Do you have one of these: The unmatched sock pile?

This is our sad pile of unmatched socks. Should we give up hope, wear them unmatched or hang in there waiting for the mate to show up? (Theresa Walsh Giarrusso)

This is our sad pile of unmatched socks. Should we give up hope, wear them unmatched or hang in there waiting for the mate to show up? (Theresa Walsh Giarrusso)

My sweet Michael spent Sunday afternoon washing and folding clothes for the family and adding to our perplexing and frustrating unmatched sock pile!

We created a basket for unmatched socks thinking after two or so loads it would all even out. Eventually the mate would turn up and you can re-create the match. However, the pile just seems to grow and the mates never turn up. Michael is threatening to throw all the singles away. I’m not ready to give up hope!

Do you have one of these piles at home? How do you handle the family socks? You always hear about domestically accomplished families pinning the socks together or washing them in a mesh bag so they don’t separate. But I don’t think we’re that advanced. Are you using any special techniques to keep the socks together? Would you trash these singles, hold out hope or wear them unmatched?

– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, ajc.com Momania. Follow me on Twitter (ajcMomania) and read what I am reading each day. Great stories on family health, family fun, parenting,  fashion, stars, and more. )

35 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

June 14th, 2011
12:25 pm

TWG…thanks for the laugh…this could be our house. I am the one who throws them out and we need to have a giant purge soon! I am heading out and will look forward to checking back in to see how to solve this dilemma.

MomsRule

June 14th, 2011
12:45 pm

Funny topic :)

I am not gong to spend time pinning socks together. I have a little bucket next to the dryer. If I have no match it goes in the bucket. After a period of time…I toss out the strays.

MomsRule

June 14th, 2011
12:46 pm

and sometimes…when the kids are going outside to play…they will pull mis-matched socks out of the bucket versus going to their bedrooms to get socks.

Jenn

June 14th, 2011
1:15 pm

I have a cabinet that has all of the singles. I go through it about once every 3 months and match them up (if possible) and then throw the others out. However, I have a 14 year old girl that only wears socks that don’t match, so all of hers are put in her laundry basket.

Becky

June 14th, 2011
1:30 pm

Yep, we have that same pile..I do like Jenn and about every 2-3 months try to match them up..

@Jenn..Yeah, I think thats funny that nowadays the kids are wearing mismathced socks and OMG, the money that you can pay for them..Kids had a day at school where they were suppose to dress “tacky”..So we were at Toys R US and I saw these socks that I thought would be great..They were a “set” of three different socks..$14.99..Am I that cheap or do people really pay that much for these kinds of socks?

Dreamer

June 14th, 2011
1:36 pm

I know someone who buys all the same kind of socks, so any one of them could be a ‘mate’ if one is lost.

Also, I would check with your animal shelter and other places to see if they could use them before trashing. Crafty people make items out of old socks.

jct

June 14th, 2011
1:45 pm

I have put all our socks in a mesh bag. Still there would be a missing sock. I have always believed that there has got be a sock monster in the dryer :)

I now just use the unmatched socks as dust towels.

Becky

June 14th, 2011
2:05 pm

Sorry for the typos..

@Dreamer..Never knew that..It’s nice to learn something new each day..

catlady

June 14th, 2011
2:10 pm

I think it was Dave Barry who did a great piece about this (might have been Lewis Grizzard, but doesn’t sound like his sort of topic)

I just tried to always buy the same socks of one kind for the boy, and another for the girls. Add a couple of pairs of dark socks.

At one time I could have outfitted a “regiment of one-legged soldiers.” (to quote whoever did the sock matching piece).

Great to use to polish the car–does anyone do that now? If they are in good shape I have used them at school for sock puppets, too.

catlady

June 14th, 2011
2:14 pm

When my son got hurt, while he was healing, he continued to play baseball, but we used a rolled up sock for the “ball.”

When I was a teenager, I had a cat who would dig in my kneesock drawer and get out a roll of socks and carry them around the house like they were a kitten, crying. She would then take them to her food dish to “feed” them. If we were gone too long we would come home and there would be 3-4 “babies” lined up to eat.

HB

June 14th, 2011
2:20 pm

Dreamer, I’m a crafty person but have never used my abundance of widowed socks. Any suggestions for what I can make with them?

JATL

June 14th, 2011
3:03 pm

Yep-I stash the unmatched socks in the bottom of our armoire until I can account for all socks. Two or three times a year, usually once in summer and after closet cleanings, etc., I match all possible socks and toss the rest. It’s about that time right now!

April

June 14th, 2011
3:23 pm

The pinning thing actually works if you can get everyone on board. Socks are pinned when taken off. They go through the washer, dryer, and into the drawer pinned. You don’t have to match and fold them either.

Dreamer

June 14th, 2011
3:35 pm

HB, perhaps check with art teachers, childrens camps….places like that.
Do a search on the internet for crafts/uses for old socks.

DL

June 14th, 2011
3:35 pm

Use them to:

Make puppets

Fill with rice and tie it closed. Warm in the microwave for 2 minutes and lay on a sore muscle.

Can also fill it with a ziploc bag with ice and put on an “owie”.

Then throw the rest away!!!!

Jenn

June 14th, 2011
3:38 pm

@catlady..My cat carries around socks and small stuffed animals and leaves them at the food bowl. Also, he also steals potatoes out of my pantry if I leave the door open. I cannot tell you how many potatoes I have found upstairs!

Don't throw 'em out...

June 14th, 2011
3:56 pm

…they make perfect dust cloths (put them on your hand and spray the Endust/Pledge, etc on them and wipe away), which everyone needs…

Don't throw 'em out...

June 14th, 2011
3:59 pm

P.S. – put the little socks on the kids hands and they learn how to dust and clean just like mom and dad…

catlady

June 14th, 2011
4:11 pm

Jenn, I am SO GLAD you told that! People have acted like I was nuts when I told my story! Cinnamon never took any potatoes–my mother would NEVER leave the cabinet open where she could get in. I used to feel terrible when I caught her carrying around the socks and crying. We never let her have kittens, and she cried over those socks for years.

Mattie

June 14th, 2011
5:19 pm

But where to the unmatched socks go? Does anybody know?

I keep them in the laundry room in the hope that eventually the mate will surface. True solos do a good job of cleaning off blinds.

motherjanegoose

June 14th, 2011
5:34 pm

@ Dreamer…we took old beach towels to our dog groomer, as they use them until they are threads.
I guess socks might work too.
We have also used them to dust furniture and polish silver and brass…none of which I enjoy but it has to be done.

motherjanegoose

June 14th, 2011
6:03 pm

April…if I cannot get others who live here on board to refill the toilet paper and paper towel rolls, I think pinning socks would be hopeless. No, I do not do it for them and yet they have still not learned to plan ahead :). Good idea if others would comply. thanks!

Jeff

June 14th, 2011
6:16 pm

I use extras for polishing shoes, dusting, working on my car (checking oil, etc). But I’m with the one who says buy all the same brands and that way you’re only truly ever out of one sock.

djm_NC

June 14th, 2011
7:11 pm

we wear unmatched socks when its cold around the house. sometimes ill just take them all and throw them away swearing never to have unmatched socks again. havent figured out how that can happen tho lol…great light-hearted topic!

catlady

June 14th, 2011
8:41 pm

When I was first married, we kept losing socks. When the washer shut down, several of them were located wrapped around the agitator. It was discovered when I refused to go to the laudramat and my husband went a few times. It gave him the enthusiasm he had lacked for finding what was wrong with the washer. It was silly for ME to waste time hauling the laundry there when he was a mechanic and I was sure he could fix it. Sure enough, when he found out how awful it was to go waste time at the hot, noisy laundramat, he found time to fix it. I think there were 4 socks wrapped around there!

motherjanegoose

June 14th, 2011
9:19 pm

catlady…I have a few chapters of that same book going on here :0

mac

June 14th, 2011
10:30 pm

Get the book Socks Appeal by Brenna Maloney and let the kids have some fun this summer crafting cute sock creatures from the lonelies.

Nanny

June 14th, 2011
11:09 pm

kids use them at school to erase dry erase boards. most of the elementary classes use them. ask a teacher if they could use them.

Sk8ing Mama

June 15th, 2011
12:06 am

Solutions:

1. Purchase all of the same type of socks.
2. Tie socks together before you put them in the hamper. Untie them ONLY when you put them in the wash; you’ll ensure that they stay together.
3. Buy Little Missmatch :)

Frugalady

June 15th, 2011
3:29 am

Another benefit of buying all the same type of socks is that when you get a hole in one, you don’t need to throw away the remaining good sock… just pair it up with another one! Each of my kids gets a pack of 6 pairs in their size, and I make sure they look distinctive (e.g., green stripe, red “Hanes”) so the sorting goes really quickly.

texanlibrarian

June 15th, 2011
7:44 am

I was going to mention the book THE SOCKSNATCHER by Lorna Balian; then I searched for “lost sock” in amazon books and got 38 results!
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=lost+sock+&x=11&y=14

JJ

June 15th, 2011
8:28 am

@Catlady – I have a cat named Cinnamon. She likes the butt end of Strawberries. When I bring home fresh strawberries, we have immediately put them in the fridge, or I will find them all over the house……

mompossible

June 15th, 2011
10:09 am

My kids like to play “sock factory” – that’s when we dump out the laundry basked full of orphan socks on the den floor, and see how many pairs we can find. After a few rounds of this, I do throw away the unmatched ones….guess I should recycle them somehow.

motherjanegoose

June 15th, 2011
12:44 pm

@mompossible, can you send your kids over here? I will give them a commission on each pair of socks they match and an ice cream cone too….:) Your idea sounds like one that might work, if I could find the right kids who want to play.

Kat

June 19th, 2011
6:03 pm

Animal shelters appreciate donations of old towels – beach or otherwise – to use for cuddling up and cleaning up pets that are rooming there.

I buy all of the same kind of sock for each family member – hubby is on his own though. So, every sock DOES have a match; we just have to find it…eventually.