What to do with single socks

With seven pairs of feet, school and lots of sporting activities, we have a lot of socks in our house. As part of the kids contributing to the household, kids have tasks that involve emptying wash baskets and folding clean laundry. They are also of course responsible for putting their dirty clothes in the wash basket too.

Socks go through many stages in our house generally before they end up in the washing machine:

  • On feet
  • Off feet on to bedroom floor, generally separated from their pair and in the furtherest corners of the rooms (this is mainly the older teenagers, the younger ones seem much better at keeping theirs together!)
  • Into the kids’ laundry basket after mum has requested the room is tidied
  • Kids’ laundry basket is emptied into main laundry basket
  • In the washing machine
  • On the line
  • Waiting to be folded
  • Waiting to be put away
  • Back in their draw (If they are lucky! The older teenagers sometimes just store them on their bed for easy access.)
  • Repeat cycle

With so many stages to pass through, there are so many opportunities for socks to lose their partner and we end up with many single socks. We have what is known as the “lost sock box”. It goes from a couple of spare socks in the beginning to looking like this after a few weeks:

how to organise socks IMG_8145

Yep, it is overflowing with socks! It appears that I am currently the only one who it takes the time to look for a partner when folding the washing. While I have educated the kids on how to do this, it is of course significantly easier for them to shove any unmatched socks in this box when they are folding the socks than actually try and pair them up!

how to organise socks IMG_8193

I do however on occasions set a child with this task of pairing up the socks. I recently did it and found many pairs of socks:

how to organise socks IMG_8194

I also do something which I thought I never would do and match socks up slightly incorrectly! These socks below belong to the older boys, are the same size and they could not care less about them matching, so with the last random socks left in the box, I pair them up even if the branding colour on the bottom of the socks don’t match

how to organise socks IMG_8195

When the kids where younger I used to label them on the bottom with clothing labels. As the kids grew bigger I found this worked less and less. We now write an initial on the bottom toe of the socks which are white so we can easily pair them up. This is super helpful when kids are folding the washing and are not sure what socks below to who.

We have also acquired a collection of Bounce socks (indoor trampoline centre) which we keep in a separate box, so it is easy to grab a pair for each child when we visit without having to buy new ones.

how to organise socks IMG_8147

I have learnt to stress less about missing socks. I would rather the kids be responsible for their belongings and they contribute to the laundering of them, than have a perfect collection of socks 🙂 .

What do you do with the single socks in your house?