Organizing Your Stash & Tools

Savannah

Like many crafters, I have more yarn than I know what to do with. Sometimes you’re just at the store, see some yarn and say “man I really love that color, that’d make a great blanket!”. Next thing you know, you’re walking out with a bunch of yarn and realizing you already have so many projects going on… so where are you going to store all this yarn?!

I remember when I first started out crocheting, I’d look online and see people with boxes and boxes of yarn. I never understood how they could have so much yarn – like really, how much can you use? Well, hat goes around comes around, and now i’m the one with boxes and boxes of yarn. I have yarn in my living room side table-basket-thing(???), inside of my TV stand, in my room, in some boxes in my closet, and even just scattered throughout my house. You literally can’t walk around for 2 seconds without finding some yarn, either attached to a project or just hanging out. 

Point is… I had too much yarn and I definitely needed a solution.

Part of my yarn (and other crap) reorganization project

Now, it’s not like yarn storage is that difficult – you can always get boxes, shove all the yarn in, throw it in the closet and call it a day. But what if you want to display your yarn? Personally, I love to be able to see my stash. Sometimes, I’m browsing the internet and I find a pattern I really like, look over, and say “man that’d look really good in that yarn”, and BAM! Like that I found my next project.

I kind of also like showing my stash off to my parents too when they visit, but maybe that’s just me.

I recently did a few upgrades in my room (yarn wall, anyone?) and had some really neat storage techniques pop up that I think would make a great addition to anyone’s stash to keep things neat and organized and really show off that stash!

Storage Cubbies

Ok, don’t lie – you saw this one coming. Storage cubes are quite literally everywhere. And they have been for a while!

I first came across these a few years ago when I had first moved to my first apartment – but I know they have been around for a lot longer than that, just in different styles. When you think of a storage cubby – you maybe think of Kindergarten or First Grade, where you’d come into school and go to your cubby and put your bag, gym shoes, and books away for the day. 

Well, yes, adults can use cubbies too – and they’re fantastic for storing and showing off yarn!

Now – there are a lot of these – it seems like every major brand has their own version of this type of shelf. Ikea has the Kallax and Eket systems, Walmart has a Better Homes & Gardens version, and Target has Room Essentials AND Threshold brand versions. 

These are fantastic for a few reasons. They come in various sizes – from 2×3 to 4×4, and even bigger and smaller. They also (generally) come in various cubby sizes – the most common being 11″ and 13″ cubby sizes. Not only that, but they also have been coming out with some fantastic new accessories for these systems that make them perfect for organizing and displaying  your stash in any way you want (some even come with drawers and cabinets you can use to store needles & hide ugly balls of yarn you may not like).

The best part – All the systems below work with any 13″ box for each system – for the most part anyway. You can find fabric cubes or 13″ cubby boxes anywhere really, from Target to Meijer to Walmart – they’re plentiful and it’s the perfect way to keep your yarn in arm’s reach but not have it falling out everywhere. 

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Branas Foldable Basket via IKEA
Basic 13" Fabric Bin via Walmart

To not make you have to read so much, check out the table below for a quick comparison between the three brands mentioned above! Because there’s so many different versions of these, the below price points will be based off the 2×4 size cabinet

IKEA

Kallax
$ 69 99
13"x13" Cubbies
Cabinet & Drawer Inserts
Cross and "X" Compartment Inserts
Shelf Additions Available (Glass & Wire Basket)
Available in 6 colors

Walmart

Better Homes & Gardens
$ 69 99
13"x13" Cubbies
No Brand Cabinet & Drawer Inserts
Cross and "X" Compartment Inserts
Limited Shelf Additions Available
Available in 6 colors

Target

Threshold
$ 85 00
13"x13" Cubbies
No Brand Cabinets & Drawer Inserts
No Brand Cross and "X" Compartment Inserts
No Brand Shelf Additions
Available in 3 Colors

Looking at the comparison sheets

above – it looks like IKEA is by far the best – but I came across a little problem. Well, a few problems. First – I live an hour and 30 minutes away from my closest IKEA. Second – stock at IKEA has been awful since the pandemic started. I went recently and they only had the white high gloss in stock, not the natural I was looking for. I personally opted to purchase the Walmart Better Homes & Gardens version because it had similar colors, more compartment inserts available than Target, and it was a similar price to IKEA’s version. 

Another thing that I loved with Walmarts version is the two types of shelves they offered that would be perfect for what I wanted – the “X” shelf and the “H” Shelf. I wanted the H Shelf to store patterns and smaller cedar boxes I got from Knit Picks and the X Shelf to help compartmentalize and organize my yarn in a bit of a more stylized manner. Overall I love how they turned out! I went with the Weathered Grey shelf and opted for the brown inserts, so there’s a slight color difference, but not big enough to really bother me.

The first of my yarn cubbies

Peg Boards

Peg boards are used a lot in other hobbies as a way to add vertical storage to your space – and they can definitely be used here as well. That’s the beauty of peg boards – you can get a bunch and use them for really anything! Not only that, but they can also be extremely stylish and you can really customize them to fit your space and your style.

The IKEA Skadis is one of the peg boards that’s really big right now. Not only is it cheap and comes in a variety of sizes – but the attachments they sell for it make it extremely useful for knitters and crocheters!

Attachments available include:

There are a few other attachments available, but I only included the ones that would be most used for Knitting. They also come in a few different colors (attachments are in grey/white, boards are in natural, white, and blue), and come in a variety of sizes (30×22, 14×22, 22×22). They also sell wardrobe fasteners and table connectors, for those of you planning on hanging these on wardrobes or attaching to a table to avoid putting holes in your walls. I’ve also found they are actually fairly sturdy using a few 3M Large Velcro strips.

Overall I highly recommend using these if you want to store and display your hooks and tools!

I use one of my Skadis boards to hang fixed circulars, gauge and needle tools, and stitch marker rings
Board 2 of 2 showing how I hang my hanks and other tools

These peg boards aren’t just great for tools and hooks/needles though. I also use these for my yarn. Whether it be caked or in hanks, I like to store new yarn on the pegboard using the longer hooks 

I also use the letter holders to keep hold of my WIP folder and use the clips to hold the free patterns I pick up from the craft store. The extra hooks I have house extra tools, like lingerie wash bags, sock blockers, and anything else I may need to hang 

The main downfall with the IKEA Skadis system is that you have to use IKEA attachments, due to the oblonged holes in the pegboards.

Don’t have an IKEA near you or you’re not a fan of the style,  you can also get pegboards from local hardware stores, cut them to size, and purchase normal pegboard attachments! This option works especially well if you want different shapes or something that’s a little easier to access. 

Knits for Life has a fabulous example of a beautiful yarn wall using a normal (big!) peg board

Pencil Cups & Vanity Boxes

Otherwise known as bathroom vanity organizers, these are a perfect way to organize hooks, needles, and other tools. Some adjustments may have to be made depending on what the inside of the box looks like, but in general they’re perfect for it!

I recently picked up this Hair Tool Organizer from Target this past week to store my needles, hooks, and double pointed needles. Because the inside of the taller box is hollow, I had a bit of a problem with my needles slipping around, but it wasn’t anything a little bit of glue and left-over foam couldn’t fix! 

If that’s not quite your style, you can also use pencil cups to keep your needles neatly organized and in a compact space. I personally have a black metal mesh pencil holder that I used to use before getting the larger bathroom vanity. I loved how small and compact it was, but it didn’t really fit the style of my room that I had going on.

One problem I had was stowing things like stitch markers, cable needles, and tapestry needles. Before I put them on the pegboard and in the vanity box, I used small jars like the one available here at Target. They’re stackable , small, and perfect to store stick markers and other tools. 

The great thing about using jars is that there’s really so many options out there. If the Target ones are too big, you can also order more specialized ones elsewhere or even on Amazon if you have a specific style you’re looking for!

Baskets

Another obvious – who doesn’t have a project basket? Baskets are great for so many things and are perfect for holding yarn specifically meant for one (or multiple) projects.

Baskets can be found really anywhere – thrift stores, department stores, garage sales, and you can even make them!

One of my favorite baskets is this Coiled Rope Fishtail Weave Basket I found at Target a while back. I use it to store yarn for a blanket project so I can tote it around my apartment often and it’s held up really well!

If you are also in the market for a new side table (by chance) in your living room, you can also kill 2 birds with one stone by getting (or making) a storage basket side table! 

I made this one using a Macramé style basket I found at Target (similar to this one). The wood was cut from a large plank of poplar wood I found at Menards for ~$30, so overall, not bad! The nice thing about this is that you get a nice side table and some storage! I  use mine to stow my blankets in my living room, but you can just as easily use this to store your projects as well. 

I hope that this list helped give you some ideas of things to use to help organize your yarn stash and tools! What do you use to organize your own stash at home? Do you display your yarn or use boxes to store them while you’re not using it? Comment below, I’d love to know and maybe get some more ideas on how I can up my own organization!

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