Organize Your Yarn Stash in 4 Easy Steps

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!



21 thoughts on “Organize Your Yarn Stash in 4 Easy Steps”

  • 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 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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????

  • Good idea – one that I will have a problem with tho. lol. I saw the word donate and out of my mouth came “oh h*** no” panic attack hit hard just don’t think it will work for me. Lmbo. Sorry still laughing at my own reaction.

  • Hi Kristine :) Well, I’m in the process of transforming one of the rooms (it used to be my workroom when I was teaching, with a wall to wall library and 3 extra units across for materials) into a craftroom and started searching Pinterest for ideas. Well, I hit a great one for my yarn stash. It looks like a yarn store’s cubbies. it’s simple but effective and you can see all your yarns at once. It will take one of the single units, shelves removed and repurposed sometime in the future … The cubbies will be in a diamond shaped pattern and all the yarn will be separated by colors since I make diverse crafts. Luckily, I have friends coming soon for a visit and one of them is very handy :) so, the job is allocated to him … but shuuuuu, he doesn’t know it yet!

  • I find hoarding an inappropriate word since we USE and Share our yarn. I have 33 tubs the size of yours and now most are only 3/4ths full. I love my yarn and set it up much like yours. Now, my catagories are baby yarn, yarn by color and Lion Brand Homespun by color. I donate 98% of what I make to hospitals, charties for children and SELL crocheted bookmarks at the local library and 100% of sale $$$ go to fund the childrens library. Last year it averaged over $85 a month, and it was roses for $1 and ponies, curly cue bookworm, dragons and sea serpents and many more at 2 for $1.
    Keep up the good work and thank you SOOOO much for sharing.

    • I love your use of words!!! Hoarding definitely has a negative connotation associated with it.

      What a great thing you are doing for the children’s library. My girls spent countless hours at our local library when they were little and it has helped shape who they are as young ladies.

  • Hi Kristine. These are great tips. I’m a yarn collector too! Isn’t it amazing what we accumulate & forget about? Yarn is so hard to resist. My husband built me a floor to ceiling cubby unit to organize my stash. Don’t forget to do an actual inventory, removing yarns that you donate, buy, and use.

  • Thank you so much for the encouragement. I thought I was the only yarn hoarder. I decided to organize mine by color.

  • Stash Organizing To The Next Level – Reorganizing my yarn stash has been quite the journey. I started buying yarn at thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, or online garage sale pages. You know, the usual sources. Husband bought me a winder and swift so I could save space. Once he saw how much space I created he bought me more yarn. Then I progressed to sorting the leftovers by brand and type (baby, acrylic, weight), then began weighing and labelling it all, There are lots of websites with ideas and suggestions for this. Then I thought I would create pages listing all my stash in a binder but I have put that on hold for the time being. My girlfriend thinks I’m nuts for taking my organizing to the next level but I had a plan in mind. I want to know how much yarn is left so I can put it to good use too. Also, I want to only buy yarn if I have it in my stash and need more to make sweaters or blankets. I was actually doing okay following that plan but it seems there is always someone giving away yarn or selling it at a minimum price. Just tell someone you knit or crochet and you get more yarn. No, no, no, no more yarn. We just moved and I have spent 2 days reorganizing my stash. We hired packers and movers so my stash was been strewn all over the place. More time will be dedicated to reorganizing my stash of course, but for now, the remainder of our belongings are begging for attention. I can see why you say you needed a week. I have lots of yarn ready for donation to the seniors’ centre, the Salvation Army or a crafter looking for yarn. So, onwards and upwards I go. I hope that your followers will read this and perhaps take on the challenge of stash organizing to the next level. Thanks for sharing your ideas and suggestions.

    • It sounds like you’re doing great so far! I had to stop looking for sales and start telling people no. It’s hard in the beginning but gets easier the longer you do it. You got this. Keep up the great work!

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