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Recently on the Moogly Facebook page I got a reader suggestion - ways to organize the yarn stash! And talk about a hot topic! There are probably as many ways to organize yarn as there are crocheters and knitters. Even yarn stores use different methods. But here are a few ideas I've used or found online that might inspire your own organizational endeavors.
Yarn Storage Ideas
- Cube Shelving: This is the method I use. Like most of you, storage space is at a premium in my home. It took some effort, but I was able to carve out just a few feet in a very small corner of my bedroom. Wedged between the window and the corner, and between the corner and my dresser, I've installed 4 sets of these cube shelves - two sets of two, stacked, in an L shape. They're only about a foot deep, so the real estate they take up is minimal, but because they go up up up I've got a ton of storage! And I can walk right up to/past them to get into bed, heh. Right now they're a bit of a mess - still need to recover from the holidays (or um...2013) - but you get the idea!
- Hanging Closet Organizers/Shelves: I've seen a lot of photos from people who use these for their yarn storage! If you've got room in your closet to squeeze in one of these, you can stuff them full of yarn! Bonus if you can find one with the "door" that zips shut to keep the yarn sealed up.
- Over the Door Shoe Organizers: If you've got a small stash - or a lot of closet doors! - this method is another popular one. And you can see at a glance exactly what you've got in stash!
- Plastic Storage Bins: Whether it's Rubbermaid or Sterilite or some other brand, this is hands down the most common way I see of storing yarn. The up sides to this method include: keeping your stash safe from bugs, dust, and smells; stackability and handiness - they go anywhere and everywhere since they're watersafe (at least up to the lid); and availability - you can pick these up at any superstore as needed. The downsides include: accessibility - it can be hard to see what all is in there, and you have to shift though the bins to get to the one you want; size - they take up fair bit of floor space, which you may or may not have the room to give; and looks - they aren't something you're likely to want to "display." But all that said, they're clearly the winner, judging by the number of photos I see online! The drawers are also very popular, and a little more "living room worthy."
- Peg Board Display: This post on The Dapper Toad created quite a buzz last year! Beautiful and space saving to be sure - but not for everyone! To combat dust and pet hair, it's been suggested that you hang a clear shower curtain liner over the top. Click the link to see how she set it up!
Yarn Storage Accessories I Use and Recommend
In addition to the shelves linked above, you can see a few other items I have that make my yarn storage work for me. So I thought I'd pass them along to you in case they help you too!
- Clip-On Lamp: I picked mine up at a neighborhood garage sale, and I love the vintage look it has! But if you don't get lucky (or don't want to wait for yard sale season) you can pick them up in stores or online. Lighting is super important when browsing through your stash - before I had this I had to keep running to the hallway or to the window to see what color I was really holding. The clip on part works well with my shelves - I can keep it clipped out of the way to the top, or bring it in close as needed.
- Fabric Storage Cube Bins: As you can see, I have a bunch of these - and need a bunch more! Always something to improve on, right? These keep small yarn balls in place, drastically increasing the usable storage space of my shelves. They also give my storage an overall cleaner look - important in a room where I also need to sleep and relax. Since I haven't found clear bins that I like, I use paperclips and index cards to label the bins - cheap and easy to change out and reorganize, if not the prettiest. They're also important for keeping out dust! These come in a ton of colors, so you can use them to indicate the yarn color or match your decor!
- Birch Bark Basket: You might have spotted a Moogly crochet pattern here! I found that the Birch Bark Basket fits in one of the cubes! If you don't want to spend money on the fabric storage cube bins at the store, or can't find the look you want, this pattern is a great solution!
- Air Purifier: This is the latest addition to my yarn storage area, and a bit of a splurge - but I love it! It keeps the dust way way down, and keeps the smells of daily life out too - did I mention 3 kids and a dog? And our love of garlic and onions?
How to Organize Your Yarn Stash
I wish I could give you a definitive answer here! Some people organize by color, others by manufacturer, others by fiber content! Ultimately, it will probably take some experimentation and thought about how you use your stash to find the method that works best for you. If your stash is all acrylic worsted weight, then organizing by color is a great solution! If it's all over the place, by weight or fiber content might be the best way.
Since I'm lucky enough to have so many cubbies, I have my own system where I can get very specific. I tend to keep yarns by different manufacturers separate - though as an example of an exception, my Sugar 'n Cream and Peaches & Creme do share a bin, as I use them interchangeably in projects. And my go-to yarns tend to get their own bins as well, just by dint of having so many! And when I have a bin that's filled up with partial skeins of all one type, I know it's time to start thinking stash busters!
My wish for my stash in 2014 is great organization - and some de-stashing of the stuff I know I'll never use. And my wish for you is a stash that makes you happy - and is well organized and beautiful and full of all the fibers that make you smile! Good luck to us all!