This approach has worked wonders for me. It is sort of a preemptive strike, ensuring that you will indeed have actual pairs of matching socks once the laundry is in its final sorting stage. Yes, you will want to un-pair your socks before transferring them over to the dryer/clothesline - but it is still worlds easier to sort the pre-sorted.
You may have gathered that my laundry habits are less than stellar. You are not wrong. Frequency=Low. Which may or may not have lead me down this dark road in the first place, but I know I am not alone. Hopefully this tip will help those of you in similar positions.
P.S. For positively orphaned socks worry not, you've just landed yourself a brand new duster!
(Images: MaryAnne Petrella)