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Too Much Yarn, Not Enough Space? Let’s Get You Organized!

May 1st, 2014

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares tips for keeping your yarn organized and accessible even when you’re living/ working in a small space. Read Kathryn’s previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

It’s always a challenge for crafters to keep their yarn organized. If you’re working with limited space, the challenge gets even tougher. Tough, but certainly not impossible. With a little bit of creativity, your yarn stash can be easily organized and accessible even in a small home or studio.

toomuchyarn-notenoughspace1Step One: Destash

Make sure that all of the yarn you have in your home is worth keeping. Much like when you organize your clothes closet, go through your yarn stash and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you love it?
  • Will you use it?
  • Do you have a project in mind for it?
  • Is there some other compelling reason why you must keep it?

Take any yarn that didn’t get a yes to at least one of those questions and de-stash it. You can donate it to charity, send it to an artist who needs yarn, sell it online or host a swap party to exchange it for yarn that you will use.


Step Two: Organize Projects to Go

Make a list of all of the projects that you are already working on or definitely want to work on. Create a pile for each list that includes the pattern, all of the yarn needed for the project and the required hooks. This helps with small space organization because each project can be stored in its own space. You can get creative with how you package it and where you store it.

Some ideas for storing each project:

  • In a sealed bag (this is ideal since it protects the project)
  • In small storage containers, especially stackable, modular ones
  • In bins and baskets, making each project its own décor object

Some places you might want to store a project or two:

  • In the car
  • In a tote that always goes with you
  • In bags hung on doorknobs in the home
  • On unused shelves or in unused drawers
  • Beneath furniture

yarn-storage

Step Three: Sorting Through The Rest of the Yarn

Once you have only yarn you love and your projects are separated out, it’s time to organize the rest of your stash. First you should decide on a sorting method that works for you. Some of the most popular choices include:

  • Sorting by color
  • Sorting by yarn weight
  • Sorting by fiber type
  • Sorting by brand
  • Sorting by likeliness of using it soon

Select your sorting method and sort all of your yarn into manageable piles.

Step Four: Storing Yarn in a Small Space

You can now divvy up the yarn that you’ve sorted into different spots throughout your small space. Here are our top ideas for storage spaces in small homes:

  • On bookshelves, especially hanging shelves
  • In stackable containers, including vintage suitcases and plastic bins
  • On the fireplace mantle
  • On the wall, like art (or similarly, on a peg board)
  • Under stairways, beneath tables, under the bed, in nooks and crannies
  • In a large, decorative wine rack
  • In baskets, bowls and large vases
  • In shoe organizers or magazine racks; think vertical organization!
  • In laundry hampers
  • Inside storage furniture, such as chests, toyboxes and cabinets
  • In an overhead hanging storage system like this one
  • In the closet … doesn’t sound novel but if you dedicate one single closet to all of your yarn storage and organize it properly it can be the best space.

Think creatively when storing yarn in a small space. Don’t just consider out-of-sight spots. Think of ways to make the yarn storage part of your home décor. You can enjoy it before it’s used and access it easily when it’s ready for use.

Still need more yarn organization tips? See our previous articles on yarn stash organization, spring cleaning your yarn and getting your crafting organized. Also be sure to check out our Craft Spaces and Storage Ideas Pinterest board.

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  • http://crochetwithlove-sabrina.blogspot.com/ Sabrina Benton

    I have mine sorted by type into large plastic bins. WIPs are in project bags in another bin. I do go through it every few months to re-organize.

    • CrochetBlogger

      I think it’s great that you stay on top of it by re-organizing every few months. Seems like it would make it more manageable!

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  • Kitty Keith

    I make a hole near the top of a clean, clear 2-liter soda bottle, insert center-pull balls made with my Boye yarn winder, pull the working end through the top, tuck in the label, and have a great stackable, keep-the-cats-out container of yarn. Check out my bottled yarn on ravelry.com. The holder is a handle that comes with a 4-pack of soda.

    • CrochetBlogger

      Oh yes, I forgot about that tip! I’ve seen it online before but never done it myself. Sounds like a smart, affordable option!

  • Pam Phipps

    I purchased hanging zipper enclosure sweater bags with material shelves which helps to store an abundance of stash and associated patterns. Yarns are enclosed from the elements and are easily visualized with the clear sides of the hanging bags (purchased them at Bed Bath and Beyond).

    • CrochetBlogger

      Terrific way of not only organizing everything but also keeping it protected!!

    • shortleaf

      Good Idea!

  • allatti2d

    If you organized and STILL have too much yarn, please contact me for my address. I will be happy to help you clean by taking it off your hands for you! :)

    • CrochetBlogger

      lol – I hear that!

  • Terri Blake

    I brought cube shelves and stuck them to the back of my closet. You can fit lots of yarn in each cube.

    • CrochetBlogger

      That’s good to know! Thanks for sharing!!

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  • shortleaf

    I store my yarn in hanging sweater and shoe organizers. They hold it nicely, plus i can sort it by color. :)

  • Kit

    I bought three freestanding, metal frame, canvas covered wardrobes for storing my yarn. They have a shelf near the top and a bar underneath to hand clothing from, but they also have a zipper that opens all the way across and from top to bottom so I can just stack my big skeins of yarn one on top of the other at the bottom and stack smaller balls one behind the other further up and it holds an enormous amount of yarn. Oddly enough, so far when I pull yarn slowly out even from the bottom of the stack, so far the yarn higher up has just settled without spilling out, but even if it did spill, I am not going to get hurt or buried by the falling yarn. I live in an older house so there are not enough closets to use to stash my yarn. I am a rather obsessive knitter. I take a knitting project with me almost everywhere I go. I knit on buses, trains, planes, taxis, private autos, and while walking, standing, or sitting. I have not yet tried knitting on a ship, boat, or bicycle, or on even more exotic methods of transportation, although I am sure I will someday. I have knit in a wide variety of locations, too, church, school, restaurants, doctor’s offices, banks, sidewalk benches and park benches, just about anywhere that I need to wait. So I do use a lot of yarn in a year, but yes I do have enough yarn to probably last me four or five years even so.

    My projects, my work in progress, is in either plastic boxes, or in something that is easy to carry with me. I have lots of bags that are designed and sold for knitters, but for some of my larger projects I have them in large reusable grocery bags, or the similar canvas bags sold at Tractor Supply Company, because the TSC ones are even sturdier and larger and still only cost $1.49. That is one of the best deals I have found for a bag big enough to hold a bulky sweater or a not too bulky afghan while you are working on them.

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