Welcome to Day 4 of our 31 Days to Get Organized series. We’re done sorting through our unfinished projects and left some clues so we can pick them back up again later. Next task is storing them so they’re ready for you when you’re ready for them.
Everyone has a limit to how many WIPs that they are comfortable with. Some people only work on one project at a time. When they finish it, they’ll start another. Others may only have at most 2 or 3 projects going. For these folks, they really don’t need to come up with a system for storing their works in progress. But when your WIPs grow much more than 3 projects, coming up with a way to keep them organized can be really helpful, otherwise you might start to lose track of some of the pieces, making it much harder to start knitting or crocheting that project again.
A few years ago I purchased this Lantern Moon Tower to store my WIPs. There are a few things that I really like about this storage solution. I like what it looks like so I don’t mind it being out in the open. Out of sight can mean out of mind. This stand currently lives next to my desk so I see it every day, reminding me of projects that need to be finished. I also like that it is vertical storage, so it doesn’t take up much floor space. Though I can fit quite a bit in the baskets, it’s a defined amount of space for my WIPs. I don’t allow them to accumulate beyond what I can store in the tower. Maybe it’s an arbitrary limit, but seems to be what I’m comfortable with.
As I look at my tower of projects, I see that it’s terribly disorganized (for my comfort level). Projects that need to be frogged, old swatches from finished projects, skeins of yarn not actually in a current project. I’ve got some sorting and cleaning up to do. Ideally, I like to keep all of the yarn and pattern for a project together, where each project has a separate project bag. My large Amethyst Crochet Blanket is too big to fit in one basket now. So it lives in my largest project bag on the floor next to the tower.
I use quite an assortment of project bags. There’s the inexpensive WEBS shopping bag. Some of you may have a few of these hanging out in your house too. Gallon size or larger clear plastic zip top bags work great to store projects. They’re cheap and you can see everything that’s in the bag. My favorite type of bag for most projects is a drawstring top bag. They’re easy to use and I can stuff it easily into my messenger bag when I head out of the house. I rarely leave home without a project!
Two drawstring bags that I love (for different reasons) are the Blue Sky Alpacas Pretty Cheep Project Bags (only $6.50 each) and the GoKnit Pouch both small and medium sizes (I’m crazy about the snap loop so I can attach it to my belt loop when I’m knitting on a plane or standing and waiting for a band to start). Sometimes though, I need a larger project bag to fit everything, especially for a big project like an afghan. WEBS carries a number of large project bags. It’s a really nice splurge if you don’t have one yet. When I got hired at WEBS, the first thing I did was purchase a big project bag I had my eye on. I still love it and use it frequently.
Now you know my system for storing projects. But what works for me, may not work for you. I recommend finding a storage solution that is flexible and is easy to use. If you’re the type of person who needs to see it to remember it, store your projects out in the open or somewhere you will see them frequently. Maybe a big basket near the sofa where the projects are accessible would work well. But I suggest at least sorting the projects within the basket with separate project bags, otherwise things could quickly become a jumble. Another option could be a storage ottoman, a place to kick up your feet while knitting and crocheting AND store your projects.
But maybe you want them more tucked away. If you have a little extra closet space, hanging cubby storage would be able to fit several WIPs, easily accesible, but still out of site. Plastic storage boxes could work too. But I would recommend plastic storage drawers over boxes since they’re easier to access. If you don’t have the vertical space for drawers, then an under-the-bed rolling storage box could work better.
I’ve mentioned just a few ideas for ways to store your WIPs. What’s your favorite solution or tip for storing WIPs? Share what works for you in the comments.