It has been since I last bought yarn!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Getting Organized

(Pour yourself some tea/wine, this is a long post.)

I have been a knitter for approximately 10 years, give or take a few months here or there. In that ten years I have knit all kinds of various things. I have also amassed a yarn stash. The fact that there is a stash is not really a surprise to anyone- (except to my husband, who has been around for the same amount of time but continues to be shocked at stash enhancement)- but it still warrants a discussion.

This was my stash management system this morning at 10:00 am. (The light in this room is awful... brace yourself for not so great photos today.)

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This has been my main system for the ten years that I've been knitting. Adding boxes and filling them up. The three largest boxes broke down into acrylics, sport/worsted natural fibers, sock yarn. The various other boxes contains scraps, pieces, full skeins etc. When you put out all of those boxes it looks like this:

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Needless to say, this is a highly inefficient system because it requires digging and rearranging on any given day. I probably access my stash at least once a week and the system in place requires more time than necessary to get to certain spots. Hence, my yarn stash started getting stuffed into various spots in my house because it just took too much time getting into the boxes and organzing and looking for more shoeboxes to stuff things in. Aside from the stash, it sat,unslightly, in various locations; by the couch, (WARNING: EXTREME UNTIDY PHOTOS FOLLOW! I am generally a neat person, but things have gotten messy. If you are senstive to mess of any kind (MOM) you may want to scroll ahead quickly.)

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on our office on a desk.

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It takes waaaay less time to just dump the stash in these locations versus digging to China in the stash management system I had in place

Finally I had enough. I'm not entirely sure what's gotten into me lately- but I am on a purge/clean/organize kick. This week the linen closet became an example to what other linen closets aspire to be. Same with my kitchen cabinets- and I knew the yarn stash was next. First up was convincing the husband that I needed storage.

The husband has always been resistant to a more permanent, refined storage system, I think because he feared that it would encourage me to fill it up the bins. Buying stash storage means acknowleding that there is stash to be stored, and he wasn't particularly a fan of this concept. However, after a somewhat civil disussion, we agreed that getting something was a good idea.

Enter- this baby, from Walmart that ultimately looked like it would fit the stash. (It would be appropriate to look at this and have the Hallejuah Chorus playing in your mind...)

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I assembled it giddily and went to work culling and organizing. (Husband took this action photo... not my sexiest look...)

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I did manage to get everything that counted as a full/mostly full skein into the drawers... barely. Just barely. I kept the same system, acrlyic on the bottom, worsted/sport natural fiber in the middle, sock yarn on top. I am not going to lie to you- these drawer open, but only after I do some maneouvering. They are full to the point where they don't open easily.

I was still left with a million odds and ends I couldn't part with which require more jamming items into drawers and ultimately admitting defeat and adding back in the plastic bin/shoe boxes.

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Here you see on the right, my Knit Picks Comfy leftovers from various blankets and on the left, yarn left overs that I cannot part with even though I have no idea what I'm going to make with them. I absolutely need to get over my fear of running out of yarn. Absolutely- because this amount of leftovers is completely unnecessary. GAH... more yarn!

So when all was said and done- I went from this: (GAH!)

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To This! (Sorry for the lighting)

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You'll see that the large bing of leftovers is on the bottome, but since I don't get into there very often, that's okay. The drawers are neat and organized.

On the top I have an additional bin for needles, all DPNs (why do I have 5 pairs of US size 2 bamboo needles?), circulars, and crochet (boo!) hooks. I also have a shoebox of notions- like ribbons, buttons, and various other things that I rarely use, but needed to keep around.

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It's considerably more organized and I feel A LOT better about things going forward.

The piling has tidied up considerably- here's the same spot by the couch, only containing the yarn that's up "on deck" for the next project. (You'll hopefully be meeting this blanket next week!)

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I'm feeling a LOT better about this system, and also less guilty now that my house is less engulfed by stash piles. This little project does, however allow me a little perspective. There is still a lot of stash in there. I am motivated! Here's my goal: cull the stash down to the three drawers. Get rid of the bottom leftover box and be able to fit those in the drawers. My ultimate goal is to have those drawers open easily. That's attainable right? I need to knit at least one sweater from the wool box and one blanket from the acrylic box and this could happen for drawers 1 and 2. Drawer 3 may need a "summer of socks" to get it going, but I can do this. I can be efficient. I am motivated!

1 comment:

faeriecollege said...

why do I have 5 pairs of US size 2 bamboo needles?

For the same reason I have 4 US 8 circulars. They breed in there, I swear.