78 Minutes – Just to Fold the Socks

Seventy eight minutes! Three Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhoods! That’s how much time I dedicated to folding the family’s socks this morning. I was astounded! 78 minutes –just to fold the socks.

I put on my favorite PBS Kids show to occupy the two children who didn’t go to school. I love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. (That may be a post for another time.) Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is also my preschooler’s favorite show to pick when all the big kids are at school. So, we started watching the show, and I started folding the socks. I thought I’d have the socks folded quickly. Two shows tops, and I’d be done.

As it worked out, it took three shows. And my preschooler was so DONE with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood this morning. We may not be able to watch that show again for at least a week. She wanted to do this, or that, or anything else “please Mommy, please” besides watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  (Insert puppy dog eyes on my preschooler here.)

Meanwhile, the baby had played with a few toys, wandered into the kitchen, rode the rocking horse and decided that her favorite things to play with were the socks.  She’d grab the sorted, unmatched socks, and wander off with them. Needless to say, I needed her to play a different game or I would never get the socks folded.

The pile of folded socks starts to grow.

We invented a game to finish off the socks. It went like this. The baby pulled the folded socks out of the basket and my preschooler threw them back in. It worked fairly well. And the game held everything, and everyone, together long enough for me to finish folding the socks.

Near the end of the chore, my preschooler started to cheer me on. I’d just about had it with folding the socks. We were into our 55th minute, and I just wanted to be done. But my sweet preschooler grabbed some Halloween decorations –they looked a bit like pompoms – and started cheering. I caught some of it on a video, available here.

She even invented a few cheers –“You can do it. Fold the socks.”

I ended up with a huge pile of folded socks. But what amazed me more was the pile of single socks left over. Some of the socks I’m missing aren’t more than a month old.  Where do the socks all go? I think I send them into the washer together, and I’m fairly certain I send them to the dryer all at the same time.

So, why am I left with so many socks that cannot be matched? I’ve washed them in a netted bag, but I still end up missing socks. I’ve tried pinning them together with safety pins – but that usually tears holes where they were pinned together. I’ve started buying brightly patterned socks to make the matches easier to distinguish.

The left over socks. Where are all the matches?

I get so frustrated by these single socks that I want to throw them all away and buy new socks. But I know the minute I do that, their matches will all come out of hiding, and I’ll end up with the same problem.

Anyone out there have a way to help me? I’m out of ideas, and would love some new ones. Thanks in advance.


  1. I know where your missing socks are! They are here at my house. Seriously, I have some of the exact same loners sitting in my sock box! Ugh! Matching socks is the most destested job around here, too. I’ve even offered my big kids substantial payment to match socks, and they turn me down! I actually use matching socks as a punishment when they are not behaving, so they take that threat pretty seriously. :) I don’t jave any miracle solutions, I’ve tried everything you have with the same results. It’s one of the big mysteries if the universe. But, way to go! You held out wayyy longer than I usually do!


    1. I have an idea — I’ll send you my loners, you can match what you want, then send them back to me. Maybe we’ll both end up with more matches that way. :) Although, I really like your idea of using matching the socks as a consequence for poor choices. Thanks for the encouraging words. May your next laundry day only result in matchable socks. :)


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