In my previous post we looked at how to make sustainable decisions when thinking about buying new socks. If you’re looking to organise your socks but haven’t yet sorted through them check out last week’s post first for tips on repair and disposal. Once you’re you’re happy with the state of your sock supply, it’s time to organise and make your sock drawer a thing of beauty!
Organising your socks
The first step in organising most things is to begin by gathering everything together in one place. This is also true for your socks as only by seeing them all at once will you realise how much space is required to store them. Try and do this when you’re as on top of your laundry as possible, but if that’s not possible try and get a ballpark figure of the number of socks you have by being aware of how many additional pairs of socks you currently have working their way through the wash.
Ditch the potato
In Marie Kondo’s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” she describes one of her client’s sock drawers as being “full of potato-like lumps that rolled about”. In this passage Marie is referring to the method I’m pretty certain 90% of us use to fold our socks – you know where you basically fold them in on each other to form a sock ball that keeps the pair together but ends up with the inside of the sock on the outside?
Having a drawer full of sock potatoes is not a good look. Not only do you end up not being able to see what you have properly but you also run the risk of stretching out the elastic of your socks more quickly, reducing their lifespan and ability to stay on your feet. But fear not! There is a better way, which takes equally as little time and will make your sock stash far more aesthetically pleasing.
To fold your socks:
- Take a matching pair (no odd socks here please!) and lie them on top of each other so that the toes and heels match. If there’s a design on one side but not the other, ensure that the designs are facing out. This is also a great opportunity to check your socks for any holes or patches that are starting to wear through. If they look like they need some TLC add them to your mending pile straight away rather than leaving them in the drawer for the holes to get worse.
- Starting at the toe end, fold your socks over by a couple of inches and repeat until you reach the end of the sock (check out the animation below if this doesn’t make sense as it’s quite hard to explain). I have UK size 4 feet and do two folds in total (i.e. my socks end up in thirds) whereas my boyfriend’s socks (for his UK size 7 feet) are better folded three times, ending up with his socks folded into quarters. The number of folds will also vary depending on the length of your socks – my above suggestions are for standard ankle socks so you’ll need to adjust as necessary for longer or shorter socks.
Use what you already have
Now that you have a lovely pile of neatly folded socks, it’s time to put them away. How you do this will depend on your drawer situation, but here’s a few tips on how to make your sock drawer a thing of beauty:
- If you have a small drawer solely dedicated to socks (or a larger drawer but a lot of socks!), you can just store the socks on edge without any need for additional containers or dividers in the drawer. Because of the way you’ve folded your socks into neat rectangles, you should be able to stand them on edge and have them stay upright without sagging.
- If your socks are sharing a drawer with other items (e.g. underwear, tights etc.) you might want to consider corralling them into a separate container so that they all stay in one place. Don’t be tempted to run out and buy a dedicated container straight away – check out what you already have around the house that could be put to good use. I personally have two shoe boxes placed side by side in my drawer, one for socks and one for underwear. You could also use an old Tupperware container, or cut the top off a cardboard box – the possibilities are endless! If you want you can also cover the container in spare wrapping paper or wallpaper so that it looks more aesthetically pleasing.
- To decide how best to categorise your socks, think of how you’re most likely going to be able to keep them organised in the future. If you’ve got the patience to sort them into rainbow order and having that beautiful sight will inspire you to keep them in check, go for it! If you favour a more practical approach and simply want to order them by function (e.g. sports socks, everyday socks, thicker socks etc.) then you can go for that too. The main priority is to come up with a system that is sustainable for you and your lifestyle.
How to never lose a sock in the wash again
A bold claim, I know, but there are a few changes that you can make to ensure that no sock gets left behind when the laundry is done:
- Wash your socks and other underwear in a mesh laundry bag or even an old pillowcase with a drawstring added to the top. Keep the bag next to your main laundry basket and put the socks straight in the bag after taking them off. You can then place the whole bag into the washing machine knowing that the socks are safe and sound in their pairs and can’t wriggle their way into the filter!
- Count them into the washing machine so one of the pair doesn’t get left behind for the next load (i.e. if one yellow spotty sock has been put in, make sure its twin makes its way into the same load).
- Try to do a whole load of laundry, from washing to drying and putting away, as quickly as possible. Leaving piles of clothes to put away another day will encourage you to pull things off the pile, knocking smaller items off the top and inevitably down the back of some furniture ne’er to see the light of day again…
With these few simple tips you’ll ensure that your socks don’t go wandering off into the great unknown and can do their job in keeping your feet toasty warm for longer! Do you have any other ideas for organising and keeping track of your socks? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you all next week!