crying in the morning that I had to wear dirty socks or didn't have any would get me a "Well maybe we should do laundry after school" speech. But… I felt accomplished to do my own laundry and then I didn't worry about learning in college. Oh downside though- I would throw my brothers clothes out of the washer and down the stairs when he was WAY too slow to move his load. Hmmm. Guess there's an upside and downside to each. Good luck!! P.S. I love that you shared this, makes you a real person instead of wonder woman (which I still think you are).

  134. Mrs. Joanz says:

    I thought I was the only one w/socks problem….My son and hubby share the same size as do me and my daughter. Both kids have found it easier to just go to their mom and dad's drawers where there's always socks for them. I live in Hawaii and sorry, missing socks trouble do exist her as well (as does missing slippers, too….that's another chapter). LOVE your blog! Aloha!

  135. Maddie Kertay says:

    I have decided that I just don't care.. My kids (5 of them) are old enough to dig in the basket for a matching or non-matching pair. They have the option of using their own mesh bag but if they don't they get to dig. I birthed them,I fed them, I school them.. .. they can fidn their own flipp'n socks :)


  136. I did throw all ours away and start over! I only have 2 boys but it was way out of control. We bought Hanes socks that have "Hanes" written on the bottom in different colors for each size. Green for my oldest and red for the youngest. I love it! I don't even mind matching socks now!

  137. My hubby pins all the socks together before they go into the wash. That way they're already pre-matched for me when I roll them together. I don't even bother taking out the safety pins, he does it himself :) But for the kids last year I bought them 10 pairs of socks each that were exactly the same, so I don't have to bother finding matches.

  138. Ashley @ A {Blonde's} DIY Life says:

    My mom use to actually take a marker and write our names inside! You could do that along with a number so they could be paired together. I found this terrible embarrassing growing up, but hey I came from a family of five kids plus two stepbrothers!

  139. Put them in lingerie bags, one for each member of the family. Zip the bag closed when it is time to wash and theoretically you should have as many pairs come out of the dryer that went in! You would also try safety pinning them together although not sure if that would work with your young boys…

  140. I have 4 boys, all close in age. I take a permanent marker and write their initial either by the toe or the heal under the foot. Small so all don't see, but large enough for me to see. This solves my problem of random socks being found around the house. I know who they belong to sometimes I have to wait a load or two to find its mate.

  141. Montrose Lewises says:

    Wow I wanted to see if this solution had been offered yet but 141 comments is a lot to read. I hope you take a moment to look at this because it's working for us, family of four.
    These clips are in the laundry section of Wal-Mart in packs of 6 for $1.47.
    Good luck!

  142. Montrose Lewises says:

    Oh I just saw the sockpro.com comment and might like that better… no clipping… hmmm

  143. I just throw all clean socks into the sock bag and about every ten days, I pull it out while we're watching a show and my son and I will fold them together. About 90% of his socks are all the exact same brand/type, so it's really quick and easy. Black socks are the only ones that slow us down!

  144. Kermit~the~Frog says:

    I know I am super late to the game here, but it took me forever to realize why all your socks are together: you wash your family's clothing together! I forget that people wash that way: each family member here has a hamper and that hamper goes into the wash solo. That's my best advice to avoid sorting, but just as I cannot imagine changing how I manage laundry, I doubt you're going to go to a seven-hamper system (the seventh is for towels, good gravy, with the new baby it will be an eight-hamper system).

  145. Simple solution, Gold Toe easy sort socks, for boys and girls, that is all I buy. There are little lines at the tip of the toe, super simple and quick! Plus really durable. You can find them at Kohl's.

  146. Me and my boyfriend rarely wear matching socks – we just grab 2 socks and put them on. Its v liberating and you can get some really cool pairings :)

  147. SOCK-LOCKS! They're little plastic rings that hold a pair of socks together, or heavy socks go into attached rings. I have never lost a sock in 25 years! I have never had to sort socks in 25 years! Wash, dry, take off the rings to re-use them, and fold each pair for the drawer. Simple!

  148. So maybe i am a little late and maybe someone already said this, I am way too lazy to read your bazillion comments, but I use safety pins. I keep a magnetic pin cushion in each person's room and when they take off their socks, they pin them and throw them in the basket. You can see my ancient post about it here: http://www.alittletipsy.com/2009/03/single-socks.html

  149. I live with just my man and we are blessed/cursed to have the same size feet. We chucked all our old socks and invest in bulk of our favorite from Costco. No matching needed!

  150. my children also do not worry anymore of wearing diffent socks, we call them simply friends, instead of pairs.. and i found myself one morning doing the same – yes ! 47 is an age that allows to do strange things.. haha, who cares..with winter boots.. nobody sees anything.

  151. We have six children and do a combination of the above.
    1. Buy a years worth of new socks day after Thanksgiving every year (50% off at Fred Meyer). Sounds expensive but you're going to end up buying them throughout the year anyway might as well buy them when they're on sale and you can get all the same kind for each child. This eliminates the need to mate the socks.
    2. Same socks for each person different from each other. One gets low cut, the next ankle, and so on as mentioned before.
    3. Pre color coded socks. We like Hanes but as mentioned before their are other brands. This makes it easy to place strays.
    These eliminated the need for a basket for lonely socks. Then go one step more.
    4. EVERYONE GETS THEIR OWN HAMPER. I can not tell you how much time this saves. Moreso it makes it easy to transition them to doing their own laundry. Little ones put their own folded laundry away, next help with the folding too, next rotate their load. If you start young they'll be mostly independent between 8 and 10.

  152. mustbekarmah.com says:

    One of my friends grew up n a household that had a sock problem. They all had the same kind of socks and almost the same sized feet. What they ended up doing is with each new package of socks they used craft paint for fabric and painted a stripe, etc. on the toes of the socks. A different color for each person. That way when it came to sock matching time they knew that the socks would pair up because they were all the same color/brand and whose socks were whose because of the color stripe on the toes.

    Now in my house we don't do that. My oldest is sock crazy and has tons of socks in all different patterns. Yeah, that's a whole big mess there, so I sympathize with you!

    K. Anne

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