Anyone with a hobby knows that organizing your stash, tools and supplies can be frustrating. I find this is especially true for fiber and yarn stash organization! I recently reorganized my creative space and I would like to share with you some of the ideas I have to create the best yarn stash organization system I have ever used. It is functional, and can be adapted to just about any space!
Enjoy the journey and watch the video of my crafting space transformation, but don’t forget to keep reading for even more ideas to help you get your yarn stash organized!
Where do you start?
It is hard to know what you have, until you can see it all in one place. To start, I got everything out of storage, random baskets and drawers around my house. I put it all into one pile, OK… several piles, so I could see how much stuff I needed to organize. Once I had everything gathered I was ready to begin…
Consider what storage solutions have or haven’t worked in the past.
Our goal is to create efficiency in our fiber and yarn stash organization and storage. What works best for you, and what doesn’t? I started my organization at first by throwing all my materials into a big plastic bin. But, I out grew that quickly. The more I kept dumping things into plastic bins, the harder it was to find anything I was looking for. The storage I have used that was the best for me was a cube shelf, but anything that stores and protect your materials and tools could work for this system. Some people find over the door shoe organizers work well, or that they like the flat storage bins that can slide under their bed. Think of which storage solution is best for you and your space and the quantity of stash you need to store.
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Make a plan.
Without a plan, I will end up stuffing everything right back where it came from. The plan needs to come before the sorting begins.
My plan is to organize my materials and tools into a workflow. I will have 3 tiers of organization.
1st Level – My work space and the storage closest to that area.
2nd Level – Materials to keep out of the way, but easy to access when needed.
3rd Level – Deep storage for things I’m not currently working on, or items that are large and bulky.
Let’s look at each storage area, and break down what goes into those places.
1st Level – Work Space
All the organizational areas closest to that space are reserved for works in progress (WIPS), most frequently used reference materials, and tools related to my current projects.
This is not the place for display, this is the place for function.
- If I were to sit down and work on something right now? What would it be. That is the project to go here.
- To work on that project, what tools will I need? Those are the tools to keep here.
- When I get stuck on that project, what is the reference material I reach for? That is the book that goes here.
These materials and tools will probably change each time I work with a different project. Changing projects means shifting things around, and taking a few minutes to do that, but it saves time later when I don’t have to go constantly searching for things.
I also don’t have to mess with things being in my way. If I’m working on a carding project, I don’t want to be reaching around or bumping around my wool combs. Besides, that could be dangerous! A clean workspace helps prevent accidents.
Additional Workspace Category Ideas
Ready to start projects – which are the projects that have all the materials, tools, and patterns ready to go. These are the things I will work on next.
Inspiration – This is for anything that I’m excited to work with, like a beautiful hand painted sock yarn, but that I don’t have a pattern for yet. I might also put a new pattern book here or a picture that inspires a dying project that I need to find the right dye for.
Display – While the area closest to my work space is saved for function, I did find a few spots a little out of the way where I can place things that are sentimental, aesthetically appealing, or inspiring. The key is that I don’t want to invite clutter into my work space so I’m careful what I leave out and about.
2nd Level – Inventory
This is where I organize my materials and supplies (stash) for future projects. I don’t need these things in my work space because I’m saving them for other projects. I will go “shopping” here before I purchase any new inventory (this is key if you want to whittle down your stash!).
I piled up all the yarn and fiber that I’m not working on right now and started dividing it out into sections based on how I look for something to use in a project. Here are some ideas to help you sort your yarn or fiber:
- New vs. leftover materials
- Fiber content
- Designer or brand
- Preparation (batt/roving or single/4 ply)
- Quantity (Sweater vs hat)
- Craft (Spinning vs knitting vs weaving…)
3rd Level – Deep Storage
Everything that is bulky goes here. Large fleeces take up the space of a giant fluffy garbage bag…or a plastic tote. They go here. Dangerous tools like my wool combs and drum carder go here. When I have a project requiring these tools or materials, they will leave Level 3 and come to my active work space. But until they are needed, they will be out of the way and carefully stored with pest deterrents.
I have been using this fiber and yarn stash organization system for a couple of weeks now and I am thrilled to say it is the most efficient system I have ever used! After finishing a sweater knitting project since this organization makeover I got to see this system in action. The leftover yarn from that project went into the Level 2 storage bin where it belongs. Then, I went to my Ready to Go bin and my next project was on my needles (that were easy to find) within minutes! No searching through tubs trying to find that beautiful Hedgehog Fibers skein of yarn I got several months ago. I knew exactly where it was.
I think this organization system is going to be around for many yarns to come!
Watch the video to see even more organization tips and see how this system came together!