Part two in a series exploring the depths of my maniacal organization.
This time we will discuss thread storage, but first let me share one more chart picture. These are my very small charts which are stored in their own little ziploc bag so I can find them easily without digging. They're of mixed subjects - mostly a few Christmas charts and 2 small birth samplers. I only have a couple of these, so obviously this solution works for now, but may need to be modified should I start acquiring more small charts.
Now, onto thread storage. This is the bulk of my threads - 3 plastic bobbin boxes and a larger plastic container (the next size up from the plastic shoebox size. I have several of these - you'll see why. They're very handy)
The bobbin boxes contain an almost complete set of DMC threads in numerical order wound on cardboard bobbins. I've tried several different bobbins and come back to the DMC cardboards ones as the sturdiest - the cheaper ones just don't hold up as well. Some of the numbers are handwritten on the bobbins, but most of them have the tiny little DMC stickers on them.
Using the DMC stickers serves another purpose other than just identifying the threads. I keep the unused stickers on their sheets and store them in a little ziploc bag (like the kind you get beads in, but a small snack size will work as well.) Whenever I go stash shopping, I take the stickers with me and I have a handy list of the colors I do not have on bobbins, so I can fill in my collection.
Also in this box, you can see the few spools of Kreinik threads that I have. There's only a couple, so they don't really need their own storage solution.
This is another box, the one where I keep my thread winder. If you're going to do floss bobbins, I HIGHLY recommend getting the thread winder. They're super cheap and SO helpful. I can clip it right to the edge of the floss box and wind onto the bobbins pretty quick. I did notice that the winder wobbles a little, so I wedge the plastic sample bobbin that came with the winder between the box and the winder legs and it makes for a tighter fit (and a less wobbly winder). I keep the winder in the box so I know where it is.
The floss is sorted into bags by number: 100s, 200s, 300s, etc., and the bags are numbered accordingly. I find that if you squish all the air out of the bag before completely closing it, it forms something of a vaccum pack and takes up less room. Then the bags are stored in numberical order until the floss is needed.
Now, you may ask yourself - "How does she know what's in there? Does she dig through it looking for what she needs?" And the answer, my friends, is "Oh, I know. I have the Magic Excel Inventory Spreadsheet". Yes, you heard me. The Magic Excel Inventory Spreadsheet. Okay, not entirely magic as it does not accomodate for human error / laziness, which occasionally happens, but for the most part it's a good system. One of the tabs on the sheet contains the complete list of DMC colors by number and description, and I have columns for bobbins and skeins which list the number I have of each. If new thread comes in, I add to the spreadsheet. If a bobbin or skein is removed from storage, the number on the spreadsheet is reduced appropriately. (This is where the human factor comes in as I am usually a little more lax about taking off than I am adding to). When I am kitting up a project, I need only to consult the Magic Spreadsheet to see what threads I have and what threads I need. It's about 95% accurate, depending on how much kitting up I've done and how recently I've pitched a hissy and re-inventoried everything.
There are lots of other goodies on the excel spreadsheet which is really the subject for another post. (If you would like a copy of a blank spreadsheet to do your own inventory, let me know. Probably I'll share.)
Seeing as how I have probably overwhelmed a lot of people, I will leave you with one last photo and let you begin the recovery process. This is our Ort Jar, born before we even knew what an Ort was. (For those of you that don't know, "ort" stands for old ragged thread, or the snippets of leftover threads). It's a candy jar we enlisted as a place to throw our snips of thread, and it contains pretty much every single snippet since we started stitching in 2002-2003, minus some threads I put out for the birds for nest building and the threads from our wedding sampler, which live in a glass Christmas ornament. Sometimes I squish down the threads to make more room, and no, I have no idea what I'm going to do with it once I can't squish them down any more.