Nice Balls

The whole decluttering and simplifying my life thing is still ongoing. I've been working on the bedroom closet for about two weeks now. Two weeks. It's getting there, but the whole house is in a general state of disarray. I think once we get the stuff going to charity out of the house, it won't look like a madwoman or hoarder lives here. That's all I can really say about it. I'm so tired of working on it, but it's got to be done.

The bedroom closet is where I store a lot of my arts and crafts supplies. Mostly the yarn and fabric. It's never been, how shall I say it, neatly and usefully organized. Due to that fact, I usually don't know what I have, which leads to buying more, and on the whole … not a lot of any of it getting used for projects. Basically, that collection of goods has just been sitting in there taking up space. So I am sort of excited about having it all organized so I can walk in there and pull out something when I have an idea. Won't that be nice?

The fabric is pretty easy to organize. It's folded and flat and easily stacked. The yarn? Not so much. Different sized balls, and skeins, and hanks. Whether it's in bags or boxes or on shelves, it always just looks like a jumbled mess. Especially since the skeins one finds in stores are so loose and come from the factory with a high propensity to tangle and fall apart into one giant knot of uselessness. They suck.

So what to do about it other than deal with the status quo? Buy a yarn ball winder. They make tidy center pull balls of yarn that are flat on the top and bottom. They are called cakes. Cakes of yarn. They take up less space, are easy to work with, and they can be stacked one on top of the other in boxes or on shelves. They can even be attached to a sheet of pegboard with simple L-shaped hooks (something I hope to do at some point in the future). In short, a ball winder seemed to be needed to solve my yarn crisis.

I agonized about buying a ball winder the last couple of weeks, as I always do when facing the prospect of buying a single purpose tool that itself will take up precious space in my small home. Sure, there are cheap ball winders, but they are made of plastic and the long term reviews aren't good. If I have to buy a new cheap ball winder every few months, it's not so cheap. There are also ball wonders far out of my budget. Like WAY out of my budget both in dollars and storage space. There were surprisingly few in the mid-range, so I focused on those and picked one that got good reviews, looked sturdy, and wasn't too terribly expensive. Two days ago, I ordered it.

It arrived today! Took a few minutes to put it together and figure out how it worked, but then I loaded it up and started cranking away!

It took five minutes to turn a loose and somewhat tangled old skein of acrylic yarn into a nice fat tidy cake ready for using!

Then I went a little crazy, because it was so fast and easy. A hour later my stacks of tidy yarn cakes had grown!

I think I'm going to have too much yarn to store it in the shoe shelves I put in the closet (used to be in the living room holding knitting stuff), so I'm going to use those for storing my fabric. The yarn is going to be in the plastic storage bins labeled by color family. Eventually though, I want to do the pegboard storage system, because it's so artsy and fabulous looking! I just don't have a wall to spare right now. Eventually, I will!

Now I'm super inspired to hurry up and finish going through all the non-craft supply junk in the closet (you know, like clothing and board games) so I can get moving on the organizing. As horrible and tiring as Project Declutter: The Bedroom Edition has been, once it's done it's going to be AWESOME!

And yarn ball winder is just wonderful. I wish I'd bought one years ago, and I am so glad I finally did. And if you too are thinking a yarn ball winder might change your yarn crafting life, this is the one I bought. I've only had it one day, so I don't yet know how well it will perform over time, but it feels very sturdy, other people like it, and I'm fairly confident I'll get what I paid for it out of the thing long before it dies on me.