It’s not always easy to organize socks and underwear, even when you have plenty of drawers in the dresser for them. So imagine what a big dilemma this would be if you didn’t have a dresser to start with.
For one thing, socks and underwear are small items that can easily get misplaced. Have you tried matching socks lately?
You can use hooks, boxes, and containers to replace a dresser and get your underwear and socks organized. Utensil organizers could double as underwear organizers in a pinch. Baskets, shelves, and under-the-bed bins all work well as solutions to organize your socks and underwear.
As long as you don’t keep the socks in a pile or place the underwear on a table for later and then forget about them. There’s more to organizing socks and underwear than just tossing them in the dresser’s drawers.
Read on to find out creative ways to organize these small items even without a dresser.
7 Steps to Organize Socks and Underwear Without a Dresser
What socks and underwear have in common is that they’re both small and have the tendency to disappear only to surface later crumbled under the bed or squeezed under the seat of the couch.
And you have no idea how they got there.
But unlike underwear, socks come in pairs, and those pairs have to match. So you’re not just organizing socks; you’re also making sure that each pair stays together for as long as they’re wearable.
The secret to keeping pairs of socks from losing track of each other is to make a ball out of one sock and squeeze it inside the other one.
You’ll end up with one ball for each pair of socks you have. Now, all you need to do is to store those socks in a safe place.
The following ideas should inspire you to find the right solutions for your socks and underwear organizing problems. You can adopt as many solutions as you like.
You can learn to fold your socks like me here, and fold your underwear like me here.
1. Use Hooks
Hooks are the most obvious solution to the wayward underwear and socks. Long before wardrobes were a common thing, hooks were the poor man’s wardrobe.
You can hang anything on hooks.
And if you want to get a little more creative, run a wire or a string between two hooks to create more hanging space.
But with socks and underwear, all you need is the right type of hooks to hang inside the door of the wardrobe. Then lump all your socks into a mesh bag and hang them on just one hook. Neat.
But there are different types of hooks out there, so which ones actually work with socks and underwear?
Here are a few hooks that come in handy to organize those small items.
- S Hook: An S hook acts as advertised. It looks like an S, and it doesn’t take up much space. Made of steel, the hook is sturdy and can handle a lot of weight, and it doesn’t rust. The non-slip hook is coated with rubber. Hang it on the rod in the wardrobe and use it to hang everything from underwear to a pair of jeans.
- Adhesive Hook: Adhesive hooks are standalone hooks that you can use on any vertical surface. In this case, the adhesive hook will hang on the back of the door of the closet or any wall. It doesn’t need a rod to hang on to. This adhesive hook can take up to 3 pounds of weight.
2. Utensil Organizers
You probably know those small containers in your kitchen drawers where you keep your forks, spoons, and knives.
With a little bit of imagination, you can use the same containers to organize the underwear and socks.
Of course, you’re not going to keep your socks with your knives. That’s living on the edge and is counter to safety standards and common sense.
The idea is to use the utensil organizers as containers to arrange the socks and underwear. You’ll need to make up space in the wardrobe, preferably on top of a shelf or in a corner.
You could also place the utensils organizer on top of the shoe rack in the wardrobe.
The secret here is to choose the right utensil organizer for the space you have in the wardrobe. Small organizers are always better. You can stack them on top of each other to get more storage space.
And if you’re wondering what type of utensils organizer works best with underwear and socks, I shortlisted a couple for your consideration.
- Kitchen Drawer Organizer: Originally designed for spatulas and ladles, this transparent organizer is the ideal storage container for your underwear and socks. It lets you find the exact item you’re looking for without having to empty everything in the organizer.
- Silverware Organizer: As the name implies, this is an organizer for smaller utensils in your kitchen. It’s for spoons and forks. That means the space in the organizer is only limited to a few items of socks and underwear. But you can arrange two or three organizers on top of each other.
3. Small Shelves
Your wardrobe has lots of built-in shelves. And useful as they are, those shelves will not help with the underwear and socks problem. The shelves are too big for keeping small items.
Not to mention that you already have better use for those shelves keeping your jeans, jackets, and other heavy items.
What you can do, however, is use small shelves on top of the large built-in shelves to keep your socks and underwear.
So how would you install those shelves?
You’ll need to find small shelves that extend from the back of the wardrobe to halfway through the large shelves. Then have enough space above the large shelves to store the other items.
But don’t raise the small shelves too high to make retrieving the socks and underwear beyond your reach.
Here are a couple of small shelves I recommend for you.
- Acrylic Ledge: This versatile black shelf will fit nicely over the shelves or compartments in the closet. It measures 15 inches long and 4.35 inches across. Its height is only 3 inches which makes it ideal for the limited space inside the wardrobe.
- Black Shelf: This plastic shelf comes with six adhesives to make it easy to install on any level surface. It doesn’t require nails or screws, and it doesn’t leave any scars on the wardrobe walls.
4. Underwear Organizers
Of course, it’s one thing to pull a couple of utensil organizers out of the kitchen drawer and stick them into the wardrobe to keep your underwear and socks.
But it’s a totally different thing to just go for underwear organizers and keep your kitchen drawers undisturbed.
So what do underwear organizers give you that utensil organizers don’t? As it turns out, a whole lot.
First and foremost, those underwear organizers have a ton of tiny compartments to store every last piece of underwear you have.
It’s like a tray for underwear. No more misplacing your underwear or wondering if you have lost them in the laundromat.
Each piece of underwear or balled-up sock is visible in its own compartment. No more searching or stacking underwear and socks on top of each other.
Here are two sock and underwear organizers that stick out and offer good value for their relatively low prices.
- Sock Underwear Organizer: This organizer comes in a pack of three trays. Each tray has 64 small compartments. Depending on how many socks and underwear pieces you have, you might need to stack two or three trays on top of each other. The organizer is made from PBT fabric for durability.
- Dresser Drawer: You don’t need a dresser to have a dresser drawer like this portable one. Made from flexible non-woven fabrics, it comes in a set of two. You can store a stack of underwear in each pocket in the drawer.
5. Desktop Drawers
Desktop drawers are ideal for storing small items when you have no drawers or a dresser to keep them. In that case, any shelf in the bathroom or the wardrobe will do.
It’s not the best solution, but compared to having your socks become the new toy for your dog, desk drawers will do just fine.
Some desktop drawers come with dividers that turn the drawer into three or four compartments. Each compartment will allow you to fold and stack your underwear and socks by type, fabric, and color.
The drawback to having desktop drawers on a shelf in the bathroom is that the socks and underwear could get damp due to the high humidity in the bathroom.
So I recommend that you keep the desktop drawers in the closet to shield them from dust and humidity.
The following two desktop drawers will come in handy to store everything from socks and underwear to ties and watches.
- Stacking Storage Drawer: The main advantage of those desktop drawers is that they come with a lid. They’re made of plastic, and each set has four drawers. The lids will protect the socks and underwear against dust and humidity. So you can keep them anywhere in the house.
- Organizer Containers: Although designed mainly for hardware, you can use those containers as desktop drawers for socks and underwear. They have a lid for protection and are made of plastic. The compact containers can be stacked up in one corner or under the bed if you don’t have space for them.
6. Tennis Ball Cans
If you’re a fan of tennis, then you probably have cans of tennis balls that you don’t know what to do with.
Well, don’t throw them out. Instead, use them to store underwear and socks. You can fill each can with up to 10 pieces of underwear comfortably.
The balls of socks take up more space, so you can only store up to 3 pairs of socks per can.
But what if you don’t like tennis and can’t get your hands on tennis ball cans? In that case, a Pringles can will do just fine.
You’ll need to wash it well with dish soap and warm water to flush out all traces of grease and fat. Then when it’s dry, stuff it with underwear and socks.
Cover each can with the plastic lid it came with and store the cans in the wardrobe. They take up less space than you might expect.
7. Vertical Shoe Racks
Say what you like about vertical shoe racks; there’s no denying their practical sides.
When you’re at a loss where to keep your shoes in such a limited space, those miracles of innovation save you a lot of hassle and space.
In fact, you can use those versatile racks to store a lot of things and not just shoes. For our purposes here, drawers and socks are the first things that come to mind.
Not only do they come in a wide variety of colors and designs, but they’re pretty affordable as well. You can store your shoes, socks, and underwear all in the same place for convenience.
When looking for suitable vertical shoe racks for your closet, I recommend the following two portable shoe racks.
- Shoe Organizer: This shoe organizer can be used anywhere you have a wall or empty space in the closet. If not, then just hang it behind a door. The organizer has 24 large mesh pockets to store not just shoes but also underwear and socks.
- 10-Tier Shoe Organizer: This shoe organizer is designed to be placed inside of the closet. It contains ten foldable compartments and is made from breathable fabrics.
Even without a dresser, you can still have your socks and underwear neatly folded and stored.
Desktop drawers, vertical shoe racks, and underwear organizers are all ideal solutions when you don’t have a dresser.
You can also use hooks and even Pringles cans as storage places for those small items.
Next, you can check out my comprehensive guide on what to do if you have too little space to store your clothes.