Tips for taming your stash

Are your yarn piles overflowing? It’s a wonderful problem to have but if you can’t find anything, it might be time to take some drastic action.

Whoa, don’t worry! I’m not suggesting you pare down your collection, we’re not doing anything extreme today but I’m going to share some ideas for organizing your stash.

Take stock of your collection.

Sort your yarn into piles - yarns for specific projects, yarn purchased because it’s beautiful, and yarn you’re not as thrilled with. Once you have these piles, organize further.

Divide your project yarns into piles – or even project bags – that include the pattern and any other materials you need for the projects. You can find a creative storage solution for these and know that they’re always ready to go and tidily bundled together. In addition to project bags, small bins and baskets or modular storage containers are great for conveniently wrangling your projects.

Take a critical look at the yarns that don’t speak to you. Do you think you’ll use it in the future? Do you have a project or specific reason for keeping it? If not, consider donating it or host a yarn swap party with friends!

Now, that big, beautiful pile of yarn you love: dive right in! Sort them in a way that makes sense for you - colour, weight, fibre content, etc.

Keep your yarn where you can see it.

If you’re not stuck searching for that skein, you’re more likely to use it. Plus, yarn is beautiful to look at!

Put your Ravelry account to use!

Photograph and create a digital inventory of your yarn. You’ll always have an easy resource to compare what you have, keep information like dye lot and yardage, and you won’t have to worry about hanging on to those labels.

Get a yarn ball winder and swift.

A yarn winder and swift is your friend - it’s an easy way to convert loose skeins to tidy, easy to use balls. However, if you’re expecting to store yarn for long period of time before using it, you may want to leave it in a skein to avoid any stretching and changes in the gauge or drape of the yarn.

Protect your yarn.

Keep your yarn off the floor, dry and in a well-lit place to stave off bugs, water, and dust. If you’re concerned that insects may have come near your yarn, you can seal it in a plastic bag and pop it in the freezer for a couple of days to get rid of the bugs. However, some bugs and their eggs can be really hard to get rid of, so prevention is best. Don’t use mothballs - cedar or lavender are safe alternatives.

Storing yarn in plastic bags for long periods of time can be harmful, especially in hot, humid spaces - make sure it can breathe to avoid molding and holding moisture.

Some storage ideas:

  • Bookshelves
  • Stackable containers like crates or plastic bins
  • Vintage trunks or suitcases
  • Build a pegwall
  • In a closet
  • In a dresser
  • Shoe cubbies
  • Wine cabinets

A bonus of taming your stash? It often creates more space for new additions!

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