How are you dealing with your orphan socks—you know, those singletons whose mates have gone MIA?
We all have this pile of socks somewhere in our house, and we often hold on to these socks for too long because we are convinced that their mates will eventually resurface. One of the main reasons we never discard these socks is that we lose sight how of long we’ve had them or are unable to distinguish between the new ones entering the pile from the old.
Track Those Orphan Socks
A solution for monitoring how long we hold on to such socks is to create a tracking system. Such a system must be simple and easy to implement to ensure success.
The best storage hack for organizing socks missing their mates is to use two bins or baskets, numbering them 1 and 2. Store them out of sight in an upper cabinet or on a shelf.
To begin, look for missing socks throughout the home. Comb through all of your sock drawers. Check under all the furniture and on the closet floors. Most important, look for them behind, under, and around the laundry machines. Place your socks in bin #1 and follow this plan:
Bin #1 is created to hold the new orphan socks. Bin #2 is designed to hold the socks that are still orphans after all socks are sorted and paired. The idea is to separate the newer orphan socks (bin #1) from the older ones (bin #2).
Socks start off in bin #1. During this stage, bin#2 is left alone and only bin #1 receives new socks. Those that are still mateless will be moved to bin #2 after all socks are sorted and paired. Once you move them to bin #2, bin #1 is empty and awaiting new incoming socks.
When you have enough socks in bin #1, sort and pair all the socks from bin #1 and #2 together. Any remaining orphan socks in bin#2 get discarded. This process is a cycle where new socks deposit in bin#1, transfer to bin #2, then exit forever.
Another option to add to this system is to pin each sock with the date it originally gets tossed into the bin. Although a tedious task, sometimes realizing how long the sock has been missing a mate can prompt action and make it easier to toss a sock whose mate has been missing for a long time.
It is essential to devise a strategy to eventually eliminate unpaired socks. The method explained here is easy to follow and generally keeps track of the how long an orphan sock sticks around. The system also calls for an exit strategy so piles of orphans socks stay at a minimum.