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Storing Your Yarn Stash

In episode 6 of my podcast, I answered a viewer question about how I store my stash. So if you're curious about that, check out the Questions for Karen section of that episode (jump straight to that point of the episode).

Before we get into some practical suggestions for how to store stash, keep these thoughts in mind:

  • Consider your environment: do you need to worry about pests such as moths or carpet beetles? Humidity? Cats? Kids? As much as you might want to display your stash, make sure to keep it safe.
  • Out of sight, out of mind. If possible, try to keep your stash so you can easily see it and get to it. Otherwise, it's easy to forget what you have or to feel like it's easier just to buy new yarn than to dig through your stash. (Though buying new yarn is always fun!)
  • Plan to go through your stash at least once a year. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee refers to this as "tossing the stash" (and people are sometimes horrified because they think "tossing" meaning throwing it out, which isnot the case here). Think of it like tossing a salad. You want to bring what's on bottom to the top. Use this time to check for any damage, remind yourself what you have, and reorganize if necessary. 

Suggestions for Stash Storage

Here's how I store my stash:

  • hanging shoe organizer: hangs on the back of a door and 1-2 skeins fits in each pocket, perfect for sock yarn
  • hanging sweater organizer: hangs in a closet and can hold quite a bit of yarn in each section (just make sure to get one that has a back)
  • long, shallow plastic containers: the shallow containers allow you to easily be able to see what's in the box, so you don't have to dig to the bottom
  • plastic drawers in closet: you can open a drawer more easily than having to lift out boxes

Here's how some of my newsletter subscribers store their stash. (These comments are from a survey.)

  • In big Rubbermaid containers
  • In cardboard boxes, separated by weight
  • In a basket
  • Hat boxes, they make pretty storage
  • In baskets in plain sight in living room and "office", in my yarn closet, in baskets in a bookshelf in my "craft room"
  • In wheeled under the bed totes
  • plastic bins
  • Plastic bins by weight
  • in boxes it was shipped in and in plastic zippered bags (like mattress pads come in)
  • in bags, some in cakes that I match with a pattern to knit up sooner than later
  • Carefully, in plastic bags
  • Currently in the really large vacuum sealed bags. But I just commissioned to have some cabinets with glass doors built to store my stash.
  • I try to put them in a ziploc bag and store them in a plastic set of drawers in my closet, but my stash has grown beyond that and now I have some tucked in a cabinet in my desk, in a bin under my desk, behind the chair are hibernating wips... you get the idea
  • in cabinet, baskets, and all over the house
  • I have plastic totes on shelves in wooden storage unit 8'x3'x8'. Then some is in individual project bags
  • Sorted by weight in large plastic tubs from Costco
  • Ikea shelving with square compartments, like many yarn shops have. I recently reorganized in an attempt to be able to put my hands on a wanted skein in less than 30 minutes
  • In open shelves/cubbies: Ikea 5x5 unit and a few other bookshelves. Plus one drawer
  • Clear bins with lids. And the yarn in vases, have a lid on top to keep dust off the fiber
  • In plastic tubs with tight fitting lids. My LYS suggested cedar and lavender pouches (purchased at Tuesday Morning or Bed Bath and Beyond) to keep flying critters out.

That should give you a few ideas to try. I'd also recommend the Craftsy class from Clara Parkes, Stashbusting. The last lesson for that class is all about storing and protecting your stash.

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