We have all seen the glamorous pictures of how others organize their stash. You may have seen something like this and asked yourself, “Why can’t my stash look like that?”
It can! Your yarn is beautiful! Why not show it off by making it a part of your home decor instead of jamming it into a dark corner? Let others share in the drooling and thank them when they comment on how gorgeous your TML in Firewood is. If you don’t care what the neighbors think, organize for yourself! Imagine how happy it would make you to come home to a colorful array of the special yarns you picked out! Whether in a closet or a whole room, your stash can look just as stunning as the pictures you see on Pinterest! At the very least, organizing lets you pull out your pretty yarn and find that precious skein you forgot you even had!
Many of us have very large stashes and it can be easy to forget what you have. If you are a list maker, here is your creme de la creme! Make a list of every skein in your stash in order to better understand what you will need to store them properly. Maybe you prefer spreadsheets or tables, go for it! If you have the time, use the Stash feature on Ravelry. Whichever method is easiest for you, make it happen! This is the first and most important step before choosing a organization method.
2. Pick a theme
Now that you know what you have, you can start to think about which organization method will work best. Does your brain think in color, base, project type, dyer, fiber type…? However you buy yarn is probably the best way to organize. Maybe you think about which colors look best on you so you buy a lot of purples – sort by color. You may prefer to have a variety of bases for different projects. Does it make sense to have all your Malabrigo together and Sweet Georgia somewhere else – sort by dyer.
Here comes the fun part, picking the piece! Drawers, cubbies, divided cubes, multiple shelves, curio cabinet, luggage…the possibilities are endless when selecting the piece to house your pretties! We suggest re-purposing furniture for a few reasons. Pride. There is something very special about taking old and worn items and making them new again with your own hands! When someone asks, “Wow, where did you get that?” You can beam with pride when you tell them YOU made it! Customize. You can choose to do whatever you’d like when re-purposing furniture. Maybe you want to line shelves with colorful shelf liners, strip and stain an old hutch to match your existing furniture, paint the back of cubbies with an accent color, line a suitcase in pretty fabric, or find vintage hardware for a chest of drawers. The look of your piece is completely up to you! Value. Thrift stores, yard/estate sales, and curbside finds are all perfect places to find inexpensive used furniture. Quality. If you have never bought used furniture, you will definitely be surprised at the quality of items you can find if you just take a little time to hunt. We’ve all seen Antiques Roadshow, right? There’s a gem waiting for you, too!
Maybe you have less space or just prefer plastic, try clear plastic bins. These will keep your yarn safe from pet hair, insects, smoke, and moisture that could cause mold. Clear plastic bins can look simple and clean if you follow tip #4.
4. Label, label, label
Labels simply make your life easier! You label your folders at work for easy recognition, you label your kids coat for easy return, and you label yourself at parties for easy friendship! If you chose to use plastic bins instead of a piece of furniture, the easiest way to label is simply writing each skein and taping it to the outside. We suggest using a separate label for each skein so when you use it, just pull the label off to avoid messy crossing out. The best way, but most time consuming, is to take pictures and use those as your labels. If you choose to take pictures, you can always use the Stash feature on Ravelry. Line these bins neatly on a shelf or stack them tall with the labels facing out, of course! For those who are less crafty, here are some Labels with a little ESK flair! If you are more creative, labels can come in many forms like in the picture below! Yep, those are tiny yarn balls as drawer pulls denoting which color is in each drawer!
5. Parting ways
As difficult as it may seem, de-stashing is an extremely helpful way to organize especially if you have a large stash. Over the years, your taste in yarns has surely changed so it’s time to dig deep (emotionally to part with your yarns and physically to get to the bottom of that darn bin). There are many options for what to do with yarn that just doesn’t speak to you any more. You can:
- use it to make fun DIY projects around the house like these seasonal wreathes
- set your yarn to “will trade or sell” status on Ravelry or use the forums to sell
- donate your yarn or balled scraps to a local thrift store or Goodwill and claim it on your taxes
- take it to your child’s school to see if they could use it for art projects
There are tons of uses and one of them does not include sitting in the bottom of a bin never to be thought of again! Once you complete this difficult task of “re-homing,” you can look forward to filling your shelves, drawers, or bins with all of the pretties you have collected over the years. This whole process will make planning for projects so much easier. One quick look at your newly organized stash and you’ll know exactly what you need or don’t need for your next project. No more digging, no more double buying, and definitely no more exhales of jealousy when you see pretty stashes online!