Jan 20, 2019

Organizing the Stash: The Result

Last year was a watershed year on the knitting front, not for the number of projects completed or yards processed, but because I finally managed to wrangle the stash into some form of submission. 

Don't get me wrong. As I explained last week, the stash has been relatively functional for some time, but my long-term goal was to find a way to organize it more efficiently to make the most of space available.

After lots of measuring and weeks of research and comparison, I invested in a daunting collection of clear storage boxes from the Container Store in three sizes (women's shoe, men's shoe and sweater boxes). These boxes stack securely and make it possible to see at a glance what's in each container. The shoe boxes are just the right size for smaller quantities and finer yarns, while the large ones  aptly dubbed sweater boxes  hold heavier weight yarns and sweater (or afghan) quantities.

All that planning, measuring and agonizing paid off. Once the containers arrived, I emptied the old bins and began reorganizing the yarn. My strategy was simple: Whenever possible, I wanted same/similar yarns together, so I sorted first by weight, then by fiber, then by quantity and finally by color (weight > fiber mix > quantity > color).

The end result has been immensely satisfying. Sweater quantities occupy their own dedicated boxes. Stash staples like Cotton Fleece occupy multiple containers organized by color type (cool shades, warm shades and neutrals). 

Smaller quantities and mixed colors are stored like with like (shrine of precious, lace weight, workhorse worsteds, etc.), and in some cases, I've tucked in an oddball, singleton or variegated skein that works well with the yarn in question.

The entire stash now fits into two built-in, half-height cupboards that flank the fireplace. One holds all lace, fingering, sport and DK yarns, while the other holds worsted, aran and bulky. 

I've lived with this new system for awhile, and so far, I'm delighted. It's much more efficient and works beautifully. If I want a specific yarn or weight, I know precisely where it's stored, and I can access or restash it with a minimal amount of fuss.

As an added plus, consolidating the stash freed up several large drawers and smaller cupboards. One goal for this year is to reduce the number of knitting-related things that tend to sit out, so I hope to use this storage for WIPs, FOs, knitting tools, swatches, blocking mats and more. But first, of course, I'll need another plan ...



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