How I Solved the Mystery of the Missing Socks
I do laundry differently than just about everyone I've talked to or read about. Everyone in our family has enough underwear, including socks, to last up to ten days. Once a week I wash clothes by people--in other words, I do all of my laundry together on one day, my husband's laundry another day, our children's laundry a third day. I don't gather up all the whites every day and do a load, that involves to much time consuming sorting at the end. I know that when I pull laundry out of the dryer I can take it all into the bedroom of the owner, fold it and put it away quickly. I combine children's laundry as necessary; and when Noble lived at home I did mine and hers together. I do laundry only three or four days each week, two to five loads a day depending on whose I'm doing. I combine some things when I need to, for instance I have only one pair of jeans which I wash when I'm doing my husband's jeans.
Years ago, when I had four little boys at home, I set out to discover why there seemed to be missing socks in every load. I refused to believe that the washer or dryer "ate" them. To solve the mystery I gathered up the boys laundry and mated the socks BEFORE they went into the washer. If any didn't have a mate, I searched until I found it. They hid under beds, under or behind dressers and nightstands, between the sheets of the bed, in closets, and toys boxes. (You know how messy children can be!) After a few months of this I reasoned that no socks were ever lost in the washer or dryer. After I went through that exercise I stopped mating the socks before and set up a small basket near the dryer; when sorting and folding dry laundry I put any orphans in the basket until there are a bunch at which time I mate them up and put them away. Problem solved.
Another thing that helps is that I buy the boys different brands of socks so that I know whose is whose. (Is that grammatically correct? Or just colloquially correct?)