Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Where to store that stash

Last week, I talked about the steps involved in sorting out your stash (figuring out how you use it and therefore how you should organize it), then sorting and purging. Once you've accomplished that, you're ready to make some decisions about how to store all the yarn you saved. In last week's post, I cautioned you not to buy storage until after you've sorted and purged, so that you'll buy appropriate containers.

But once you've decided how you want to organize your yarn, you've sorted and purged your stash, and you know the sizes of containers you need for each category of yarn, you can move on to the fun part: buying containers. (At least that's my idea of a good time.)

What containers should you buy? It depends on your aestethic, on your space, and, of course, on what you're trying to store. So I'll run through some options here.

Personally, at the moment I use pop-up cloth storage cubes. I got them at Home Goods for $10 for a package of six (two each of three different sizes). They're not gorgeous, but they're functional. Here's a photo of one of the cubes, the one that contains my worsted weight yarn. Since I have so much Cascade 220, I put all it on the bottom of the cube and put a file folder on top of the Cascade 220 to separate it from the rest of the worsted.

To label the cubes, I use old-fashioned wooden clothespins with labels attached. (I use my handy Brother PTouch labelmaker for the labels.) I like this method because I can easily move the clothespin if I put that category of yarn in another container. Here's a close-up of the labels for the worsted container. There are two clothespins on the cube because there are two categories in it.

I also have small categories of yarn in my stash that are types, rather than weights, of yarn. I store them in plastic kitchen canisters on a bookshelf in my craft room.

So that's how I do it. You can probably tell that I value function over form. And that I don't have a gigantic stash. If you're more into things looking great, there are still lots of options. Here are a few favorites.

I happen to own this purse organizer from Kangaroom. I use it for works in progress and for other random things, but it could definitely be used to hold stash. In fact, Kangaroom now markets it that way. They're calling it a "hanging yarn organizer." You can find the description here:

Sweater organizers are great, too. Like the Kangaroom yarn organizer, these organizers typically are made to hang over the rod of a closet. So if you have a spare closet with some rod space, you can set up a nice system. Here's one from the Container Store that I like. It's translucent, so you can see the colors from all sides.

If closet space is at a premium, you could even buy a rolling garment rack to hang these organizers on. If dust is an issue, get one with a cover, like Shae shared with us in the OKC discussion boards at Ravelry. Over at Lowe's, they call this a "portable closet".

Getting away from organizers, there's the wire cube option, which Dulcedosa recommended in the OKC discussion boards on Ravelry.

Then there's furniture. Any type of chest or drawers or dresser or cabinet can be converted into a fabulous yarn-storage system. In my opinion, labels are crucial to keep items stored out of sight straight. If you can't stand the look on the label on the outside of a drawer, consider putting in on the top edge of the drawer, visible only when you open the drawer. You can repurpose a piece of furniture or find one cheaply at a flea market or yard sale.

Of course, plastic bins work well and many people store their yarn in zip-top plastic bags. Those tend to not stack very easily, so may not be space efficient. But they're a great way to separate categories within another type of container.

These are just a few ideas. I'll share more later. If you store your yarn in different ways, please feel free to share your stash storage solutions in the comments!


Mommyx4 said...

the clothes pin tags are such a cute idea! it won't work for me the way I have my yarn stashed, but I'm going to keep that in mind for something.

Janine Adams said...

Thanks, mommyx4! I have to give credit where credit is due, though. I think I cribbed that idea from my friend, Aby Garvey, who's an especially crafty organizer. I saw her using them on metro shelving units in her home. Aby, btw, has a fabulous blog called Creative Organizing (scrapbooking is her thing). The scrappers among you might want to check it out at www.creativeorganizing.typepad.com.

Anne Kaelber said...

I'm a new reader, reading some older posts and wanted to add that IKEA also makes a sweater cubby (and I think a shoe version as well) which have coordinating drawers. Perhaps for some yarns, that might be a way to organize a stash?