3 Easy Ways to Fold Socks to Save Drawer Space

Slip on your favorite pair of socks without a struggle by embracing these sock-drawer organizing ideas.

In all my years as a professional organizer, socks seem to be a universal issue among every household. The sock drawer tends to be bursting, with some pairs folded and many without a mate. It can be especially difficult to differentiate dress socks from ankle versions from no-show designs, making finding the pair you need a challenging task. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Your socks can be matched, sorted, and organized in just a few easy steps. Plus, the folding methods here will save you considerable space in your drawers.

Before Folding Socks: Gather and Declutter

Before deciding on a folding technique, it’s important to see how many and what style of socks you’re working with. First, corral every pair or individual sock you can find floating around the house into a basket. Check the dryer, under your dresser, and the hamper to make sure you’re not missing any (and, of course, do a quick load of laundry for any dirty ones you come across).

Next, sort them by pairs. Put all mismatched socks off to the side for the moment. Take note of the socks that have seen better days, including the ones with holes or that have been stretched beyond repair. Discard them or repurpose them for cleaning rags.

Once you have the keepers together, separate them by type of sock. Then, choose from one of the following ways to fold your socks.

drawer dividers
Carson Downing

How to Fold Socks

1. The KonMari Method

Marie Kondo is known for her specific folding style and socks are no exception. In order to achieve it, simply lay one sock flat on top of the other, then fold the tops down once, twice, or three times, depending on the length of the sock. The socks can then be placed vertically into a drawer so that they stand up on their own. I recommend placing spring-loaded drawer dividers in your dresser to ensure socks stay put. Now you’ll be able to see all of your socks in a line without having to dig to the bottom.

2. Make a Square

Rather than laying socks directly on top of one another, create a plus sign, with one laying vertically and another lying horizontally on top. Take the bottom sock over the top and tuck the toes into its cuff to secure it. Then do the same with the other sock, creating a near-perfect square. Tucking both of the toes in keeps the socks together and you’ll likely find that you don’t need any extra supplies to maintain the organization.

3. Roll Them Up

This technique works best on longer sock styles, such as dress or boot socks. Similar to the first option, lay the socks on top of each other with the toes and cuffs lined up. Beginning at the toe, roll both socks up to the cuff as tightly as possible. You might want to consider adding honeycomb organizers to your sock drawer. This allows you to simply pop the rolled socks vertically into the individual compartments to keep them tidy and prevent them from unraveling in the drawer.

socks folded in a drawer

Jay Wilde

How to Keep Socks Organized

Once you decide on the best way to fold socks, one that truly works for you, stick with it. A consistent sock-folding technique not only makes your drawers look better, but it also makes putting laundry away easier. It helps you get into the habit of folding so that eventually you don't even have to think twice about it. 

If using organizers or a few small dresser drawers to organize your socks, divide them by category. One section or drawer can be used for the no-show or ankle socks you wear to the gym while another can be for boot or fuzzy socks you wear in the wintertime. Place labels on the inside lip of a drawer to differentiate between the types. This takes the guesswork out of putting things away.

To avoid losing socks in the first place, wash them in a mesh bag designed for delicates. They’ll stay together in both the washer and dryer, making it more likely that you’ll take out what you put in.

For the occasional lost sock, if you think it could turn up later, put the individual socks in a small bag and tuck it in the back of your sock drawer. Give yourself a deadline—it could be a month or two—and if the match isn’t found, let go of the other.

Regularly go through your socks to see which ones are worn out and which ones you actually wear. Socks that are in good condition can be donated if you don't wear them often. Keeping socks organized also makes it easier to see when it’s time to buy new ones.

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