The 100% Foolproof,* Crochet Yarn Stash Down Plan (with free printable labels!)

By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 5 Comments

Let’s have some fun. Nothing’s really 100% foolproof, right?

Crochet Spotters, I love you! Thank you! You’ve seen my worries about my yarn overload. You’ve heard me fret about creeping toward SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy). You’ve honored me with comments of support and commisseration. You’ve provided me with helpful tips. You’ve offered me alternative viewpoints that I’ve never before considered.

And now a couple of weeks have passed and I have to put my stash down plan into print and into action. I hope you’ll join me, too.

Based upon your generous comments, I can see that some Crochet Spotters can be plotted on the following Venn Diagram:

Do you see yourself in this diagram?

Do you see yourself in this diagram?

Well, hopefully the following plan will help us all. Hey, you never know. The idea is to stash down, pay it forward, and have fun doing it. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Time to stash down!

Time to stash down!

Step One: Create space. For some of us, this could be the hardest part of all, but it is really very important. I learned this through mentally sorting through my own stash.

I knew what I wanted to do with the yarn.
I knew what I had to do, but to really get it done well-
Where exactly was I going to put it during my stash down?

The truth is, I had to create space, specific space. For me that means emptying six drawers and removing my bedding along with having separate bins for my categories.

Step Two: Sort into Categories. Because all of my crochet stuff is pretty integrated, I realized I have to create many categories of items, not all of which will be yarn. The categories I have created are: Tools, Books/Patterns, Works In Progress (WIPs), Finished Objects (FOs), and Yarn. I need to designate areas in my space for each of these categories (i.e. bins, surfaces, drawers, bags, boxes), and get to work sorting them.

To make this a little more fun, I have created free, downloadable, printable labels to use during this stage of the project.

Click to download free printable by Caissa.

Click to download free printable by Caissa.

Step Three: Put everything that is not yarn to the side. I need to do this because the WIPs, FOs, Tools, and Patterns need their own organization, but today I’m focusing on the yarn! I will close up the bins, seal the bags, close up the boxes, shut the drawers, and affix the labels. I will put those projects aside for another day!

Step Four: Repeat Step Two, Only with Different Categories. The categories I’ll use for yarn will be Keep, Donate, Toss, Sell, and Gift. These are categories I’ve derived from general knowledge of organization and also from the great comments of you, Crochet Spotters.

I’ve again created free, downloadable, printable labels to use while sorting the yarn.

Click to download free printable by Caissa.

Click to download free printable by Caissa.

I am going to be a stickler when I decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
These will be my “Keep” criteria:
– I have a specific project in mind for this yarn
– It is a yarn that has a special color or quality (in this case, I might just snip a sample of the yarn to keep and then get rid of the rest!
– It is a staple yarn that I bought to have on hand for projects that speak to me (for example, white kitchen cotton).

These will be my “Let Go” criteria:
– I thought I would make something with this, but I haven’t. There’s nothing specific I’d like to make with this yarn.
– I don’t have quite enough of this yarn to make the project I have in mind.
– I can easily replace this yarn and wouldn’t miss it if I let it go.
– Even if it’s nice, I’ve had enough of this yarn staring me in the face!

Well, this ought to get me on my way! Next week I’ll share some stash-busting projects from Rachel’s website. With all of your encouragement I am actually excited about beginning this journey to organized yarn bliss!

And what about you, my dear Crochet Spotters? Do you want to join me in my quest to stash down? Do you think this plan and these labels will help you at all? Please continue to share tips and ideas in the comments below!

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  1. Darlene says:

    Lack of space for sorting is the main reason for the problem! Did you rent space somewhere or ?

  2. Peggy says:

    I just need a good way to sort what I have to find it when I need it, as I do a good deal of charity crocheting and need a variety of colors and yarns on an on-going basis.

    • Pat says:

      I suggest clear plastic bins. I found mine at my local Costco (warehouse store). I had tried banker’s boxes since I was looking for stackability. This created something of a problem as I could not tell what was in each box without dragging it off a shelf or out of a closet (most had been labeled and re-labeled many times). The plastic bins I got were stackable and I could easily tell what was in each. I too do a great deal of crocheting for charity and I can quickly find the bins containing what type of yarn I have available for my next project.

      I keep all of my white yarn in one bin (for crocheting burial gowns for babies who do not survive). I keep sport weight/fingering weight yarns in bins for use in crocheting baby hats and booties. I have 2 bins of chunky yarns for use in making small blankets to put in cat carriers when one of our shelter kitties gets adopted (I volunteer in the cat room at our local animal shelter). Cotton yarns have their own bins (for use in making chemo caps) as do worsted weight yarns (for use in making regular size baby blankets).

      Being able to quickly tell what yarn I already have is fantastic! I posted all yarn which did not fall into any of the above categories on the Freecycle web site. All 26 grocery bags (the brown paper type) containing this yarn found new homes quickly. Most went to the three Girl Scout troops in town.

      Once all the yarn in a particular plastic bin has been used, I post the bin on Freecycle to help it find a new home. And yes, I have been able to do this – once!

      I hope this helps.

      • Paula says:

        I sort my yarn by their ply. Beware of storing in clear plastic as the outer skeins are prone to fading. I use frosted plastic containers

  3. Michila Caldera says:

    Thank you for “SABLE”! I needed that! 🙂

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