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How To Organize Your Socks

By November 3, 2022May 28th, 202412 Comments

I love socks. There’s nothing my feet like better than a pair of comfy socks to cushion my feet unless it’s a fabulous foot massage and pedicure. Even though I love my socks they sometimes present problems. They get lost easily and it can be difficult to find the pair you want unless you know how to organize your socks. Looking for the right pair of socks can make you take extra time getting ready in the morning. Time is already tight in the morning, there’s no need to waste it looking for just the right pair of socks. It’s time to get those socks organized to make your morning run more smoothly.  

How to Organize Your Socks

Sort your socks

How many different varieties of socks do you have? I have little socks which I wear with flats, no-show socks, ankle socks, crew socks, and trouser socks. Years ago I also had knee socks. Having these socks all mixed up together in a drawer presents a problem. It can take time to sort through all these different kinds of socks to find the variety of sock I want. Does that happen to you, too? My solution is to have all my socks sorted according to type. This may sound like a big project but, it will probably only take you between 15 and 30 minutes to complete, depending on how many pairs of socks you have and how many different varieties.

The first step to take to organize your socks is to dump all the socks onto the floor and sort them according to type.

If your socks are not in pairs, pair them up. If there are any orphan socks put them aside. I will share some ideas of what to do with them at the end of this post.

Then put them in groups according to the style. Put all crew socks together, all trouser socks, all no-show socks and so forth.

Contain your socks

Make finding the style socks you want to wear super easy, use containers. Decide how many containers to use based on how many of each kind of sock you have.

If you have only one or two pairs of the little socks to wear with flats you may want to combine those with the no-show socks.

You determine what will work well with your personal collection of socks.

Types of containers

The type of container you use will depend on where you plan to keep your socks.

If you are using a big drawer in a chest of drawers, use drawer dividers. Have one section for each style of socks.

If you are keeping your collection of socks on a shelf, you can use baskets, clear plastic shoe boxes, or even empty cardboard shoe boxes.

No matter where you store them, using containers will help to organize your socks.

Label the containers

The last step is labeling the containers. Even if you are using dividers in a big drawer, label the sections. This makes putting away your socks just as easy as finding the pair you want to wear.

Now, put them away. Easy peasy!

3 ideas on what to do with orphan socks

  1. Use them as dusting cloths. Put your hand inside the sock and dust away. This is particularly useful if you are dusting venetian blinds.
  2. Make sock puppets out of them. Children love attaching buttons for eyes, bits of felt, and yarn as decorations.
  3. Donate them to a school or community center to use for art activities.

Now that you know how to organize your socks, take this advice and help your family members get their socks organized, too.

Do you have a deck of the organizing cards, Jonda Beattie and I created? It’s called Organize Your Home 10 Minutes at a Time. This deck has 50 cards each one with an idea of how to organize one small space in just 10 minutes. Buy a deck for yourself and then one for your friend as a small gift. These cards will help you organize lots of small spaces around your home just as easily as we organized your socks!

Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia.


  • Julie Stobbe says:

    When I saw the title I laughed. This seems to be a big problem for my clients, the lost sock pile. I make my life easy. I buy all the same kind of socks so if I lose one I keep the one around until another sock gets a hole and then I have a pair again. Making pairs takes no time at all. When my children were little they each had one kind of sock usually distinguishable from each other by the colour of the sole or the top edge of the sock. I have a few socks with patterns for seasonal celebrations.

  • Socks get absolutely EVERYWHERE in my house, so it’s extra important that everyone knows how to put them back! Clearly labeled containers or drawer dividers are definitely a great way to go. Thanks, Diane!

  • Julie+Bestry says:

    What a perfect post as we enter Sock Weather! If I were a guy, I’d own only two kinds of socks, black dress socks (all in the same make and type) and white sports socks (ditto) and never have to worry about sorting. As it is, I do laundry a few times a week and rarely have more than 5 pair of socks to match upon laundry day, and then it’s a quick roll (of a pair) and toss (into the sock drawer), but I can’t imagine how wearying doing a family’s worth of sock laundry, sorting and pairing and rolling would be. This sounds like the perfect job for a pre-schooler! 😉

  • Seana+Turner says:

    I have old shoe boxes in my sock drawer to keep the different kinds separated. It works fine, since they don’t really show. I have my white socks in one box, my colored socks in another, and the few “fancy” or “dress” socks that I own in another.

    Most days I wear jeans and sneakers, so it is the “workhouse” socks that I reach for. I like being able to find what I need.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that my ski socks are upstairs in a bag with the rest of my skiing clothing. There’s more to it than one might initially think, right?

  • I had no idea how much you loved socks! Another interesting “Diane” fact. Love it! Socks are so funny in how one of a pair can disappear. I’ve often heard someone say the “washing machine eats my socks.” Well according to a washing machine repair person who once came to our home, that is in fact, true. If you have the type of machine with the center spindle (as I do,) a sock can get caught underneath that unit and get sucked down the drain. Who knew?

    In the drawer I keep my socks, it’s not deep enough for traditional organizing sock boxes. I love those, but this drawer can’t accommodate them. However, I’m still able to line them up in rows (paired) by type and color. It works for me. I also don’t have they many types of socks, so it also makes this easy. I could probably insert a different type of drawer divider that takes up less bulk and isn’t as tall, but again, it’s not needed for this particular drawer.

    Love your ideas for orphan socks! So creative.

  • Great tips, Diane. The right sock container makes a world of difference. I recently organized my sock drawer, and it helped keep the drawer organized when I used a divided bin for the drawer. Thanks for sharing.

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