Sometimes you have a brilliant insight. Sometimes, through a combination of guile and creativity, you develop a solution that is simple and elegant. And while I have to admit the problem I solved is not all that important in a universe of very important problems, it’s still something I’m excited to reveal.

I have solved the lost sock black hole problem.

I hear you out there, scoffing. But it’s true. Not only have I solved the problem of the laundry black hole that eats single socks, but I have solved it for the most difficult of all socks — footie socks.

You’ll be happy to know I believe that when we solve a problem for humanity, we must share it. However, dear reader, I have a warning. This ingenious solution comes at a cost. As is the case so often, when you solve one problem, you inadvertently create another.

For years, socks around here have been a one and done commodity, like hair ties and paper plates. I have a box full of hopeful single socks, all of whom are searching for their lost mate in a future laundry basket. But that has all changed. These days I don’t lose a single sock because of a little thing called “the lingerie bag.”

Let me explain lingerie bags, for those of you who either don’t have lingerie or don’t value it enough to get it its own little bag. Lingerie bags are little net bags you fill with delicate items, zip up, then throw into the washing machine. My lingerie bag hadn’t seen the light of day in quite some time since I’m a little light on the “delicates.” Clothes around here have to be easy to wash, because all articles of clothing are in real danger of accidentally shrunk by my husband (who is not big on reading labels, but since he does the laundry, I do not complain).

Fortunately, lingerie bags are multi-purpose. As it turns out these same bags work perfectly for socks. For a week, I toss my pairs of socks in the lingerie bag. Then I toss the whole thing in the laundry. And when I get the bag back and open it, THEY ARE ALL THERE. EVERY SOCK AND ITS MATE.

It’s a little miraculous.

I bought a few more bags for everyone else in the house and am considering getting one for everyone in my extended family for their birthdays. Because I’m not giving them just a bag. I’m giving them a future that holds only matching pairs of socks. FOREVER.

The only down side is that once you have found all your lost socks and fully committed to the lingerie bag method, you’ll discover that in a matter of weeks you will have enough socks to cover all the feet in a three-block radius. Still, it’s worth it, if only to open the bag every week and realize you have once and for all, defeated (pun intended) the lost sock black hole.

You’re welcome — and I look forward to seeing your matching socks soon.

Winter Prosapio is a writer, working mom and Corporate Director of Communications and Government Relations for Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts.

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