Ask the Internet – Orphan Socks

It’s time for… Ask the Internet!

Today’s question: How do you deal with orphan socks?

When you do your laundry and one of a pair of socks is missing – what do you do? How long do you keep orphan socks before realizing you’ll never find its mate? Where do you store orphan socks?

I used to put everyone’s socks together when I folded laundry, but that became a real chore. I’d throw socks into a special basket and plan to sort them when I was done with the laundry. By the time I’d finished the laundry, however, I was in no mood to sort socks and the basket of unsorted socks turned into two, then three, before I finally sat down to sort them.

A couple of years ago I decided to just toss the unmatched socks into the basket of the owner (each family member has a basket that I fill with clean clothes and they’re responsible for putting their own clothes away – although the kids do most of their own laundry these days).

I still end up with a pile of my own orphan socks, however. It grows each week, it seems. I’m worried that as soon as I throw away one of the socks I’ll find its mate.

So, I ask you – how do you deal with orphan socks?

10 thoughts on “Ask the Internet – Orphan Socks

  1. I keep them far too long. Like you, I think that I’ll find the mate as soon as I throw one out. If you come up with a solution, patent it and you’ll make a fortune.


  2. I have a bucket full. After a few years, I give them over to the sock puppet makers (kids). But many times the match is in the next load so I do keep a bucket (it’s an old lego container, about a gallon).


  3. What does happen to them? I mean, if you don’t go to a laundromat, the sock has to be somewhere, right? Do washers and dryers just mess with us?

    I tend to keep them separate through two more rounds of laundry. Often a sock gets stuck in a fitted sheet or a shirt sleeve or something…


  4. I remember a coffee shop somewhere in northern New York state where they had a wall of orphan socks. People were invited to post their own or take one if they could use it.


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