Do you have trouble taming your stash? Pretty sure you have the perfect yarn for that new pattern… somewhere…? We’ve all been there – and here’s how I and a couple of my fellow designers have tackled our own yarn stash organization issues!
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The first thing you need to do is figure out just how much yarn you have – that will tell you how much space you need for storage and if you (dread!) need to pair your stash down a bit.
Personally, I go through a lot of yarn – a lot. And I have to be able to see what I have at a glance and access it daily. And I usually have a few WIPs (Works In Progress) to keep organized too!
So for me, open cube shelving has been they right storage solution for my yarn stash. I’ve got a double “wall” of cubes, back to back, that divide my basement into my office space, and the kids’ hang out zone.
I have the wall that faces the kids’ area filled with my book collection, magazine collection, and my (mostly) acrylic yarns. On my office side, I store the more delicate yarns, as well as the Moogly CAL yarn and squares, current projects, and other miscellaneous crafty supplies.
This works great for me, because it’s functional, practical – and because I go through my yarn very quickly! Within the cubes, I’ve organized my yarn first by type, and then by color. So all my Red Heart With Love is together, and so is all my Red Heart Scrubby Smoothie!
To keep the WIPS organized, I use 7.2-quart plastic containers (my fave size!), project bags, and even Red Heart tote bags – each with the yarn and whatever info I need to keep with it. I can always grab a project and my notions bag and go!
When I visited my friend and fellow Joy Creator Jessie Rayot from Jessie at Home, I saw that her basement looks a lot like mine! Here are some photos of her yarn organization, and her words on how she keeps it all together:
“I have a yarn wall full of cubbies where I organize my yarn by brand and then by type within each brand. I also have a smaller set of cubbies where I store my yarn and other crafts that are on my “to do” list. Things I have already scheduled for my blog but just need to make.”
My yarn storage has definitely evolved over the years – I remember back when my entire yarn stash fit in a large plastic storage tote! And these can still be a great storage and organization solution for yarn, depending on your own situation.
For instance, if you need to store your stash in a room that’s also used by small children or pets, having your yarn in airtight storage might prevent a lot of heartaches later!
It’s also a great option when you need to be able to stash your yarn in a storage room or garage, or under tables, etc. One tip – unless sunlight is also an issue, go with clear storage bins – that way you can see what’s inside at a glance!
You can label each bin with what’s outside too, and use the bins to keep like yarns with like. (Yes, I do own a label maker!)
There are lots of other storage solutions of course – everything from repurposed hutches to bins that slide under the guest bed. I’ve even seen lots of people using hanging closet organizers! It’s all in how you use it – and finding the system that works best for you.
And as mentioned earlier… remembering what you have an where it is! For those who can’t keep all their yarn right in sight, there are some great online solutions to help too! Some people like to use spreadsheets they’ve developed, but you can also use the Stash tool on Ravelry, like Joy Creator Marie Segares from Underground Crafter!
Marie is a designer – but she also lives in a New York apartment. So a big wall of yarn isn’t an option for her, and she has to stash her yarns where she can!
“I live in an apartment and storage is always a challenge. I list all of my yarn in my Ravelry stash so I can avoid buying duplicates. I can also track how much yardage I have left and leave notes so I can remember which bin the yarn is stored in.”
After you’ve decided on the where and the how and you start putting your yarn away in your pretty new bins and on your fancy new shelves – you might find yourself needing or wanting to say goodbye to a few skeins that need a new home. While parting with yarn can be difficult, there are ways to make it easier!
If you are using the Ravelry Stash tool, you can mark the skeins you are willing to sell or trade – someone might be desperately waiting for one more ball of that discontinued yarn to finish their project! There are also lots of local groups online where you can sell off extra craft supplies.
Or if you’re ready to do a good deed, try donating your extra yarn! I’ve personally given a lot of partial (but still good!) skeins to my children’s schools – for the art teachers, for elementary school crafting… and our Middle School even has a crochet club! There are also lots of charity organizations, women’s shelters, and other groups that would love to turn your leftovers into something wonderful. You can even send along this link to 21 free knit and crochet patterns for charity!
How do you store and organize your yarn stash? Is it working for you? Share your best ideas in the comments!