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  • Writer's pictureLucy Duffy

From Chaos to Creativity: A Guide to Tidying Up Your Yarn Stash

Beginning a new craft project can be so exciting, maybe you know what you want to make next or maybe you're looking for inspiration in your yarn stash. Eeeek! Here is where the euphoria can come to an abrupt halt, why?

Are you faced with the chaos of an unorganised yarn stash? Do you have to spend precious minutes searching for the perfect yarn, only to discover it buried beneath a mountain of tangled fibres? It's a familiar frustration for many crafters, and until recently was for me too. I have recently spent some time re-organising my stash and thought I would share the process with you.

A cartoon style image of a woman with her hands on her head and a variety of yarns around her.
A disorganised yarn stash can mean wasted time searching for the right yarn, only to find it buried and tangled!

In this guide to tidying up your yarn stash, I will explore the transformative journey of going "From Chaos to Creativity," emphasising the pivotal role of a well-organised yarn stash. Beyond mere tidiness, a systematically arranged stash can become the spark for creativity, unlocking a domain where inspiration flows effortlessly. Join me as I delve into the tangible benefits that extend beyond neat shelves and labeled boxes, ultimately streamlining your crafting process and infusing your projects with newfound joy. Let's unravel the secrets of a tidy stash and discover how it becomes the cornerstone of a calm crafting experience.

The Chaos of an Unorganised Yarn Stash

The Quest for the Lost Skein - So my stash has always been kept in containers or on shelves, nice and neat right? Well, not so much, it's not particularly helpful when I'm looking for a particular skein and can't remember which of the many containers it's in the bottom of 🙈

Several containers containing multiple skeins of yarn in various colours in each one.
Yarn in containers doesn't necessarily equal organised!

This has often left me either wasting an absolute age trying to find it or just buying more of something that I know I already have - somewhere! It's a time suck and a frustration, leading to a lack of motivation and feeling stressed, not the "zen" feeling I want from my crafting.

In short, an unorganised yarn stash can pose numerous challenges, turning the joy of creation into a maze of frustrations. Those challenges could almost read like a cinema listing:

  • The Quest for the Lost Skein: The time-consuming search for a specific skein disrupts project flow and induces stress.

  • Tangled Tales: Entangled yarn, whether in storage or during crafting, becomes a source of irritation and potential damage to precious fibres.

  • The Unintentional Yarn Stash Expansion: Accidental duplicate purchases lead to unnecessary spending and contribute to stash clutter.

  • Mismatched Colours in Finished Projects: Discovering colour discrepancies mid-project results in disappointment and compromises the final crafted item.

  • Project Abandonment: The inability to locate materials leads to project abandonment, causing demotivation and stifling creative expression.

  • The Overwhelm of Choices: An overloaded stash induces decision fatigue, making it difficult to initiate or complete projects.

Various skeins of yarn of different types and colours, stacked on open shelving.
Open shelving works for some, but doesn't always equal organised.

The Benefits of a well organised, Tidy Yarn Stash

  • A well organised stash allows you to quickly locate the required yarn for a project. This not only reduces the amount of time spent/wasted searching for the yarn you need but will also accelerate the actual project completion too.

  • A well organised stash also allows for the grouping of yarn by colour, creating visually appealing arrangements. When you open your storage space to a spectrum of neatly arranged colours, it's not just an organised stash but a palette of possibilities.

  • Beyond colour, your yarn stash can also be grouped by yarn type, allowing you to visually assess and choose yarn based on texture, adding depth and dimension to your projects.

  • A well organised display isn't just about making your stash look pretty, or making it easier to locate specific yarn, clutter can be distracting and overwhelming, inhibiting the creative process. By eliminating visual clutter, you can focus more on the artistic aspects of your projects, fostering a more inspired and imaginative mindset.The visual orderliness can subconsciously translate into a sense of control and focus, providing a calm and inspiring atmosphere.

  • Having some form of inventory for your stash will enable you to plan future projects more easily, knowing exactly what you have on hand to work with.

In summary, an aesthetically pleasing and organised stash engages the visual senses in a positive way. The deliberate arrangement of colours, textures, and orderliness transforms the stash into a visually stimulating space, setting the stage for a more inspired and creative crafting experience. The addition of a well documented inventory can also save you money in the long term, knowing what you have on hand will prevent you from buying duplicate yarn. It's a win, win!

A storage unit with labelled containers.
A well organised and labeled area for your yarn stash enables calm, and means less time spent searching and more time crafting!

The Tidying Process

Assessment and Sorting - Start by figuring out what you have, try sorting your yarn by colour, weight or fibre type. If your stash is small, you may be able to go through it in an hour or two. On the other hand, if it's more sizeable you may need to do this over a few sessions. As you go, make a list of what you have & where it's kept. This can be on paper, the notes app on your phone, a spreadsheet or another method (if you have any suggestions, why not let me know in the comments below).

Multiple skeins of yarn on the floor and in a container, grouped by colour and type.
Start by sorting your yarn by colour, weight or fibre type.

Storage Solutions - As I've already mentioned, many people use open shelves for their yarn, and this is a great option if you want to be able to see what you have at a glance. On the down side, you will need to keep on top of the dusting and, if you have a cat who loves to play with yarn - like me - this may not be the best option.

I've also seen peg boards used in a similar way, with the same pro's and cons. Another option is containers, which can come in many forms such as baskets, (I wouldn't recommend wicker ones unless you like yarn tangles 😬) lidded boxes, bins etc

This is my preferred method, I feel that it's tidier and contained (away from the cat), the downside is that you can't see what you have at a glance - this is where the inventory comes in.

Documentation - Whichever method you use to store your yarn, it's important to use a clear labelling system. This could be by type, (colour, fibre etc) or, if you plan to use an inventory, perhaps by location. An inventory is your best friend when it comes to avoiding chaos. Your inventory can be a simple written list detailing what each container contains, or a digital version.

Several lists detailing locations for various yarns.
Start by writing down what you have in each area.

Make sure to include the brand, range, colour name and code, fibre type, weight and location for each skein as well as how many you have. If you use a spreadsheet for this, you should then be able to filter your inventory for each of these, making it a breeze to find what you're looking for.

for an Accurate inventory, I would recommend updating it each time you add to, or remove from, your stash. It's also a good idea to put leftover yarn away once your finished with it, remembering to also add it back into the inventory. Keep your inventory with your yarn stash to make this easier.


In the world of crafting, the journey "From Chaos to Creativity" is not just about tidying up a yarn stash; it's about unlocking a realm of possibilities. As we've explored the benefits of having a tidy yarn stash, the transformative power of organisation becomes evident in every skein neatly arranged and each colour harmoniously displayed.

Summarising the Key Benefits:

  1. Time saved searching means more time spent creating 🥳

  2. A visually appealing stash becomes a canvas for innovative ideas.

  3. Knowing what's in your stash prevents unnecessary purchases, saving both money and space.

  4. Project planning is made easier. From envisioning future projects to the joy of selecting from a well-curated stash, organisation paves the way for seamless planning and execution.

As you stand at the threshold of your crafting haven, consider the untapped potential that lies within a well-organised stash. Beyond the practical advantages, there's a joyous harmony that comes from crafting amidst order. It's an experience that goes beyond the tangible materials and connects deeply with the essence of creation.

A cartoon style image of a woman stood in front of a well organised yarn stash.
There is joyous harmony that comes from crafting amongst order!

Embark on Your Organisation Journey:

I encourage you, my fellow crafters, to take the leap and embark on your own organisation journey. Transform your crafting space into a sanctuary where every skein of yarn tells a story and every color sparks inspiration. Embrace the joy of a tidy stash, and witness how it elevates not just your crafting process but your entire creative experience. (I only wish I had done mine sooner).

In the symphony of colours and textures that make up your stash, find the melody that resonates with your own creative spirit. Share your own organisation tips, experiences, and triumphs in the comments below.

Why not share your before and after photos on social media using the hashtag #ChaosToCreativity and don't forget to tag me - @duffyscraftdays - so that we can all celebrate the beauty of an organised yarn stash and the limitless creativity it can unlock.

May your crafting journey be as fascinating as the projects you bring to life with newfound order and inspiration. Happy crafting! 😀

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