Not since the middle of the last century has it been so popular to stockpile supplies, thanks in part to the popularity of ‘extreme couponing.’ Indeed, one look at the TV shows highlighting crazy couponing escapades and you know for sure: super-storage has come back in a big way.
But if you really examine the philosophy behind optimized buys, multiple-item purchases and the resulting shelving set-ups, you see how the trend is so much more than a flash in the pan.
Here’s a closer look at why some even consider this type of mega-storage a thing of beauty.
Basic Benefits of Stocking Up
Other than having your own shopping center in your closet or basement (which is cool enough in its own right!), there are practical benefits to purchasing and storing excess quantities of products and wares. For example:
- Buying additional items (that you would eventually purchase anyway) when they are offered at a discount is a surefire way to save cash at the check-out.
- Storing extras helps you stay on track when you plan meals ahead of time (also a guaranteed way to stretch your budget and minimize the stretch in your waistband). For one thing, at the end of a long day when you start pulling ingredients and find that you are short on one item, rather than scrapping the entire meal and ordering in, you simply grab the next bottle or jar from your shelf!
- Along those lines, you can save time, energy and gas by eliminating multiple, last-minute grocery store runs.
- Taking it one step further, you can end the vicious cycle of frustration that follows from going to two or three stores to find what you need when they are out of stock. Just think of the boost in your efficiency when you only have to travel a few steps rather than traipsing across several counties to find your secret ingredients!
With these goals in mind, here are some general guidelines to follow when building and organizing your own supply bunker.
As you might expect, there are items that are better suited to long-term storage than others. Here are just a few that fall into each category:
When to Fill your Cart
- Paper Products (paper towels, toilet paper)
- Toiletries (soaps, shampoo/conditioner, razors)
- Cleaning Supplies
- Non-perishable Food Items
- Many types of canned goods
- Some dry goods for baking (flour, sugar)
- Foods with extended shelf lives (boxes of cereal, vegetable oils, peanut butter)
- Wrapping paper and tape
- Storage products (trash bags, aluminum foil, plastic sandwich bags)
- Bottled water is smart to stock up in case of a storm or disaster
Note that batteries can be smart to stock up on at a discount, but note their expiration date and don’t over-purchase.
When to Keep Walking
- Items with Expiration dates: Perishable Items, Foods and Products that will spoil or lose their effectiveness before you have a chance to use or consume them
- Items you never use: Even the best deals can cost you money if you buy it simply to save money when you never would have bought it otherwise!
The Fundamental Framework
In addition to having the right stuff in your storeroom, you need to make sure you have it arranged in the right way.
- Top Tier: Keep smaller, lighter, infrequently used items and excessive multiples up and out of the way.
- Exceptions: Bulkier packs of light items like paper towels and toilet paper are good choices for the upper echelons, as well as small items that are heavy or cases of units that are tightly packed together (and thus, difficult to remove a single item without the entire pack spilling out).
- Middle Management: This is your go-to location for items you use the most, perishables, and more treacherous items. Keep boxes with sharp corners, products with awkward packaging and inherently dangerous items (like knives or small appliances with points, etc.) in the middle range, thereby keeping them from crashing down on you from above and out of reach of children and pets.
- Lower Levels: Larger packages, heavier items or products that will serve as a sturdy base for stacking other items belong on the ground floor.
In order to maintain quality control, as you move through your items, follow the “First In, First Out” method of organization. Stock your shelves from the back, placing newer items to the rear and move older items to the forefront.
What are some of the ways you have seen the beauty in this smarter style of storage (more peace, less stress, more money saved, etc.)?