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How to Organize Your Stash: Real Tips from Real Crafters

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How to Organize Your Stash: Real Tips from Real Crafters

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.

For the first installment of our organization series, click here.
Organize Your Stash

Image via @bysincerelypam

Certain Stash Disaster

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!

Organize Your Stash: Real Tips from Real Crafters

1 Find Your Storage Style

Organize Your Stash

Image via @knottyolivecrochet

Organize Your Stash

Sterilite 3 Drawer Cart

There are so many storage options to organize your stash, and our readers had excellent

suggestions!

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!

Organize Your Stash

Bitrade Shelving Unit

 

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!).

There are plenty of fun options for inserts, like the Drona and Bladdra boxes, below. You can also find plenty of fun (and colorful!) options on Ebay.

Organize Your Stash

Dazz Smart Carousel Organizer

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!

Organize Your Stash

Image via Pinterest

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.

2 Don’t forget to stash your tools!

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.

Organize Your Stash

Ozeri Kitchen Scale

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!

3 Put it All On Paper

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!

Organize Your Stash

Image via Underground Crafter

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!”

4 Let it Go

Organize Your Stash

Image via @zoe.creates

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.

Organize Your Stash

Image via @designsbyphanessa

Organize Your Stash, Once and For All

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.

Let us know in the comments below if you’ve got an amazing idea we missed, or if you read something new you can’t wait to try! We’re all in the same boat – together, we can stop the stash creep.
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8 Comments

  • I have limited space for my yarn. I recently discovered something to store my yarn. A clothes hamper with the lid. Several months ago my husband fell against our clothes hamper and cracked the lid. He recently purchased a new one. He super glued the cracked kid in our one, and I am using it to store my yarn. I really like it.

  • Another place for rehoming yarn and supplies is to see if your local middle school or elementary school has a knitting/crochet/craft club or maker space. You can pass on the excitement of creating to the next generations.

  • I use a lot of IKEA furniture to organize my yarn by color and type. Ikea has all sorts of inexpensive small pieces with deep drawers. I also shop Home Goods where you can find canvas bins which are decorative and easy to move around.

  • Yarn storage my husband built me a space right next to his. Now we have He Shed/ She Shed Waiting on the sign!

  • I recently started teaching others how to knit. I have opened my home and when a new knitter starts, I am able to start them off with a pair of needles and a small ball of yarn from my stash. It is a great way to share my love of knitting and make new friends. The ladies even decided to name our group and make a Facebook page…we are the Knotty Knitters. We recently started our first knit along project and all went together to a craft store to purchase the materials needed. I also use my leftover baby yarn to make hats for a local hospital. Another stash buster and feels good in the process. I hope to get the group to do the same once we get to making hats. I love sharing my knitting and crocheting habit with others.

  • Check online charity sites as well for places to send your yarn if there are none in your area. Some places take yarn donations to give to crafters to make items for donations. One example is Handmade Especially for You which makes scarves, and gives knitters a “magic ball” of yarn to work with making some scarves. They are looking for yarn donations as well as scarves, and are based in California (USA).
    Sometimes just asking around to your fellow crocheters/knitters who might help with yarn you don’t plan to use. My friend and I have been swapping yarns (I have colors she doesn’t), and I decrease my stash.
    Also, I read about a school that was in a poorer neighborhood and needed yarn (and hooks) to help get their Crochet Club going. Talk to teachers you know and maybe they know of places to donate yarn.
    I also donated to a recovery center that was planning to use crochet and knitting to help with stress and help keep idle hands busy.

  • I have been using a couple of hanging closet organizers and they are great. I am also in the process of adapting our entertainment center that can’t be used with today’s large flat-screen tvs for my yarn and for quilting. Large bins are going into the spot where the tv went. The doored storage under that spot for fabric, etc. The shelves behind the glass door is of course for yarn and the other end has a door as tall as the unit that opens and was initially for storing DVDs or or VHS tapes and has a small lip on the edge so fat quarters and equipment, etc. can be put there. Then of course the top of the entertainment center.
    No thrift store wanted it to sell for charity. It was going to end up in the landfill and I thought, “Wait, I can turn that into storage for me and my crafting one way or the other.”

  • I no longer have a stash. I buy exactly what I need for one of two projects, then when those are done, I buy more. This allows me to carefully consider exactly what I want to make. Cull and curate. I said never again after the carpet beetles and boiler explosion.

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