Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stockpile Organization 101

If you are a seasoned bargain hunter, then you are already familiar with the term “stockpile” – the bounty of non-perishable food, toiletries, cleaning products, etc. that often gets piled in any available nook and cranny throughout your house. As your purchases begin to accumulate, it’s easy to lose track of what you’ve even got on hand.

Here are some tips for savvy stockpiling:

Good organization and ample storage space are two key factors in keeping tabs on your bargain inventory.

Storage space – When I first began to bargain hunt, I would store bathroom items in the bathroom, kitchen items in the kitchen, etc. This worked for a bit, but soon the cabinets we used every day became jam-packed with excess.

Now I store everything in the basement. We have several racks in our basement storage room. Whenever they get too cluttered, I know it’s time to reorganize. By having everything in one place, it’s easy to know when you’ve got enough and when it’s time to donate the excess.

Organization – Whether it’s cleaning out the kitchen junk drawer or an entire storage room, the best way I’ve found to cut out the clutter is by unloading everything and editing what you put back. In terms of our junk drawer, I toss everything in a box and store the box elsewhere. Anything that I need during the course of a month goes back in the drawer. Everything else goes in the trash.

This past weekend, we used a similar approach to clean out our storage room. Here’s a picture of Baby D among the chaos of our unloaded room.

After sorting everything into “Keep”, “Donate”, and “Throw” piles, we loaded everything back neatly in the storage room. As you can see, we had several bags of donations:

Certain racks are reserved just for stockpile items, and everything is ordered neatly by item type. Here is our reorganized cereal/baking item shelf:

A well organized storage space not only makes it easier to find what you’ve got, but it also helps you know when you have enough. Determine what your family will use within the next year (or less if it’s something with a shorter shelf life) and don’t buy any more beyond that amount. Remember the Deal Diva motto: It’s not a deal unless you can use it within a short timeframe or pass it along to someone else who can use it.

Your Turn: How do you organize your stockpile? How do you know when enough is truly enough? Leave a comment to share your tips!

1 comment:

Tangee's Rants said...

We converted our coat closet into a 2nd pantry where I store all our stockpile food stuff. Our kitchen pantry has at least 1 of whatever is in the overflow pantry. I'm blessed to have a massive linen closet with tons of shelving - the top 3 are reserved for all non food stockpile items. I also have a rubbermade drawer set (3 drawers) on one of the shelves that hold things like toothpaste, toothbrushes, chapstick, various otc meds, etc. Cat & Dog food is stored in the garage along with bottled and canned drinks. Recently when I told my husband I was skipping out on a triple coupon event, he responded 'we don't need more food, we need more storage!"

TIP - don't save all that free toothpaste - it expires! ;)