Your Yarn Inventory—To Slash or to Stash?

comments (5) August 7th, 2008     

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Tina_Hilton Tina Hilton, contributor
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This ClosetMaid unit offers a perfect solution for displaying my yarn stash.
An unused kitchen island table has great storage for my plastic tubs containing my upcoming projects.
The last of the yarn is neatly tucked back into the closet. At least I know what’s in there now!
This ClosetMaid unit offers a perfect solution for displaying my yarn stash.

This ClosetMaid unit offers a perfect solution for displaying my yarn stash.

Photo: Tina Hilton

Is my house getting smaller or is my pile of stuff growing? The problem is that I am two years overdue for a move. On average, my Hub is relocated every three years. We have been in this house for more than five years, thus we have accumulated in excess of two years of surplus stuff. I have moments of clutter panic especially when it comes to my seasonal closet and drawer flipping. At that time a trash bag of clothes heads to Goodwill. Hub will have an occasional neatnik spasm and toss stuff out of the garage and storeroom. Even with these eradicative spells, nothing comes close to the cathartic purge of a move. The problem is we are not moving anytime soon.

You would think that everything in the household would be growing in equal proportions. Not so. It appears that my craft stash, particularly my knitting materials, have experienced a disproportionate growth spurt. I attribute the yarn surge to the cold weather we experience in the mountains of western North Carolina. Since I’ve taken up knitting, I have lived in Texas, the deserts of California, and tropical Malaysia. Not exactly climes favorable to knitting. When I moved to an area where I keep my down comforter on the bed until June, acquiring yarn played an instinctual role in my quest to keep warm.
Thus, more yarn than would be humanly possible to knit in my lifetime! What to do?

Because my yarn and craft stash was taking over my studio/guest room, I decided to get rid of the bed and dedicate the room to my crafting life. A couple of years ago, I decluttered my fabric stash by installing a wall of cabinets there. With the bed gone, I installed more cabinets for yarn and brought in a tall cutting table with storage below for more yarn.

The closet was another story. Ideally I would tear out the clothes poles and build in a new closet organizer for all my goodies. That idea was nixed, so I pulled out the clouds of yarn and stuff to see what was buried back in there. How did I get all that in there?

Since I was on a roll, I decided to pull out all of the yarn I had squirreled around the house to take inventory of the extent of my yarn collection. Yarn came pouring out from under beds and other closets around the house. When I surveyed the extent of my collection out in the open, I was astounded and embarrassed to admit that I recorded more than 500 balls/hanks of yarn! I am clearly an obsessive-compulsive hoarder when it comes to yarn.

The best way to take control of the stash is to conduct a detailed inventory of what you have on hand. With this information, you will be able to reach for a yarn from your stash for a new project instead of running off to your LYS for even more yarn.

Here is an organizational template to help you get a handle on your yarn stash.

#Balls Brand Name Color Fiber Put Up
7 Jo Sharp Kid Mohair Tan 100% Mohair 95 yds/ball
19 Rowan Wool & Cotton Creamy White 50% Wool,
50% Cotton
120 m/ball
1 Yarnsmith Casapa 4 Coco Cream 50% Cashmere,
50% Baby Alpaca
529 yds
8 Berroco Glace Dusty Pink 100% Rayon 75 yds/ball

During this inventory, I am proud to say that I have given some yarn away and have another pile earmarked for a yarn exchange with friends. I feel much better knowing what I actually have on hand and I’m happy to have passed on yarn to new loving homes. The result of this process provided both organizational accomplishment and the pleasurable experience of reacquainting myself with lovely forgotten yarns. Plans for many new projects are in the works, and now I just need to figure out when I am going to sleep!

Resources for the Professional Yarn Hoarder
Yarn-inventory software:

Organization info:

Organizational storage:

Measuring odd bits of yarn:



posted in: storage, yarn stash, yarn organization, yarn inventory

Comments (5)

MARIETTAMorin35 writes: Specialists say that credit loans help a lot of people to live their own way, because they are able to feel free to buy needed goods. Moreover, various banks present college loan for different persons.
Posted: 10:52 pm on September 22nd
Char50 writes: I tried putting my stash of yarn in buckets and bins, but it was a pain to have to move bins to get to the yarn I wanted. I can't afford to buy a closet organizer like yours (and I rent, so I can't tear apart my closet); however, I found the perfect solution. Hanging sweater bags (the ones with the clear zippered fronts. There are usually 6 to 8 shelves in each. I sorted my yarn by colors and by weights (baby, sport, worsted) and put them on the shelves. I can get 8 skeins (10 if I must) per shelf. I have a spare bedroom with a large closet to keep them in. I currently have 3 full ones. For my crochet threads and miscellaneous items (trims, buttons, ribbons, etc) I have a clear front zippered shoe hanging bag. All I have to do is open the bi-fold closet doors, and I can immediately see all the colors and number of skeins of each that I have. NO MORE DIGGING and no more dust on my yarn!
Posted: 1:57 pm on August 30th
iHanna writes: The template is nice, I thin I'll try to use it though I have to many one skein or balls of un-identified objects to count!
Posted: 4:46 pm on August 12th
Irish13 writes: I have been looking forever for a unit exactly like this to store my yarn, etc. I can't seem to find it on the internet. Can someone please give me a website so I can purchase it?


Posted: 7:29 pm on August 8th
SusanElizabeth writes: I just had to smile while reading yarn stash is HUGE plus continues to grow. :) Thanks for links, I'll definitely check them out.
Posted: 7:08 am on August 8th
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