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Spring Cleaning: 7 Ways to Organize Your Yarn Stash

Knitting expert Barbara Breiter joins us for her monthly column on tips and techniques for yarncrafters. 

I don’t need an extra closet for my stash...I need a whole extra house! If you've been crafting for any length of time, I'm sure you know the feeling: you've sworn off buying anything new but still...the new skeins always call your name.

There is an infinite number of ways to store yarn and supplies. Whatever method(s) you choose depends to some extent upon your available space, your budget, and the size of your stash.

Spring Cleaning: How to Organize Your Yarn Stash

If your stash is relatively small, you can keep a spreadsheet with the yarn name, fiber content, color, suggested gauge, etc. (If I were to start a spreadsheet though, I would spend the next year working on it, so that idea is out for me.) Be sure to also check out Ravelry (the free yarn community), which has easy-to-use online tools to keep track of your yarn.

At my home, I've organized single (or at the most two) skeins by fiber and color. For my collection of cottons and blends, I've used inexpensive plastic bins that snap together. (Click here to see an example.)

My single wool skeins are also organized by color. These are waiting to be knit up some day in the classic plastic bin with drawers, widely available in just about any store. (Click here to see an example.)

When I have more than two skeins of the same yarn, I want to keep them together. I have two methods I use for this due to lack of space:

First: I put yarn of each type in separate plastic shopping bags and tie them to keep them neat. Just slip the handles of the bag over a hanger and hang in the closet!

Yarn in plastic bagsSecond: Since, my yarn closet also has a shelf on the top, some of my identical skeins rest to together in separate clear bags. (See photo at right.) If you put them in the bag lined up neatly, you can make quite nice, space efficient stacks. These bags are used to ship the yarn from the mills. If you don’t have any of these, ask your yarn store for some the next time you’re there. I’m sure they have dozens.

Similarly, when you buy a blanket, sheets, or other bedding, they usually come in nice zippered plastic bags. Do not throw these away!  They are indispensable for storing yarn and needles!

The smaller ones that pillowcases and shams come in are great for circulars, double points, and hooks. Double points are kept in their original little cases so the same size stays together. Then I have two zippered cases, one for the smaller ones and one for the large ones. My circulars are organized by length in different cases.

My straight needles are organized by size in dedicated needle cases. Some were bought for that purpose and one I sewed myself in a particularly creative burst one day. You can click here to see some different hook and needle cases on

Of course, there are many other ways that you may find to stay organized, so be sure to check out the links below AND share your own tips in the comments. Now get to spring cleaning!

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