We started 2018 with the best of intentions: to stop the stash creep from taking over our lives. But as they say, the best intentions pave the road to certain disaster. Now we’re revisiting that New Year’s Resolution, and prepping for summer projects by getting organized, once and for all. If you’re committed to figuring out how to organize your stash, here’s a list of real tips from real crafters. May we all reach that elusive goal: a perfectly-curated stash that keeps us crafting.
Whether you’re a victim to impulse purchases, limited space, or an ever-growing to-WIP list (or possibly all three!), we’ve been there. Who are we kidding, we are there! As one comment bemoaned, there’s always the next ad for that special yarn we’ve been eyeing. Or worse, we find ourselves wandering down the yarn aisle, wondering how we got there. Since acknowledging the problem is the first step to solving it, we’ll say it: there will always be more yarn. Whew – what a relief! Now that we’ve faced the problem head on, keep reading for real tips to organize your stash.
Before we begin, some wisdom from Mary Ellen: “If you can’t look at this with humor you’ve made the job a lot harder than it has to be.” Mary Ellen, we couldn’t agree more!
There are so many storage options to organize your stash, and our readers had excellent
Crafter Carol D. suggests inexpensive plastic cabinets with drawers, which can be stacked to make better use of space. Here’s an example, the Sterilite 3 Drawer Cart from Target (one of many choices!). When you can see what yarn you have on hand, there’s a better chance you’ll use it up!
Another crafter, Barbara, suggested plastic milk crates – also affordable, accessible, and stackable.
Cathy likes these IKEA cubes, and has them stacked to form what she refers to as her ‘Wall of Shame’. (Thanks for keeping us laughing, Cathy!).
If you need to make use of vertical space, Diana suggests the Dazz Smart Carousel Organizer from Walmart. With many clear pockets, which each hold a standard-sized skein, you’ll have a great view of all your options.
One last idea, from Melissa, is perfect especially if you’ve got a smaller stash: over-sized glass jars. They could be a wonderful option for your novelty yarns, or any particularly pretty single skeins. Besides making them extra-visible, it’s a beautiful way to use your stash to decorate your space!
We love how another crafter put it: once she decided to stash her yarn beautifully, it started to feel like she was shopping at home! Plus, she knew she’d like everything she found.
When many of us think of getting organized, we focus on our yarns, but that’s only half the picture. Many of the suggestions made for skeins could be modified for your crafting tools, too. You could definitely check out smaller stacking tubs and drawers for your crafting implements. Or, these Lily Combo Needle Cases, available on our website!
Crafter Karen offered this suggestion: if you have to put a project aside, or are in the very real predicament of multiple WIPs, be sure to store the hook or needles with the project. Since she doesn’t use the hook size recommended by the pattern, this trick has been a life-saver.
Speaking of implements, maybe you want to get a small scale for your crafting space. For example, this small Ozeri Kitchen Scale from Home Depot (it comes in several fun colors!). Once you’ve finished a project, you can weigh the leftover yarn, and stick it in a Ziploc bag. Write the pertinent information in Sharpie, and stash it away for when you need a little something. Bonus: if you’ve saved the yarn label, you can stick it right in the bag!
One lucky crafter, Sally, is planning a move – her new home will have an entire room devoted to crafts! In the meantime, she keeps a meticulous binder. All the patterns are organized by weight, and she’s added post-its to the patterns that she’s already purchased yarn for. That way, when a pattern calls to her, she knows right away whether or not she’s got the yarn to whip to up!
Whether you prefer a binder, Ravelry’s handy stashing tool (pictured above), a fancy spreadsheet, or a simple composition notebook, Anne suggests keeping it handy whenever you head to the store. As your eyes glaze over with options, you’ll be able to scroll or page through what you already have, so *hopefully* you won’t go too crazy!
Debbie tells a cautionary tale: She recently decided to make her sister a sweater with a yarn she’d purchased 25 years ago. While she thought she’d stored it correctly, she found once she started that the fiber kept splitting. An online search proved hopeless, and she had to finish the sweater with short sleeves. The moral of the story: “Keep buying, but use it, too!”
Now it’s possible, at this point, that you’re facing a difficult truth: there’s just too much yarn. Your stash is out of control, and you’ve reached the point of no return. Have no fear! Crafter Andrea has a beautiful solution: a yard sale! She put out every skein that she didn’t have immediate plans for. Surprisingly, she felt immense joy, knowing she was making other crafters happy.
Another possibility for parting with your yarn in a meaningful way is to donate to a charity knitting group. We’d suggest doing research online to find groups affiliated with churches, community centers, or senior centers.
One crafter described donating excess yarn as a ‘win-win’. Not only is she finally organized, but she’s also made her charity crafting group very happy.
Hopefully, these real tips from real crafters have illuminated some new ideas when it comes to organizing your stash. At the very least, we hope you’re feeling less alone in your stash woes! However grand your resolutions may have been, it’s never too late to get organized. When you organize your stash, you bring peace of mind to your space, clarity to your to-do list, and more time to focus on what’s really important: crafting.