Can’t find your yarn? Yeah, well, neither can I.
But, over the course of my habitual organize/mess-up-reorganize pattern, I’ve picked up a few tricks that help me organize myself, and stay organized, so that I CAN find that project I started a month ago, and CAN put away my unfinished ball of yarn without it becoming a tangled mess.
Set up your workstation.
That’s right, friends. Set it up. Make sure you have everything lined up where you want it, and when. There’s nothing worse than trying to organize your stash and station if you don’t know what needs to be fairly clear, and where things should be stored. A desk would be the best place to do this, but if you are a freehander and do not use a desk (like me) then be sure to set up a nightstand of some sorts to help keep your things in order. If you want to keep your nightstand clean, get a box that will fit the bottom compartment, or under the nightstand to be your OPB (see below for details).
This should go without saying but, plan it out! Organization is basically planning for habitual use. What space are you working with? How much yarn do you plan on having? How much money are you willing to invest in this project? How much time will it take? These are questions you should ask before tackling this task. If the word warrants so, click the link to see further examples on google! This will help with ideas when planning.
You can’t organize your stash if you have no where to store it! Old dressers, bookshelves, crates from the dollar store, or simply planks of wood nailed together; it really can be anything. You’ll have to know what you want to store it in to organize it. But don’t fret: work with what you have!
- Use old shoe boxes, cover them with colored paper and hot glue them together.
- Take that old dresser and gut the front panel of the drawers, so that you not only have a sliding shelf, but a sturdy place to store all your yarn!
- Bookshelves are the MOST popular and probably the easiest place to store your yarn. Sand it down, and paint it! Get creative. This is your personal stash of passion, so decorate it in a way that fits you!
- Hanging shelves in your closet for the ultimate storage! You can find tutorials on how to create them, or pick up a set at your local ikea or target. They’re intended for t-shirts and such, but can be perfect if you have a smaller stash and limited space (I’m looking at you, college students!)
Still short of storage? Do not fret. You can make your own storage. And this can be really handy, as it gives you much more leeway than most storage options! There are tons of basket tutorials online that guide you into making large and small baskets, with and without pockets.
This becomes important, as every knitter and crocheter will need a “current” or ongoing project box.
Create an “ongoing project box”.
I know you tried. I tried too. But, if you click here you can find ways of maintaining this ongoing project box. This box is intended to serve as a gateway to finishing your projects and keeping your space organized.
When creating this box, be sure to give it multiple compartments that are not set in stone, but able to be altered as you may be working with on an afghan, three pairs of socks, and a sweater, and each should have a separate compartment to ensure that they do not get entangled. Examples of DIY cardboard boxes to give you inspiration can be found here. However, remember, you can also make these boxes out of yarn: so that they may be more flexible!
Remember, the goal here is to make maximum storage out of minimal items. It’s the little things, people.
Stick to the OPB (ongoing project box)
The goal of the OPB is to make sure that you keep your space organized, but also that you don’t take on too many projects! This is essential in making sure you finish projects and get them in the FPB (finished project box).
I know that the skein of yarn that’s on sale at Michaels is REALLY tempting to buy, but unless you intend on getting enough to finish a project, DO NOT get the yarn. I repeat, DO NOT get it. You don’t need it, it will clutter your stash and then eventually, your OPB because you won’t have enough to finish it.
Get a FPB (finished project box).
Okay, well you finished your projects. Now what? Store them! I suggest it be a fairly large box. This does NOT have to be organized; it can be a big cardboard box, if that’s all you have. This will not affect your organizational habits, unless you lose the box!
However, I do not recommend that. I suggest getting yet again, an organized box. This can be the bottom drawer of your dresser-storage unit, or a series of boxes on the bottom self of your bookshelf. Either way, there needs to be a very clear separation between finished and unfinished. Separating the boxes into Afghans (fairly larger box) socks and mittens (smaller box) and scarves/sweaters/else (medium size) would be best. This allows you to not only associate the sizes of the boxes with the size of the items, but it prevents your from mindlessly throwing it into a box, to which you may never find it.
Butterfly bobbins are friendly.
This is a recent development! I just started doing this. Once I’m done with my projects, if it’s a pair of mittens or a sweater or even a blanket, I use leftover string to tie them up! Mittens, you can pull a string through and make a loose knot, so that they stay in a pair. However afghans and sweaters can be folded and tied together with a butterfly bobbin so that they stay in tact and neat in your FPB!
See the tutorial on making butterfly bobbins here.
Once you’ve made butterfly bobbins, keep it in a compartment on the side of your OPB for easy access.
Keep a scrap yarn box.
And this can literally be a cardboard box. It does not have to be large, however, because if you get enough scrap yarn, a scrapghan (scrap afghan, an afghan made of scrap yarn) is always in measure! This keeps your yarn stash at a reasonable amount, your wits sane, and your space organized. However, when making the scrapghan, keep it in the scrap box away from your OPB to eliminate further crossing of yarn.
And finally, keep your tools in order.
You can use an old toolbox, an old box, or even a cupholder. Whatever works, remember to keep up with it. If you’re a yarn fanatic and have crochet hooks AND knitting needles, only keep your most popular hooks and needles out in a cupholder (to your choice, if you crocheted a basket for your OPB, add little pockets on the side. A video on how to do that can be found here.)
All the little things, like stitch holders (just use paperclips, you really don’t need anything fancy) needles (get a scrap ball and stick them in there, and stick the ball inside a small crochet bowl so it doesn’t roll) and other various tools should be stored accordingly. If you use them often, have them out. If not, get a cute plastic organizer from Michael’s or Walmart. An example of a good organizer to use can be found here. The paperclips would be put in the compartment, a magnet strip attached to the side would allow for the needles to stay organized and out of the way, and hooks/needles/tools would be safely placed in the cup holder assortment. This way you have a neat, minimal design that effectively manages your space!