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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!
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I'm a big plastic tub kinda girl myself, but it's less then ideal. I can never find the thing I want and end up finding things I'd forgotten I had.
Moving house soon, so a good opportunity to revisit my yarn storage solution. Some good ideas here, thanks!
Lori Bennett Kramer
I use storage cubes, too. I like to look at all the colors of yarn, especially when I have them organized.
Love this post, I organize by weight. I have several clear bins under the bed.
I tried to set up under the bed storage a couple years ago - and discovered my bed frame is unusually close to the floor! 😛 Glad you can take advantage of the space!
I'm in tubs now, separated by fiber content after a recent reorganization. I realized I had my cotton all over the place, so it got of its own tub. One for acrylics, mostly Vannas choice. My bernat mosaic got a giant tote bag & caron super soft has another tote. My daughter says I'm addicted to tote bags, but I don't think I have a problem.
Great ideas - especially the clip on light! I must have one!
It really is so much better - I used to end up in the living room, all settled in... and then realizing I had the wrong color. 😛
I like the storage bins but I'm loving the cube shelving! It will fit in my converted living room/office/craft room!
I used storage bins for years myself - and when I went to the cube shelving it wasn't too hard to find new uses for them lol!
I use the over the door shoe caddies so I can see everything, but i have 4 of them so maybe some of the other options would be more space saving. Thanks for all the great ideas, Tamara!
You're very welcome! 😀
That looks like what I use to store all my yarns. I use those kind of cubbies, with the fabric boxes and then put like colored yarns together. I have a tag hanging from the little handle of the box with the color name. I also store my yarn in gallon size zip lock bags so I can write on the outside what kind of yarn brand it is, color, and weight. That way they don't get messy with all the other yarns and if I lose that little piece of paper that is wrapped around them I still know what brand I am using.
I like the hang tag idea - might have to upgrade! Thanks Danielle!
That's impressive.. :O
I received an IKEA Expedit shelving unit last year for Christmas, With it I also got clear plastic drawers, so I can have the yarn dust free and see what's in there. It has 16 spaces and is just about full! Prior to that, everything was stored in stackable bins, but I could never find anything. I still need to organize all the yarn, I have a lot of acrylic, but also inherited some wool and others with no label (no idea what the fiber content is).
I wish those drawers fit in my cubes, but most cube shelves are 11" x 11" and the IKEA ones are 12" x 12" - gorgeous though! I <3 IKEA!
I use the hanging closet organizer in our guest bedroom for the stash yarns, most are worsted weight and I use predominatly Simply Soft for afghans because of its softness and drapability as well as ease ofuse. I do have a bin dedicated to Sugar and Cream and I also have one dedicated to fine threads for tablecloths and other very fine crochet projects. For the 4-5 'in progress' projects, I use the 'green' bags avaialble from most retailers including Trader Joes, WalMart, etc. and keep the yarn, a copy of the pattern and a note about crochet hook size I'm using. I loop the handles over a plastic hanger and hang them in the craft closet in the guest bedroom. For overflow (and I did have overflow until I destashed a few weeks ago) I use underbed covered plastic storage on wheels. This is a great space saver since the bed takes up room anyway and I put the items I don't want to part with. They are spacious and depending on the size of your bed (we have a queen) lots of space available. The dust ruffle on our bed coveres up the fact that I use it for extra storage, but the bins are easily accessible.
I love this!!! In fact I was just telling my hubby the other day that he needs to make me some. He made me beautiful floor to ceiling book shelves with 5 shelves and space for two wicker baskets and a desk space in the middle for his man cave which he generously has shared with me. for my thousand and one books!!! Currently I am using bags from the company ThirtyOne. They have some great large and small organizing totes!!! But this cube idea is def on my honey do list!!!!
Hubby and I used a whole wall in "my room" and built shelves using brackets and shelf boards. The bottom shelf I have small clear bins with lids. I use a yarn baller when a skein of yarn is about half used or more and the clear bins are perfect for those small amounts of yarn to see what I have for small projects.
Use the clear plastic tubs and then use an excel file to keep the contents of each tub. Can then sort by brand, weight, color, needle size, yardage, etc......