I have a yarn problem

In 2012 I made it one of my goals to “Reduce clutter, organize and make our house more liveable.” I reiterated the goal in 2013: Reduce clutter, and all that.

I want to reduce clutter and have a well-organized home, not because I love organizing (I like organization, but I don’t revel in the act of organizing. I really prefer starting projects and not finishing them.), but so that our home is as functional as possible. This is especially important now that we’re filling our house with little ones and the huge plastic things they bring with them out of the womb.

One place that could use some organizing is our laundry/mud/craft room/pantry. We gated it off a while ago and now it’s just such a pain to step over the gate, sometimes we just throw things over the gate and promise to deal with them later, like when David is in bed. Or when he goes to college. (It’s actually not that bad; since you can see it from the kitchen, we keep things relatively sanitary.)


I keep my craft supplies in the laundry/mud/craft room/pantry. The majority of my “craft” stuff is yarn. I have a ton of yarn. I have yarn of all colors, weights and varieties that I’ve accumulated over the years. Even if I buy a very specific yarn for a very specific project, I never get rid of the leftover because you never know.

Here’s my organization system: I throw it all in a laundry basket, an overflowing laundry basket.  (See that bag beside the laundry basket? That’s a bag of leftover materials from the chair backers.)


I decided to organize it a while ago, and was inspired by this photo:


I don’t have that kind of wall space (or shelf space, or anything space), so I decided I could stack more boxes (and store more yarn) if I used (long and deep) soda fridge packs instead of (tall and shallow) magazine holders. (All my knitting accessories, like pattern books, needles, and all that other stuff is pretty well-contained. My sister in law made me a beautiful needle organizer for Christmas, which motivated me to get my act together.)


But, I dunno, I didn’t like it. It made the yarn inaccessible and hard to see. In the photo above, there are lots of duplicate skiens, which I don’t have. Plus, it was hard to sort my  yarn by color. I have lots of blue-greens. Do they go in the blue box or the green box? See my dilemma? Someone call the UN, we need to figure this out.

Now instead of trying to organize the yarn, I’m trying to systematically use up what I have and resist buying more. But in the long run I need a better system.

I was thinking about these stackable baskets from the Container Store.


I didn’t learn that the Container Store existed until I was in my 20s. I didn’t actually visit the website until last night. Is it just me or is the Container Store expensive? Maybe if you have that many lemons in your home your house has fallen to a level of disorganization that you’ll spend any amount of money to corral them. I don’t know. I never own more than one lemon at a time. Maybe two.

This just seems like another version of the laundry basket system, though.

Anyone have any ideas? Lend me your organizing genius. How do you organize 100 balls of yarn?

Please don’t tell me you don’t have 100 balls of yarn.


  1. Candace March 28, 2013

    In the sewing world, I have seen people use a thread peg-board to organize their spools of thread. What if you tried that on a larger scaled for your balls of yarn? Or, maybe you could use the same idea as your gutter-garden and install gutters inside? They aren’t too expensive and somewhat skinny, giving you easier access.

    • Kelly March 28, 2013

      Um, did Candace come back from the future to post the above comment? Because the clock on the computer I am typing this on says it is now only 2:56pm on March 28th….. If she *did* comment from the future I think you should definitely do what she suggests.

      • amandakrieger March 28, 2013

        check your timestamp. my blog is so hip, it only accepts comments from the future. party like it’s 3013.

        • Kelly March 28, 2013

          Actually, 3013 is kind of a drag…enjoy the present while it lasts.


          Future Kelly

  2. christie kubler March 28, 2013

    Are you on pinterest? I just searched and there were so many great ideas under “yarn storage” SHOWER BASKETS! who knew? http://media-cache-lt0.pinterest.com/originals/9b/66/6b/9b666be5b783907df0275470a757b594.jpg

    also a hanging shoe organizer, http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_X1iJJ7YJgw4/Sr4vzEKWk7I/AAAAAAAAAa8/hCOtKDJruyk/s1600-h/yarn_storage.jpg

    I feel your pain, my sewing and craft supplies have been forced to live in a dark space under our stairs. One day, ONE DAY I hope to get the chance to give them a better home, like their own ROOM! oh a girl can dream.

  3. Ivy Wolfe March 28, 2013

    Amanda- I have my yarn in clear plastic drawers from Target. It’s kind of like what you tried, but I can see which yarns are in a given drawer. Of course, I started with one set and now have three….:-)

  4. Grammy March 30, 2013

    only if David Andrew could get in that room; everything would be perfect! :]

  5. May April 18, 2013

    I think you would get the most bang for your buck with the hanging canvas shoe organizer that Christie posted. It looks like you could easily get to what you want. Plus, I love the rainbow of color it adds to the room.

  6. Elaine July 22, 2015

    Thanks for linking up on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! I loved having you!! Hope you can join us again tomorrow!! Pinned to My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday Pinterest page!! 🙂


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