February 2nd, 2012
When you’re a crafter, loving yarn is easy, but keeping it organized can be a challenge. Keeping an organized stash will help you know what you have, find what you need, and make projects you love. Whether you’re a beginner learning how to keep you new yarn tidy, or an experienced crafter with a stash that feel like it’s out of control, these 12 tips will help you organize your yarn and focus on the fun part: making beautiful projects!
- Take stock of what you have.
One easy way to sort your yarn is to label 4 boxes; “WIPs (works in progress),” “Will Use/Have Pattern,” “Will Use/No Pattern Yet,” and “Won’t Use.” Take the opportunity to look at the yarn you have and decide how much you have room for.
- Separate your projects from your supplies.
Keep “WIPs” in easy reach and separated from the rest of your stash. If your projects are hard to get to, or hiding under the rest of your stash, you’re less likely to work on them. A storage ottoman, large project bag or basket works well to store WIPs.
- Put your yarn where you can see it.
Keep all your “Will Use” yarn easy to access. Think creatively about where to put yarn, you can use many things besides plastic boxes or bags. Just remember to keep yarn away from pets, moisture and dust.
- Discover or create a storage method you love.
If you’re looking at those beautiful skeins for inspiration, keep yarn visible in clear vases and decorative bowls. You can transform a door by adding a shoe organizer filled with yarn, or re-purpose containers you already have! For inspiration, follow our Pinterest Board: Craft Spaces & Storage (you may be asked to sign into Pinterest).
- Choose an organization option; sort yarn by weight, fiber or color.
Keeping your yarn in groups will help you find what you need once you’ve picked a project. Choose whichever appeals to you the most!
- Use your Ravelry ‘Stash’ to save yarn info.
Photograph your newly-sorted yarn and post it to your stash on Ravelry. From there, you can easily compare what you have, search for patterns of what to make, and keep the details like dye lot and yardage in one convenient location. Plus, you don’t have to worry about saving all your labels!
- Convert messy skeins or hanks to balls.
Balling-up yarn is a great way to tidy up hanks and skeins that have begun to loose their structure, and it makes the yarn easy to use when the time comes.
- Store multiple balls of a dye lot together.
If you bought multiple skeins in the same dye lot, or dyed multiple hanks in the same bath, keep those yarns together. It’s much easier to make a large project when you have all the yarn together. Gallon-sized zip-top bags are a great option.
- Keep projects to frog handy.
If you have been meaning to frog (or undo) a project, keep it on hand for at-home activities that don’t require full attention, like watching TV.
- Protect yarn from water, dust and creepy-crawlies.
There are some bugs that might try to live in your yarn, so keep it up off the floor, dry, and in a well-lit place to discourage them. If you think there might have been insects near your yarn, seal it in a plastic bag and pop it in the freezer for a day to get rid of bugs.
- Put tiny scraps in one location.
When you need “waste” yarn, or an amigurumi needs an embroidered face, you’ll be glad you know exactly where to find small scraps in your stash.
- Don’t be afraid to let go of extra yarn.
Yarn you don’t love just takes up space and makes it harder to find the yarn that you do love. Donate or swap anything in the “Won’t Use” box, and you’ll be helping others as well as yourself.
What tips would you add to this list? Have you used any of these? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!