My girls socks started disappearing about the time they turned 4 and 5 (maybe a little younger). Because they wear the same size, they share clothes, so it was hard for me to 'point the finger', so to speak. After all, no one was really admitting to their disappearance. lol So, I just went out and bought more. Well, let me assure you, this gets old fast. How many times a year should I need to replace socks? Then daughter #3's socks started disappearing too. Maybe it's a conspiracy. Then, I started to think that maybe my machine was eating them after all. When we had depleted our stock of matching socks I would go out and buy more, with growing frustration every time.
Then I started noticing something. About a month after throwing away a sock its match would appear, out of nowhere, in the clean laundry. hmmm.....That's odd. The more I paid attention, the more I realized the socks were showing up at a later date. Obviously I could no longer blame the washing machine, so I turned to my beautiful girls for answers. After many shrugs of the shoulders, and "I don't know"s, I decided to play Sherlock Holmes. Once I started paying attention to their behaviors it all started to make sense. Their socks weren't making it into the dirty laundry. I was finding them in the shoe basket near the entrance door, stuffed between the mattress and the bed, in the bookcase....you name it.
Now that I knew I didn't have to throw away the 'extras' I started saving them. At one point I literally had half a laundry basket of unmatched socks. I was still listening to "I don't have any socks" all the time. I was frustrated.....to say the least. How was I going to get them to actually put the socks in the laundry, so I could wash them. Then an idea hit me. Make them match up the socks! Maybe if they saw how much work it was to sift through half a laundry basket full of them to find a match they might think about where to put them when they take them off.
That was a few months ago. Now, I match up the socks that come out of the laundry in pairs. Anything that doesn't match I give to them. They now have a laundry bag I keep all the mismatched ones in, instead of the laundry basket (we're making progress). It is then their job to match up the extras. It isn't 100% but it's so much better than it was a few months ago. We've gone from 1/2 a basketful to this....
Happy Sock Hunting!