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It was the third avalanche of yarn, cascading down the shelves and onto the carpet below, that convinced me it was time to organize my yarn stash. Again.
I’ve organized my yarn stash more times than I care to admit. It’s something I do every couple of years when the chaos gets to be too much. I don’t feel bad or like a failure for having to organize again; a yarn stash is a living, breathing organism*. It grows and changes, and the organization system that was perfect two years ago may no longer be a good fit today.
As I went through my yarn this time, I saw myself handling skeins I hadn’t touched in five or more years. I realized that my yarn stash was significantly larger than the space I had allocated for it. I basically had two choices: make more room for yarn or get rid of some yarn. Every time I have ever faced this dilemma in the past, I’ve opted to make more room for yarn. This time, though, I decided it was time to let some go.
I feel I need to stress what a huge leap this was for me. While I may be a ruthless declutterer in the rest of my house, craft items are sacred. I almost never get rid of crafting stuff. Any craft item will be useful and needed someday, whether tomorrow or a decade from now, and that’s enough justification to let it stay. But staring at my yarn stash, I finally felt like it was time to pare it down, considerably. How much is considerable? Three giant plastic tubs, each about 18 gallons. Yeah, that’s a lot of yarn.
If you’ve felt this way before, or do now, you may be intimidated about how, exactly, to get rid of a significant amount of yarn. What follows are some ways to get rid of your yarn that may be more fun than just dropping it off at the local thrift store.
1. Host a yarn party. Tell all your knitting and crocheting friends to come over and peruse the yarn offerings. Put out some snacks, and everyone can socialize while they “shop” through your yarn. Better yet, invite them to bring any yarn they want to get rid of, too.
2. Sell it. If the yarn is still in like-new condition, you can sell it locally or online. This doesn’t have to be complicated – I’ve seen many friends sell yarn by posting a picture on Facebook or Instagram and listing how much they are asking for it. Don’t forget to factor in shipping costs when you come up with the price. You can either include shipping (“$20 for both skeins including shipping,” for example) or price out shipping once someone commits to buy it.
3. Donate it. Feel all the warm fuzzies when you donate your yarn to a local senior center or place of worship. Most of these have crochet or knitting groups that can make good use of the yarn. The senior center where I teach crochet and knitting accepts yarn donations. I’ve watched the seniors there turn these donations into hats, scarves, blankets, and more. One winter, they made scarves to donate to local kids in need.
4. Make project surprise bags. This is my favorite idea. Take a brown paper lunch bag. Put yarn in the bag along with a pattern to make something with that yarn. Seal the bags shut and label them with only the craft and type of project: “knit – sock,” “crochet – shawl.” Then either have your local friends come choose a bag, or mail them out to long-distance yarn lovers.
Do you have any other creative ways to part with your yarn? Is your yarn stash nice and tidy, or is it out of control? Leave a comment and let me know.
*I would be remiss if I didn ’t tell you that I momentarily had a flashback to the original The Blob movie. It was a point of pride for my horror-movie-loving mother when I memorized the theme song: “It leaps, and creaps, and slides, and glides across the floor…” It can describe a yarn stash too, yes?