How to Organize an Unruly Stash

January First, 2012

When faced with a feral stash, you may have heard that the safest course is to curl up in a ball, cover your neck, and play dead. But I believe that even the wildest of stashes can be tamed. And yes, that's my own stash up there, back when it was very wild indeed (a few weeks ago).

The first step in taming your stash is to get ALL of it and spread it out where you can see it. As you lay it out, dvide it by sections, like so:


From experience, I can tell you that this is best done while small children and the yarn-prejudiced are not at home.

Have your empty bins handy, and load the yarn into the bins according to category. Create categories that make the most sense to you. For example, my categories are:

1. Sweater yarn (sweater quantities of worsted yarn)

2. Tee yarn (yarn for short-sleeved garments)

3. Sweaters made of itty bitty yarn (sport and fingering weight in sweater quantities)

4. Lace

5. Cottons and linens

6. Thread

7. Sock yarn

8. Super fancy-pants sock yarn

9. Acrylic and baby yarn

10. Single skeins (not of the cotton, lace, thread, sock, or acrylic variety)

The next step is to build a fort out of your bins.

Then, when you have conquered the world from the safety of your yarn fort, file the bins away in their storage space.

If you know the next few (or many) projects you intend to start, keep them filed in a separate, easy-to-access system. My friend Sheri from The Loopy Ewe blogged about her fabulous baskets, and one of her readers suggested using a hanging shoe holder as a great space saver, which seemed like the perfect solution for me, as my attic studio has no level walls. It's great for holding a small- to medium-sized project worth of yarn, as well as the pattern for the yarn, so five years from now, when you finally get to that project, you remember what it was going to be.


Congratulations! You are now a stash-tamer. You are probably also much more aware of the scope of your stash. I was actually comforted by the process, when I ended up with two extra empty bins that were certainly not empty the last time I did this. That means two things to me:

1. I have two empty bins to fill

2. If I can work through two bins a year, I'm not as close to Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy as I thought I was.

So…now it's your turn to flash your stash! Come to the forums and share your stash, feral or tame!

Other topics you may enjoy:


Crochet for Beginners, How to Crochet

5 thoughts on “How to Organize an Unruly Stash

  1. But …. but … the reason I HAVE a stash at all is because the yarns are so lush and lovely. All together, they are a work of art, in and of themselves, regardless of whether I ever turned them into wearable items. I pile them in gorgeous displays on open shelves where I can see them and glory in their wonderfulness every time I walk by them. Plastic bins? Especially opaque plastic bins? No, never!

    (I’m guessing you probably FINISH more things than I do, though!)