Organize Your Yarn Stash in 4 Easy Steps

Posted by on February 23, 2016 in Yarn | 10 comments

Are you overwhelmed by your yarn stash? Do you feel like you have yarn everywhere? Do you find yourself buying more yarn for your next project because you have no idea where you put the yarn you think you could use? Block off a day (or two or three if you have a larger stash) and we can work through this together.

**Disclaimer** – I have been hoarding collecting yarn for about 15 years. Please be kind and try not to judge my pictures. I’m trying to get better and it took a lot for me to be honest and put myself out there with these photos so that maybe I can help someone else. 

 

How to Organize Your Yarn Stash in 4 Easy Steps

 

I’ve been overwhelmed for a long time. At the end of 2011 I set out to Organize My Yarn Stash and then proceeded to put myself on a Yarn Diet. That didn’t go so well because 10 months later I wrote the post Yarn Diet….FAIL! I think every year since I have posted that I’m not buying any new yarn. I realized that 2015 was the first year I stuck to my yarn diet – about 85% of the time. (Re-reading those posts I’ve also realized my blogging has evolved and I’ve come a long way.)

While I haven’t had 100% success, most of the yarn I did purchase was specifically for orders. 2015 was the closest I have come to succeeding, so I took a long hard look at what got me there. First you need discipline, but that’s a whole other blog post. What I’m going to cover is how to get your yarn stash organized in such a way that it will make sense. When you do that, you’ll easily be able to know what you already have, or find what I was looking for.

 

How to Organize Your Yarn Stash

in 4 Easy Steps

 

Last fall my hubby went on a fishing trip with a friend for a week. I decided that was the perfect time to re-organize my stash once and for all, in such a way that I would be able to find what I needed, when I needed it. I had a week, so I embarked on a mission. I knew I needed more than one day to do it right, so I buckled down for 3 days and set out to surprise him when he returned. You will need 1-3 days depending on the amount of yarn hiding in your house.

  • Gather and put all your yarn in one place – Yes, you read that right. Pull out every skein, hank, and ball of yarn you can find. I would even recommend pulling UFO’s out and putting them in the pile as well. By putting it all in one spot you will have a better idea of how much you really own (you might even be scared like I was). You can see from the pics below that some of mine was in buckets from the last time I tried to do this.

 

Organize Your Yarn Stash in 4 Easy Steps

 

  • Sort it into 3 sections. You will need to decided what you want to keep, what you can donate, and if there is anything you want to sell. When I did this I donated a 40 gal. garbage bag to a charity group and I gave a humongous box to a friend that was in need of some yarn.
  • Organize to make it easy to find later. Decide how best to organize your stash. How you would look for it? What makes the most sense to you? (color, weight, brand) Do you search for colors and not necessarily care if you use different brands? Do you look for a specific weight yarn and then begin searching for colors that would look good together? Do you usually know what brand yarn you want and then decided on color and/or weight? Do this according to what makes the most sense to you. Whichever way you choose, you will then need to sort all the yarn based on the option you’ve chosen.
  • Label each clear bucket for storage. – I’m going to recommend clear buckets for this. It’s easy to see what’s inside and they stack neatly on top of each other. Then buy some labels (or use masking tape) and label your buckets the way you sorted them. I decided to separate mine by weight. I ended up having enough worsted weight that I also sorted those by brand. (Example: Some of my buckets are labeled #4 Hobby Lobby, or #4 Red Heart). If you have a lot you may even want to stack them based on weight/color, etc.

 

How to Organize Your Yarn Stash in 4 Easy Steps

 

TIP: It’s ideal if you can go through your stash once a year. If you’re good about keeping it neat and organized you can skip step 1.

 

The whole point of this is to be able to find it later. If you don’t sort it and label it in a way that makes sense to you, it will just end up all over the place or unorganized again (like it did for me so many other times). What is your best yarn stash organization tip?

 

Happy Crocheting!

 

 

10 Comments

  1. Love this method & so useful! Definitely , take the time to do this and it will save you time later. It was inspiring to see what I could make with yarns I had forgotten I owned. Thank you!

    • I’m so glad to hear this Cynthia! I too was amazed with what I found and yarn I had forgotten about.

  2. Hmm. I wonder when my husband is going away for a week.

    • haha! Thanks for the laugh, Lynne. :)

  3. I organize my stash by manufacturer and sub category by color. I use only three weights, #4 and baby weight (or some might call sport weight) and thread. I’ve had them in clear storage containers and disposed of the containers because I hated fishing to the bottom box to find the brand/color I wanted. We are fortunate to have two shelves in the quilt studio ‘bedroom’ in the wall-to-wall closet. One is exclusively for yarn with shelf brackets to segregate ‘bernat’ from ‘red heart’ or caron. My biggest problem is in storing the ‘jumbo’s Caron has the one pound, Red heart has the super saver jumbo. Since I work primarily in about 5 or 6 colors, I’m eliminating the standard size skeins unlsss I need a small supply of an unusual color for a specific project. The storage of WIP’s has become another issue I’m trying to solve since when I get bored with one project, I frequently have another, now I have about 6 WIPS in giant zip lock bags along with photocopied directions but Where to put? Dilemma!

  4. Great article!
    My best tip for yarn control would be to only keep the yarns you love to work with. You won’t use it if you hate the way it feels.

  5. I sort by color only. Now have 23 totes (buckets), with some duplicates. I buy at thrift shops. Usually large bags and assorted types,, colors…. cheap. I make hats and blankets for babies and donate to the hospital.

    • That’s such a great thing to do with the yarn, Barbara!

  6. I did this ages ago using under bed storage bins and sorting by color. That works great as long as you use use what you have. I have to start over again with more bins to organize the bags, baskets and totes full that are piling up. I may need anther craft room too. Yikes, I now have a store😳

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