Don’t ever organize your stash: a cautionary tale

Don't ever organize your stash: a cautionary tale

So, as someone who works in yarn, and loves yarn, I uh, have a lot of yarn. Long ago in a galaxy far far away, my stash could comfortably fit in what I called “the craft cupboard.” It lived in there with abandoned beading projects, 150 skeins of DMC embroidery thread, and the 50 pack of bubbles we bought for our wedding 3.5 years ago and forgot to take to the reception.

Then I bought one of those storage ottomans, “just for easy access to my current project.” Then I got my first job in yarn, and the yarn started to pile up.

Literally, there were piles of yarn on every surface in our small apartment. Yarn on the dining table. Yarn on the coffee table. Yarn on my nightstand. Yarn on the desk. Sometimes, yarn in the kitchen. I could tell by the almost undetectable twitch in Sarah’s eye every time new yarn arrived that I’d have to come up with a solution before I drove my poor wife into a yarny grave.

So then I bought three of those huge foldable boxes from Ikea: at the time, I could easily sort my yarn into those boxes (one for aran and 4-ply, one for DK and  chunky, and one for super chunky and remnants.) Sorting them like that made it easier to know what was what when stash diving, rather than having similar weights in a box together. There was plenty of room in those boxes, until there wasn’t.

Don't ever organize your stash: a cautionary tale

I bought another storage ottoman just to store my WiPs.

Eventually, I realized that I was having to cram yarn into the giant boxes, and gradually everything went from lovely and organized to me stuffing skeins and balls into the sides, growling, “GET IN THE BOX.” The corner where the boxes lived was looking like an episode of Hoarders. Yarn was escaping from the boxes and the surfaces in the apartment started to become yarn-covered before too long.

Last week, in a bid to get back into tidy habits, I fired up the Unf*ck Your Habitat app. I clicked “Random challenge.”

“Clean up your craft area: don’t get the scraps and ribbons take over!” 

I think this wonderful and optimistic app allotted 20 minutes for this activity. Being naive, I thought I could probably handle that.

I am a Sweet Summer Child.*

It might have taken 20 minutes, if I didn’t have to dump out, examine, and re-sort enough yarn to give most warehouses a run for their money. It might have taken 20 minutes if I didn’t also have a selection of my hand dyed yarns to sort, label, and store. It might have taken 20 minutes if I wasn’t me.

It was meant to be a quick lunch break cleaning task. Instead, it took me THREE HOURS. I ended up having to clean out part of my closet to move the big boxes into, resorting all of my WiPs, and putting needles, hooks, and stitch markers back where they belong. (Incidentally, my craft tools are in almost every drawer in the apartment. Oops.)

Because it took me THREE HOURS, I ended up really, really behind in my day’s projects. I ended up missing a social event that evening because I was too busy playing catch up!

The real kicker: the craft corner wasn’t even clean for 24 hours: there’s already another box of yarn over there, piled high with WiPs, a pom pom maker, and loads of yarn.

So you see? It’s all in vain. Clean the rest of the house if you will, but the craft area is some kind of sentient being who will do everything in its power to subvert your organization efforts. It knows what you’re thinking, so don’t even try it.

And did I mention? Out of sight, out of mind for that 24 hours meant I went and ordered more yarn. 

(For those of you who love the hand dyed cotton yarns, I have some awesome surprises in store for you soon!)

Learn more at GamerCrafting

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