Organizing Your Stash

Aug 28, 2013

Let's go ahead and admit it, we all have an embarrassingly large collection of yarn stuffed into every nook and cranny of our home.  It can really be a wonderful thing to have such varieties at your fingertips when crochet inspiration hits, but if your stash gets out of hand it is easy to forget what you own!

There are many different ways to divide and conquer your mountains of fiber.  Some crafters like to separate by color or by fiber content. Sarah wrote a fantastic post showing her method of sorting by possible project (accessories, socks, sweaters, etc.).  I absolutely love her idea of using a hanging shoe holder to corral both the pattern and its assigned yarn for future projects.

Personally, I just don't know what my yarn will become until inspiration strikes so I prefer to arrange by yarn weights. I generally keep my yarns stored away in either a basket or bin but I do like to have them easily accessible. When I acquire a new yarn, I don't immediately file it away... partially because I like to keep it within eyesight... mostly because I'm lazy. Since my move to Colorado, I have procured a good amount of yarn: it was time to get down to business!

Step 1  was to dump all new yarns on the ground and sort roughly by weights:

As I sorted, I also added to my ever-expanding excel spreadsheet with ALL of my yarns.  Included columns are: weight, yarn distributor, yarn type, fiber content, yardage, amount, color, and possible project ideas.  This probably seems really OCD (it is) but it's handy to have when I'm browsing for my next project.

Formatted as a table, you can easily pick and choose what you would like to see. For example, if I find a lace pattern while I'm at work, I can pull up my spreadsheet, select to see only the #0 or #1 weights.  From there I can decide whether I have enough yarn in the right color or fiber for the project. 

After being sorted, it's time to put your pretty yarn away and out of sight... but wait!  There's a bit of a solution!  Though I generally do store most of my yarn in large ziploc bags and then into bins or baskets, I leave out my favorites where I can see their shiny colorful glory everyday.

Displayed are some of my favorite yarns, arranged from lighter lace weight yarns on the left to heavier weights on the right.  These are either yarns that I'm planning to use soon... or just ones that are quite lovely.

And here you can see my wonderful closet-o-crafts.  The best part is that I can view my fuzzy yarn beauties even when the door is shut thanks to the nifty circular glass window.

How do you organize your yarn? I would love to hear from you!

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Char55 wrote
on Aug 28, 2013 9:13 AM

Where's the rest of your stash (the bins and boxes)??? How do you find specific yarns when you need them? Have to dig through the bins and boxes or consult a spread sheet??? While your one shelf of "favorites" is pretty...don't think it would work on a practical level for me personally. I'm a "visual" person...have to see what I have on hand, not read it from a spread sheet.

I have ALL my yarn where I can see it. It's organized by brand and type in hanging closet sweater bags that have 6 to 8 shelves each. They also have clear, zippered fronts so I can see what colors and how many skeins of each I have...and find inspiration for new projects...just by opening the closet bi-fold doors. They also keep the yarn clean and free of dust...and out of the reach of my cats!

on Aug 28, 2013 10:11 AM

Char55: I love your organization process!!  I have to admit, it would be wonderful to have everything out in the open... it's a space issue for me.  Perhaps I will clear out some of my other crafting goodies and devote the entire cabinet for displaying yarn.

And yes, I keep the rest pretty much tucked away in large clear plastic baggies and then in either clear bins or open baskets.  They are also organized roughly by weight but yes, I can definitely understand wanting to keep all of your yarns in sight!  Thankfully, I go through my stash often enough that I pretty much know where everything is and what I have available.

Thanks for sharing your organization tips, I am so fascinated by how others keep things in order!

PatCooper wrote
on Sep 6, 2013 2:18 PM

Char55 - great idea - I will be in the process of reorganizing  my yarn and fabric this winter - I too am "visual" and I love the idea of hanging closet sweater bags - now I just have to figure out how to fit a hanging rod into my studio (aka shed) thanks for the idea

lehman1971 wrote
on Sep 7, 2013 7:01 PM

For the most part I am an afghan crocheter, with some small decorative items or bags that I make every now and then.  I generally use worsted weight the most, so I sort by colors.  I have 1 bin with reds, yellows, greens, oranges and pinks; the other bin is browns, blues, purples and grays.  Did I mention these are large bins?? I'm not sure, but I think the bins might be 28 gallon? So, each one holds about 21 skeins standing upright and there is room for another 10 laying flat across the top.  Best part is they are clear plastic , so I can always see the colorful collection in the  corner of my room! There are also a few under-bed storage boxes (don't tell my kids about these), and they hold any odd weights, decorative fibers,etc that I may acquire. After all, one can never have too much yarn!!