Sock It To Me: Restoring Order to the Sock Drawer

Alright, so the truth is that socks are far from scintillating. What’s equally true is that socks pose an organizational problem for most of you. You all lose them. You joke about where they disappear to, how the dryer seems to eat them, and so on. But it really is no wonder that socks tend to get lost- they’re small and limp. They fall into crevices all over the house, never to be seen or worn from again.

Despite this fact being proven true time and time again, you nonetheless experience an irrational obligation to the remaining lone sock. You hold on to it for months, for years even, in the desperate hope that one day its mate will return. You also keep whole pairs of socks despite one partner being horribly inadequate (read: giant hole in the heel). As a result, you end up with a sock drawer that’s totally untended. Unless you’re planning to weave your weary socks into a patchwork quilt, I’d say it’s time to make some changes.

Start by dumping out the contents of your sock drawer. Play matchmaker for socks that actually belong together. Place single socks in your missing mate system (see below). Throw out any socks that have holes, are discolored, or are just generally worn out and gross.

If you’re on the fence about any particular pairs ask yourself, “If I were at a party where I was asked to remove my shoes, would my socks cause me shame?” If you imagine yourself having to curl your toes under in an effort to hide a gaping hole, for instance, then those socks need to be sacked.

Sort the presentable pairs into categories. I have three: warm, wool socks, long, tube socks, and ankle socks. I imagine you gents would probably also want a “dress socks” category, and ladies may have a “stockings/pantyhose” stash. If you can handle straight sock-on-drawer-action and still manage to keep them neat, then simply go ahead and place the pairs back into the drawer. If you need bumpers to stay organized, then get yourself drawer dividers, which will allow you to store socks by category, or waffle-style organizers, which will separate individual pairs.

Additional Sock Strategies:

Shorten your socks’ leash

Secure your socks by using a zippered or drawstring mesh laundry bag. Dirty socks go into the bag two by two, and then the whole bag gets tossed into the wash and all socks stay together.

Install a missing mate system

When folding clean laundry, place any stag socks into a basket or pinned to a bulletin board. The single stocking has one month to reconnect with its mate. If, after that time, the other sock hasn’t reappeared, then the sock gets the axe.

Here’s the worst that can happen in this scenario: you get rid of a sock only to have its mate miraculously, actually resurface. What happens then? Well, you’ll be out a pair of socks. Wait, that’s it? Yup, just a pair of socks guys! That’s probably the equivalent of around $.67. Free yourself from the fear of waiting for the other sock to drop! It’s a revolution!

Put your sad socks to good use

If you find yourself truly unable to part with a “perfectly good” but mate-less sock, try these uses:

– For dry, chapped hands: apply intensive moisturizing cream liberally. Wear your socks on your hands to bed to allow the cream to really soak in.

– For dusting: cover hands with sock and then dust hard to reach areas like blind slats.

– For the currently uber-trendy sock bun.

Image credits: Twig Hutchinson, unknown, BHG, Practical Princess, Real Simple, ABC, EisyMorgan



  1. Such inspiration – I hate getting to the sock pile & finding the odd ones. I love your idea of a ‘holding place’ …..

  2. I am always crazy for a new organization tip. These are so fun!
    Thanks for the round up!
    :) Anna

  3. lol! People use socks in their hair? I wouldn’t have guessed!

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