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Growing up, it seemed like everyone’s parents had different ways of explaining away lost socks. My parents, for example, would concoct elaborate tales of elves that lived in the dryer that would take their favorite sock, but would often forget to take both in a pair, leaving you with one lonely, abandoned sock.

Those stories were cute when you were a kid, but now that you’re an adult and doing your own laundry (presumably) you know what a pain it is to lose a sock somewhere between the laundry room and your bedroom. Maybe it got tucked away into the wrong hamper, maybe it’s buried at the bottom of the wrong drawer and you’ll never see it again, maybe the dryer elves are real and they’re running off with your stuff.

It happens to all of us, and as your pile of abandoned stray socks begins to stack up it can be frustrating to think that nothing can be done. However, we’re here to tell you that there is a solution, and it can be done with some simple organization tips!

By creating a better system for storing socks in your bedroom, you can keep a better eye on what socks you currently have, where they are, and how you can safely transport them to and from the washing machine without losing anything along the way. Here’s a few ways to get started:

 

Purge the socks you don’t wear: Any good organization project starts with a little decluttering, and socks are no different. Take a look through your current drawers and start to throw out anything you haven’t worn in a while, anything with holes or obvious wear, and anything that’s been separated from their partner sock for too long – this might be a little harder to do, but it’ll be worth it to free up all the extra space.

 

Find a home for the remaining socks: This might sound sort of obvious, but there’s a lot of dressers in the world where the socks wind up spread out across a few different drawers or cabinets just because you have too darn many. Once your sock collection has been pared down to the daily essentials, you should find a specific place in your bedroom dresser for them. Pick one – maybe two, at the most – drawers to keep your socks in, and make sure everyone else who uses that dresser is aware of the system.

 

Get the drawer organized: Picking a drawer for your socks isn’t enough in most cases, and depending on the size of your drawer you might want to bring in a few extra organizational tools to prevent further mess and confusion. Depending on the size of your drawers, you could sort your socks by using plastic kitchen organizers, cabinet drawer organizers, or even plastic storage bins to help sort the socks either by owner or by need (dress, athletic, plain old regular socks, etc). This will help you keep better track of your current sock collection and will provide a quick way to see what’s clean, what you have available, and what goes where to hopefully prevent future losses.

 

Work on your folding: There’s no getting around it – with clothes that take up the amount of drawer space like socks do, you have to have just the right folding technique. Most socks can be laid horizontally with the second sock crossed over the top and then cuffed into the bottom sock by the toe. This prevents damage to the elastic and also saves a ton of space that you might be taking up by using the old balled-at-the-top method.

 

Give your solo socks a home: Finally, while these methods may work for the socks that have been lucky enough to cling together, you may still need a home for wayward souls that need to be matched up as soon as the corresponding sock rears its fuzzy head. If you have any wire shelves or basement shelves in your basement or laundry room, find a couple basket shelves and make a designated home for single socks. If everyone knows there’s a consistent place to both look for and keep their lonely socks, it’ll make the whole thing easier.

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