I used a Sharpie laundry marker to make a couple of dots on my oldest son's underwear inside the waistband. I accidentally put two dots on the very first pair (I think I thought I was holding a smaller size...I really meant to have only one dot in his, but I messed up) so all of his underwear have two dots. I put three dots on my youngest son's underwear. When my oldest son outgrows his, I just add a dot and they are passed down to my youngest son.
Socks are a little easier to sort for my guys. One wears only solid colored athletic socks (we won't comment on why...or who...), so his are easy to sort out from the pile of laundry. My husband and other son, however, wear the exact same kinds of athletic socks. I put one dot on the underside of the toes of my son's socks (both inside and outside, because I don't turn socks the "right" way as I fold) so I can easily tell which ones are his.
Really, there's no rhyme or reason to the number of dots on articles of clothing around here. Maybe later...but not now.
(Alternatively, I've heard of a couple of families who dump all the guys' (athletic) socks in one centrally located drawer/box for everyone to use. This wouldn't work for our Mr. Only-Solid-Colors...or my husband, since there is also a young Mr. Looks-Like-He-Runs-Through-Mud-Without-Shoes in the mix.)
When life gets really hectic, I put each person's socks, unsorted, in a pile and they can either match them or dump them "as is" in the sock drawer. Also, I usually buy the same kinds of socks over and over again (and we usually stick to only white socks), so when one sock gets a hole in it or goes missing, it's no big deal; there will be a match for it soon enough.
And that works for me! What works for you? Share a tip of any kind or link to your blog post in the comments, and I'll check it out! Click over to We Are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday ideas.