Tips for stashing less

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Stashing less, stashing better - all of these things are important to me and I thought it was time for me to share a bit my experience so far. I have definitely de-stashed, through selling and some serious review of my stash - and giving away quite a chunk of it. Whether I can stash less though, the jury is still out there but I have tried to put things in place to stash less. 

1. I have no choice - I have a minimum space for my stash.

We have a small house, or cozy for the 4 of us (and that's without the boys having too many things). Mr MiH, bless him, built me a shed/hobby room (yes the whole shed, I know), it is not big but it is my place and I love it. He built shelves, 4 of them - 4 boxes can fit on them - that's your lot. This is where all my yarn and fabric stash will live. At the moment, it is basically one in, one out when it comes to yarn, I have a bit of room for fabric but not much. 

My first tip is not letting the stash take over your rooms, keep it in one place and stick to that limited space for your stash. 

2. Look deep into your stash and don't be lazy

For me the project usually comes first, and then the choice of yarn/fabric. And here lies a massive problem, I already have something in mind, and I find it hard to adapt that vision to my stash. And I buy more fabric/yarn for the project. I am able to say no to Baby MiH when he wants a new toy, but not to me when I want new fabric/yarn for a new project. 

For knitting, I will be making more adaptations to projects to use the yarn I already have. It seems obvious, but it is not to me. I usually try to match the type of yarn to the project yarn. You get obviously the best result like that, but at the same time you look at your stash and find a yarn that you like, make a gauge and work your maths. 

For fabric, you could dye your fabric to suit your dressmaking needs. For quilting projects, I may be using more techniques like small scraps to get the 'general' colour scheme I want. 

My second tip is that you may already have what you need in your stash but not in the form you want it to be, think creatively about using your existing stash - the answer for your next project is probably there. 

3. Don't be tempted

I have deleted all emails offering sales. And it is SO hard, but I cannot be tempted until I have space. It is too easy to be tempted and get fabric/yarn you don't have a project for. 

So my third tip is to stay away from temptation. 

4. Annoying stash - the small batches

My stash is made up of a lot of one skeins. I have just realised that this is really not that great. I am going to knit more socks to use them. They are all pretty skeins so there is no way they are leaving my sight, but I need to make space, so socks we will have. Having kids help of course, so more things for them to come! 

So my fourth tip is to try and stay away from the annoying stash

5. Social media and stash management

I have sold yarn on my blog, I have seen it sold on IG, there are groups on facebook to swap your stash. Make the most of it, you may not need it, but someone else may do.

My fifth tip is to use social media to its full extent - not just for projects but also selling your stash. 

6. One project - one purchase

When my stash will be finally under control (oh the day!) I will (try to) buy materials once I have made an inspiration board, found the pattern and be ready to cut/knit and get on with it. It will come in to be made into something. Cannot wait for this to happen. 

My final tip is to buy only what you need. 

Here are my tips, what are yours? Share them in the comment box, it will help me (and maybe others) a lot. 


  1. Ha! The eternal problem! I've culled my stash lately too but it's still crazy - like you I have lots of single skeins - my solution is to design shawls that use just one skein!! I like your idea of looking at your stash and then finding a pattern to match - I should do that more often! xxx

  2. I enjoyed being the lucky recipient of part of your stash ! When we got together my husband promised a kaffe fassett kit if I got my "stuff" down to one bin bag - I never got anywhere near that target !

  3. I like all those tips! I'm trying to use what I have but there is some fabric too tempting not to buy! I might need a destash soon, or another fugly fabric party!!

  4. Fantastic tips :-) I'm going to have to do something about my stash fast as the mess around me (not helped by boxes and boxes of yarn!) is starting to get me down. Thanks for the tips

  5. Thanks for these tips, I'm not really sticking to any of these at the moment, but I should keep some sort of control of my stash.

  6. Nat, these are some terrific tips. I like number three where you said to not be tempted. I get emails but read and delete. And yes! Those annoying small batches. I have tons of one skeins. I don't mind the one skeins of sock yarn though. That's so trippy and cool how you have your own hobby shed in the backyard.

  7. These are great tips. I could apply them to my fabric purchases too ; )

  8. You have a hobby shed?! How lucky are you! I only dream of such a thing here in London! Great tips!