Welcome to my journey to reduce the amount of yarn in my stash this year. Check out my previous post for background information on how I accumulated so much yarn.
And welcome to those of you who are joining me on this journey and want to reduce your stash as well.
So now that I have committed to reducing the stash, the first step is to see how much you really have and to organize it. Fortunately, my daughter is away at college, so I was able to use her bedroom for a couple of days while I sorted out things. I did have a lot of my stash already organized, so this job did just take a couple of days. If you have the space, clear out an area that is not used too often and would be ok to spread out all your balls. Don’t have the space, or not able to spread everything out? Take detailed pictures of all that you have or write it down. Include the location, so when you need it, you can easily find it.
Organize? This chaos? How can I ever do this?
One thing I am really good at is organizing things and tasks. I may not get them done, but they are organized!
Here is what I did.
1. My first stab at organizing happened with my cone yarn a number of years ago. My husband put up a great big pegboard, and found nice long hooks that are perfect for hanging cones. It has room for over 100 cones of yarn. Once up, I decided to organize by colour. When I was done, it looked so pretty!! However, over time, I realized how impractical it was for me. I would want yarn for a project of different colours. I would have to look through all the cones of that colour to find one of the same thickness, or weight. Time to rethink this.
2. Organize by weight . So, since by colour didn’t work out for me, my next thought was by weight. That way, all similar weights are in the same area, making it so easy to find a yarn.
So my yarn stash currently is organized by:
Some yarn, I have a lot of it (Michaels great sale price and a staff discount- hahaha) – I’m looking at you, Charisma! These yarns, I have put all together in their own separate CLEAR large bag.
PLEASE NOTE: only use CLEAR garbage bags for storing yarn, not the black or green ones. You don’t want to risk any of your stash being mistaken for garbage and thrown out. Plus, you can see what you have.
Now once you have organized your stash however you like, you need a storage system. There are unlimited possibilities for this, and is totally dependent on your preferences, the space you have to work with and your budget. So I am just going to describe the way I have it right now. This is still a work in progress- once I get to a very manageable amount, I hope to do a more elegant system.
My craft area: Our master bedroom is the width of our house, so years ago, we turned one end into my craft area. It has an “L” shaped counter, 4 3-drawer units supporting the counter, and three upper cupboards on one wall. It was designed more for when I was sewing. It’s not in my budget to renovate this area at this time, so I needed to maximize the efficiency of my space utilization.
- First step was to clear out as much as I could in the upper cabinets. I’m sure I can do more, but it did give me one full cabinet and one shelf in the second just for yarn.
- I started collecting printer/photocopier paper boxes from work. I worked in a clinic at a hospital and we went through a lot of paper! These boxes are quite sturdy, come with a lid, and do have handles punched out of the sides. It took awhile, but I brought home the empties when I could. A very economical solution for yarn storage cubbies! I have enough room to have them two deep on the counter. They sit upright, short end on the counter, to maximize how many boxes I can fit.
- Plastic totes- a great way to keep similar yarn together. Label, label, label anything that you can’t see in to.
- Closet: Finding more room to put my yarn was a great motivator to clean out my half of our walk in closet. I set myself a goal of getting rid of 25% of what was in there. So I had a weekend when my husband was away, and I went to it! It did take some time, but I was able to free up some shelf space, and the local thrift store benefited from a large donation bag.
So here is how I have done it:
Cone yarn is on the peg board, divided by thickness. (now not all of my cones fit on there, so, confession time, yes there is some in the garage and under the stairs in the basement)
#1 and #2 balls of yarn are in the cupboards. I don’t have a lot of those.
#3 balls of yarn. Some are in the cupboard, and the rest are in the corrugated boxes on the counter.
#4 yarn -Acrylics, are in the boxes. The yarn in the boxes is further divided by brand and then colour. For example, all my Vanna’s Choice is in one box. Not all my #4 weight yarn fits in the boxes. The rest of my #4 yarn is stored in clear bags.
#5 balls – some in boxes, some in bags
#6 and bigger yarn, all in bags
Now I have a lot that didn’t fit in the boxes, so they are grouped in clear bags based on weight. One bag is Charisma, one bag is cake yarn.
Cotton yarn: I wanted to keep my cottons together, so I have them in the closet shelves and in one plastic tote. Again, grouped by weight, then by brand.
So, yes, I still have yarn under the bed, in the garage, under the stairs, and some taking over my little crochet corner in the living room, but a good chunk of it is better organized so that when I need something, I am more likely to be able to find it.
Ok, so now that you have thought about how to organize and store your stash, now comes the Stash busting!!!
Until next time,
May all your yarn be knot-free. Sally