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Organizing Yarn

Picture of several skeins of yarn.

It's great to stock up on yarn when it's on sale, but it does take up quite a bit of space. Keeping yarn organized can save you time when working on a project and space in your craft area. This is a guide about organizing yarn.


Solutions: Organizing Yarn

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Tip: Buy Yarn For Specific Projects

I tried to keep my yarn organized and finally after trying umpteen different methods, decided "forget it!" I donated 5 large leaf bags full to the local "old folks home" and still had lots of yarn left. It took me a couple of years, but I finally used it all up.

Now the only time I buy yarn is if I have something specific in mind to make. Then I print out the pattern (I get most of mine off the internet or if it's in a catalog or magazine I copy it on the printer) and get any other things I need for it (buttons, ribbons, elastic, whatever). Then I put everything for that one project into a bin (I went to the dollar store and picked up 10 small bins for small items like hats, scarves; 5 larger bins for things like sweaters, etc; and 2 bigger bins for afghans) and label the bin. This way whether I make the item now or hold off till another time, everything is together and I don't have to go searching for things. Plus by keeping them in these bins and the bins all together, my craft room looks so much neater now.

Source: Tired of walking over skeins!

By Cricket from Parkton, NC

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Tip: Yarn Storage Tips

When using yarn from a skein, you mostly use it from the center of the skein. That is the "norm". When you are winding yarn into a ball, use any button (with a shank on it or even a regular button) and tie it to the end of the yarn (that becomes the middle of the ball). By doing this, you will not lose the end of the yarn and you can still pull the yarn from the center. This prevents the ball from rolling all over the place, too.

Also a container I find useful for keeping my yarn in it while crocheting or knitting, is a large (empty) oatmeal container. It is a perfect fit. Happy "yarn" to everyone.

By applesauce from Alexandria, VA

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Tip: Organize Yarn in Newspaper Bags

Newspaper bag filled with yarn.I like to store yarn of the same color together. I use those skinny plastic newspaper bags to store yarn that is the same together. I squeeze out all the air and knot the bag. Then I store the yarn sausages in clear plastic bins so that I can see what is in them. This keeps the cats and moths out of my yarn and makes it easy to find.

By Leila B.

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Tip: Recycled Yarn Organizer

Pop bottles on door shoe holder for yarn storage.I get these wonderful shoe bag hangers for cheap at thrift shops. When I wanted to organize all the bigger skeins of yarn in my craft room, I began to save 2 liter bottles.

I then cut the bottom off, just above the fluting. You stick the skein in, feeding the tail through the soda top, and place the bottle bottom back on. If the skein is a bit too long, a bit of tape helps to keep the bottom on. Then, you simply place the soda bottles in the shoe part. You can keep them there till you need them, or work from the lower ones in the middle, moving the colors up and down that you need.

This is a simple and almost free project that will help you keep your yarn clean, organized, and handy. N-JOY!

Source: My own need to stay organized.

By Poor But Proud from Salem OR

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Tip: Use Sectioned Boxes For Yarn Storage

I went to a local bar and asked for three empty liquor boxes all the same size which have dividers right in them. Then I decorated them with contact paper, and placed them on their sides on a top shelf in my craft room. I placed my yarn skeins inside in clear plastic bags and color coordinated them. Now I can see at a glance of what I have for a selection, and they are protected from dust, etc.

By Leah from Lake Andes, SD

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Tip: Secure Button on End of Yarn

When making a ball of yarn, secure a button (with a shank) or some other similar item to the end of yarn at the beginning and hold on to it while continuing to wrap the yarn. This allows you to use the yarn from the center (as we all want to do) and not lose the beginning end of the yarn. Now, if someone already knew this, "shame" on you for not sharing it with me before now. (just kidding)

By applesauce from Alexandria, VA

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Tip: Storing Yarn in a Two Liter Bottle

I store my yarn in 2 litter soda bottles. Take an empty, clean bottle and remove the lid. Take a knife or large scissors and cut it in half, near the center of the label. Place your skein or ball of yarn inside the bottom half, take the end of the yarn and run it out the mouth of the bottle.

Now take wide clear tape and tape the two halves together again. You can just put the cap back on which keeps the end from fallen back inside. You could also take an ice pick or hot nail and poke a hole in the lid and run the yarn through it. The yarn never gets dirty and you can see what color you need.

By Randa from San Marcos, TX

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Tip: Yarn Storage Tips

Hanging shoe holder with yarn

I previously submitted an idea about using oversized shoe bags from thrift shops to store yarn. You can get the kind that are for shoes that are upright and usually clear plastic. Another kind lets the shoes slide in horizontally, so either one can hold either smaller or larger skeins of yarn. The photo I submitted is with fabric, as all of my yarn is in storage right now, but you get the idea.

I find that the under the bed style smaller clear containers are nice too, especially if you prefer rolled balls of yarn rather than skeins, which I do.

Another good way to store yarn is to save the clear bags you get vegetables in at the stores, fill them so they have room to hang on a hanger, and use the bulldog clips to do just that.

And finally, the two for a dollar hanger extenders can let you hang smaller bags of yarn all the way to the floor if you need to. I sure hope this helps.

By Sandi from Salem, OR

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Tip: Weigh Yarn to Ensure You Have Enough

Since I am so thrifty that I purchase all my yarn at thrift stores, I don't usually get full skeins. After being disappointed by running out of yarn during a project, I finally pulled out my food scale and now I weigh my yarn to make sure I have enough for my project.

By dcnfamily from Reno, NV

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Tip: Yarn Keepers From Recycled Soda Bottles

I learned this tip from my mother many years ago. Store your skeins of yarn in 2 liter soda bottles. Cut the bottom off, thread the yarn through the top, and tape the bottle back together. No more tangled yarn!

By nana2jsaxt from Somerset, KY

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Tip: Use Wine Racks For Storage

The people had taken one wall in their living room and instead of the normal box shaped shelves, they used the diamond shaped racks like they use to store wine on. They painted the whole thing to match their decor, and stacked magazines and books on it.

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Tip: Organizing Yarn

I find the best way to keep wool skeins together, tidy, and undamaged is to store them in "under the bed" plastic containers. I lay a small length of each yarn in a zip-lock bag, which I tape to the side of the container to show what is inside. The balls can stand or lay side by side and are easy to access and manage. The containers are out of the way, and my wool and yarn are only an arm's length away at any time!

By Sue from Palm Beach, Queensland

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Tip: Storing Yarn in Zip Top Bags

I keep my supplies of knitting and crochet yarn in the large click zip bags usually used for food storage. I write the ply and date on the white label, and because they are see through I do not have any trouble seeing what is inside, making it easy to select what I need. The bags sit flat and stack easily on top of one another on shelves of re-purposed bookcases. I also separate plain from variegated to make life simple.

By Leseera from NSW, Australia

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Tip: Remembering Yarn Colors

When making something where you have bought more than one skein of a given color, save one of the papers wrapped around the skein, and write on it near the color name...

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Tip: Free Cubby Storage for Yarn

For people who knit, crochet, or just need a lot of smaller storage spaces, go to a store that sells liquor and ask if you can have their empty liquor boxes. Depending on the available space, these boxes can be stacked on each other (on their sides) to give perfect little cubbies for your yarn. The colors can be readily seen and there's no tangling.

By Lisa

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Tip: Rice Cake Wrappers for Yarn Skeins

I use the wrappers from rice cakes to store a skein of yarn. It keeps the cats from making a nest out of it, and stuff from spilling on it, while you're working with it, or storing it.

By CrazyLady from Vineland, NJ

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Tip: Use Clear Newspaper Bags for Yarn

I use the plastic bags that my newspaper is delivered in when knitting or crocheting. I place a skein or ball of yarn inside to keep it clean and free from snarling. They are clear bags in my locality and easy to see through to choose the color I need. I also use them to save leftover yarn for easy visibility.

By Elles

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Here are questions related to Organizing Yarn.

Question: Ideas for Storing Yarn Stash

Help. My yarn stash is out of control and I need some ideas on how to store it all. I have tried the clear plastic containers, they are not working for me. We have very limited space in our house so any suggestions would be great.

By Amy from Brazil, IN

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Most Recent Answer

By Carol D. 5 30 05/14/2014

I received 4 large leaf garbage bags of yarn from friends and since I live in a small apartment, I was running out of space. I got the Spacesaver bags (Ziploc bags which you draw out all air and it shrinks the yarn into smaller proportions) and store them in canvas storage totes which all these come in a set. But before I put them in a Spacesaver bag, I organized the yarns into projects and than place them in grocery plastic bags and tie them shut. Now they are in two canvas toes which fit on my closet shelf.

Also when I am working on a project, I use ZIPLOC gallon sized bags and place a skein of yarn in separate bags. When not working on project, they zip shut to keep yarn clean, and than I just grab a tote bag and place the zipped yarn in it and grab scissors, needles, hooks and tape measure and take the project on the go while on the road with family, while doing laundry, while talking to friends downstairs or at Drs.' office, dentist. I open one bag and grab hook I open the bag, grab the yarn end and then pull it out. Then rezip only enough to keep ball or skein from falling out.

It keeps yarn clean and most likely from cats and dogs chewing or playing with the yarn. There is enough space for the skein or ball to unravel. Great when doing blocks, granny squares or small projects. It will also store the project (blocks or squares) when you have to quit, protecting that from dust and other destroyers.

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