Keep your yarn stash organized using my top tips and free printables!

This week we are talking all about your yarn stash. I’m going to share my tips and tricks for keeping your stash organized.

Do you prefer to keep a large stash of yarn or do you only keep yarn on hand for projects you are working on?

This post is part of our 365 Crochet Challenge! I’ve given each month of 2022 a different theme and each week you can look forward to content related to the monthly focus here on the blog! This month’s theme is ‘Finish or Frog’ aka crochet life organization. To sign up all you need to do is make sure you are on my email list.

When I started crocheting, my goal in life was to collect all the yarn. You know that meme that floats around the internet about how crocheting and buying yarn are 2 different hobbies? That was me. We lived 45 minutes from the nearest place to buy yarn and I felt like I needed to have lots of options on hand just in case inspiration struck. I would buy it because the color was pretty, or it was on sale but not usually with a project in mind. This lead to a giant stash filled with a random assortment of colors, brands, and weights.

Fast forward to late 2018 when I realized that every time I wanted to start a new project instead, of grabbing yarn off my shelves I was having to buy it because what I had just wasn’t “right”. This is where the idea for the 2019 Stash Busting Crochet Along was born, I wanted to use up the yarn on my shelves!

Since then I’ve cut down my yarn stash considerably. I’ve got a few of my favorite yarns in colors I like, lots of pretty hand-dyed yarns I want to use, and the rest are for projects I plan to start in the future.

I will say my situation is a little unique because I literally crochet for a living. I am more intentional about my yarn choices, I try not to mix brands in the same project and I have to be mindful about using yarns that have been discontinued for new patterns.

This was my stash in January of last year (2020) is considerably smaller now!

I really enjoy my “minimal” yarn stash. It’s not overwhelming to me. I don’t feel the urge to “use it all up”. I only pick colors that I know I will use and find inspiring.

Having a small stash may not be for you though and that’s totally ok too!

Today I’m going to help you go through your yarn, much as we went through our WIP’s last week. We are going to decide what to keep and what to donate.

Don’t Empty Your Shelves

Do not gather all of your yarn into one place and pile it up.  

Just hear me out. I’ve done this before and it was completely overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of yarn. Your best bet is to take this on in small chunks. I have my yarn in a cubicle system like this, so I’m going to go one square at a time.

You could do one box at a time, one bag at a time or even just one armful at a time.

By working in small batches you avoid making more clutter and mess if you get called away.

Sort and Organize

Do a quick scan. Are there any that you 100% know you want to get rid of? Maybe you aren’t a fan of the color or the yarn is scratchy or you don’t like how it splits when you crochet. Put these in the donate pile.

Is this yarn part of a project you are working on? If yes, then put that yarn with that project.

The rest I like to organize by weight, color, brand, or characteristic. While I’m organizing I like to make my skeins look nice by tucking in my ends or making a cake out of them on my yarn ball winder. They don’t stay looking nice for long but the process feels good.

What about the scraps?

Most likely you will come across some yarn scraps while you’re going through this process. I consider anything smaller than ¼ skein a “scrap”. It generally isn’t big enough to make a complete project on its own but you could combine it with other yarns for a scrap buster project.

I like to keep these scraps together just in case the inspiration arises to do a scrap buster project. Make sure they are wound into balls with the ends tucked otherwise you could just have a scrap tangle instead of a scrap stash.

What if I can’t commit?

Do you think you might like a minimalistic yarn stash but aren’t ready to commit 100%?

I have a solution for that! Take the yarn you think you want to get rid of and put it in a “holding tank”. This could be a bag or box, anything. Tuck that box away for a month and do a trial run without it. If you find you need something from the box, that’s ok, just take it out and move on. If after a month you find that you didn’t really miss or need anything from that box, then donate it.

If you found yourself getting into the box for yarn frequently then maybe you should just put it back with your main stash.

The container concept I mentioned last week from Dana White of a Slob Comes Clean can also apply to your yarn stash. The space you have for your yarn is the container and your yarn has to fit comfortably inside. If your “container” is full and you want to add new yarn, you have to take some out for the new stuff to fit.

Managing Your Yarn Inventory

Honestly, this is something I don’t do, but that is mostly because I keep a small stash. It’s easy to see what I have or don’t have at a glance. If you wanted to get super organized or have a large stash in multiple locations you might consider using one of these inventory methods.

The first is pretty well known and that is Ravelry. If you go to “my notebook” and click on “stash” you can add your yarns there.

Another great option is using some sort of spreadsheet system like Microsoft Excel or Google sheets.

I’m a pen and paper sort of gal so my favorite method would be to use these free printables I created. You can find them in my free resource library. I have them split up by weight but there is a blanket one so you can do your own category.

Do you prefer to have a large or small yarn stash? Let me know below!

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  1. I like to have a large yarn stash, i.e. the reason I had a 12 ‘ x 20’ building built to match my house in the backyard. All are in latch box containers and organized by brand and color. I am glad I did this about 2018 because our yarn stores here do not carry the yarn in house like they use to and I hate ordering yarn that I cannot touch or see the color. Computers do not show the correct color when ordering. This stash has saved me boo coodles of money since COVID on gifts and donations I crochet for those in need.

  2. Hi, I am not sure if my stash is too big or not but I like to think it is fairly well organised. I am planning on 4 blankets and 3 wraps/scarfs so I bought all the yarn for these and all are kept in individual boxes. Any leftovers are kept based on the type of yarn. I wish I could go even more and keep them by colours as well. Thank you for the tips so far.

  3. I am just getting ready to move. I have so much yarn. My mom passed away in March and I inherited all of her yarn, needles, hooks, books, and unfinished projects. I have started to pack up the yarn in totes by color. I have one tote that is Aunt Lydia’s crochet thread in different colors and sizes. It looks like I will end up with 4 totes of regular yarn, and one with crochet cotton and specialty yarn. Both of my daughters crochet so my stash from my mom won’t last long.

  4. I started my crochet hobby via the Buying Yarn hobby road. Your article came at a perfect time as I am organizing with the idea of seriously cutting down the YOH (Yarn On Hand). My goal is to have yarn for specific projects plus keeping some of the specialty yarns for as the mood hits me moments – probably gifts for special peeps or quite possibly one for me.

    I converted a closet into a yarn “bookcase” and use labeled bins to hold the yarn ;D It looks organized but it’s not really ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    The charts you provided are great. Also, I like Debbie’s “an old flat door to block wraps and shawls and after the door leans against wall”. I’m looking to reuse zippered plastic bags that comforters, sheets, etc. have come in. Would this be appropriate for storing most natural yarns?

    Gratitude for the 365 Days Crochet Project!

  5. I have a summer house which is going to be my craft room. I have about 40 80 lt boxes to sort and do infantry. Thank you for your tips especially no 1. I have put off for quite a while as it was just so overwhelming. Now I have a clear plan for sorting a bit of a time and found a wonderful way to store my scrap yarn. The plastic buckets that bird feed fat balls come in. Once washed and labels off and thoroughly dry. The yarn squishes down nicely and you can see whats in the bucket or label it. They stack nicely or if a high ceiling hang well with the use of a window hook. you can cover with fablon and label and look quite attractive. I have used 12 in 6 stacks of 2 and an old flat door to block wraps and shawls and after the door leans against wall behind unit and tubs go back where they were. Just thought I would let others know what can be done with stuff that might have been thrown away or taken to the tip

  6. LOL Your stash is tiny! 🙂 I have the cube system too. (3 nine cubes) Plus 3 under-the-bed tubs and 2 in the closet that doesn’t fit under the bed and then 3 totes on top of those! My husband kept finding yarns on Marjet place, which is why I have so much!! I told him to stop already!! I use it as fast as possible but there are only so many hours in a day! I make lots of hats, scarves, lap blankets and hats for the hospital so I am fitting thru it but still. Plys I have a small Etsy shop with stuffies. I am looking forward to this week’s challenge because I DO have yarns I grab and then think ewww not for this this project!! And I have a pretty good size stash of the eyelash yarns! Had it fir about 2 years and STILL haven’t used it! That one is going away! Yea!!! I’ll post before and afters!

  7. I think I would like to have a medium sized stash. We don’t have any good yarn or craft stores nearby so if I decide to make something I’d like to be able to without running distances to get supplies. At the moment I feel pretty good with what I have. We moved in September so I have already gone through my stash and organized and reduced it. While unpacking I was able to utilize a set of 4 large plastic drawers and a small toy box for my yarn. Most is acrylic and arranged by color. One drWer is for wool and sock yarn. The toy box hold anything that is a partial skein.I hope to make winter hats for donations with that.

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