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6 Ways to Store and Organize Yarn
Posted on: 6 May, 2019

Now that you have your own stash of yarn, you might be wondering how to store it. Organizing yarn is like organizing an office; everyone has his or her own method.

I have created a list of the best ways that I have found to store and organize my yarn. These are my suggestions and I hope that they can inspire you to find the best methods for you and your studio!

How to store yarn:

There are 3 main ways that I store yarn: in shelves, in dry containers, and in portable units.  No matter which method you decide on using, the important thing is to keep the yarn dry and away from bugs.

1.In shelves

If you are like me, you love to see your yarn out on display. I like to look over my shoulder and see what I have to work with on the shelf. The various color and texture combinations are in plain sight and nice to look at.

Of course there is the issue of dust and moths getting into the stash of yarn, but I try to keep a general rule when I keep yarn on the shelf: Limit what is on the shelf. If I know that some yarns will be used in a later project, I tend to put them into a safe container or bag to keep dust or pest away from them. But as I am using the yarn, I love to keep them on my desk and shelves to spark some ideas.

Above: I use a simple bookshelf that is opened on the front and back. It is easy to grab and display the yarn and keeps them fresh. I prefer to organize my yarn by color family than texture or fiber.

Above: Personally, I LOVE this ALGOT organizer from IKEA for storing almost anything. I use it to store my clothing to keep dust out and and my clothes fresh. But, I also like the idea to use it to store yarn. The drawers come out easily- I can round up the yarn and take a drawer with me to my work station. The top shelf helps keep dust off the things inside.

2.In dry containers

As mentioned before, I would fill my workspace shelves with yarn if I could, but I know that I can use them all in one project. Therefore the yarns that I am not using for a current project or the next project are stored in a container or somewhere dry and clean.

When left on the shelf too long, yarns can collect dust or sticky hands might gravitate to them. Sometimes it also seems to be like a magnet and attaches itself to other pieces of yarn or particles near by. There are various storing options, such as plastic containers, over the door shoe organizers, recycled containers, etc.

 Above: I like using these containers to also store art work to keep them clean and safe. Above: I like using these containers to also store art work to keep them clean and safe.

3.In portable units

While working on a project, I collect all the yarns for a project in a portable container that I made from cardboard and keep a few tools in an empty ice-cream container. I repurpose food containers for organization often. It is important to me that I try to get more use out of these objects before tossing them.

With just a few pieces of cardboard and hot glue, I made an open container for the yarns that I am using on a project. I cannot use them all at the same time, so I just keep the project yarns by my workstation in this cardboard unit. If I wish to weave outside or somewhere outside of my workspace, then I can easily throw the yarn into this lightweight container and take it along.

Above: On the other hand, I store a few tools and the yarn bundle that I am using in this small empty ice-cream container. While weaving, I use a few yarn strands at a time, so I do not need to worry about keeping a large stash of yarn in this smaller container. I like using these smaller portable units because I just take what I need for the project at that time. This way I can keep my workspace tidy and keep the supplies that I need at hand.


How to organize yarn:

I often move yarn around in my workspace and change how I organize them. Changing the organization a bit can spark creativity and give me some ideas for new projects or color or yarn combinations.

There are 3 main ways that I organize yarn: by thickness, color and fiber. Although I am categorizing in these three ways, there are several variations of these methods that you can use.

4.By thickness

There are various ways to divide yarn by thickness. Thinner yarns

There are three variations in thickness that I divide yarn into: thin, medium and thick. Then you could make a few other classifications: color shade and fiber type.

For example, if you have thin brown yarn.

Separate the yarn by shade of color – perhaps light brown to dark brown.

In every color shade group, separate the type of fiber – perhaps separating cotton, wool, acrylic, silk, and etc

Then continue this method to the darker brown yarn, and so on.

 Above: Yarn divided by medium thickness. Above: Yarn divided by medium thickness.

5.By color

You can organize yarn color in 2 main categories: solid colors and mixed colors. Then (similar to organizing by thickness) you could make a few other classifications: yarn thickness and fiber type.

solid colors

Here are a few ways to organize them:

Check out my yarn color blog post that gives you a basic introduction into color theory and more information about colors and how to group colors together.

After organizing the color scheme, divide the yarn by thickness (thin to thick) and categorize by fiber.

mixed colors

Mixed color yarns are made with 2 or more colors. Often it is difficult to differentiate between the base color and the blended color, therefore pick one of the colors to categorize it by.

Here are a few ways to organize them:

dominate color

color family

light to dark

After organizing the color scheme, divide the yarn by thickness (thin to thick) and categorize by fiber.

6.By material/ fiber

Cotton, jute, flax, and silk are just a few types of fibers, and as your yarn collection grows you will probably accumulate yarn from all types of fibers. Divide the yarn into fiber types. If you are unsure of the yarn fiber, always check the label on the packaging of the yarn. It will tell you what kind of fiber or fibers were used to create the yarn. You can learn about different types of yarns in the blog post Comparing Types of Yarn.

If categorizing the yarns by the type of fiber alone doesn’t interest you, you could separate the yarns based on natural, synthetic and mixed blend yarns.

After organizing the yarn by fiber, the yarn can be categorized by color and divided by thickness.

 Above: Yarns divided by fiber. (Clockwise order) Acrylic blend, roving, acrylic, and cotton. Above: Yarns divided by fiber. (Clockwise order) Acrylic blend, roving, acrylic, and cotton.


These 6 ways to store and organize yarn has helped me stay organized and keep my yarn in good condition. These are just some ways to organize your yarn, and I encourage you to find the way that works the best for you. If you have more ideas or your own favorite way, please share them!

Thank you for visiting my blog!

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