You may be asking why a blog that is all about organising and decluttering your home and life should now write a post about building up stockpiles – what could possibly be achieved by adding more to your home!
Well, the term stockpiling tends to have a very negative association for anyone wanting to get more streamlined and organised – and rightly so in some cases.
Stockpiling brings up a vision of hoarding – piles upon piles of items that you have to tread carefully through whenever you move around your home.
But the reality can be VERY different.
Building up stockpiles is actually one of the key steps to getting organised – specifically in these areas:-
- Paperwork and Office
This post takes you through each of the key areas (mentioned above) in turn, and show how you can really make a huge difference by creating stockpiles in these areas, and lastly keep reading for my cautionary words near the end of the post – as with a lot of things in life, stockpiling has to be done with care!
Differentiate between the good and the bad!
The most important thing to remember here is that we are talking about systems that help you get and stay organised – and not simply building up more piles of clutter around the home. Theres a BIG difference! I can’t stress this enough.
If you tend to collect things and hoard, then you must be careful of using stockpiles as part of your organised life, but if you can set up the right systems and use stockpiles in carefully selected areas of your home, then you will really reap the benefits.
What should I stockpile?
Lets go through each of the areas already listed above, and show you ways that each can benefit from stockpiling. My one golden rule for stockpiling is as follows:-
ONLY STOCKPILE THINGS THAT YOU USE REGULARLY AND THAT ARE BOUGHT WHEN ON SALE
The great thing about this method of stockpiling is that you know you have an ongoing need for all the items that you buy – you only buy them in bulk when they are on sale so you are saving money, and you have a good stock of them in your home so will never (with the best will in the world!) run out.
Example – I always need washing machine tablets and toilet rolls – and always will! – and these are expensive items that soon add up to hefty shopping bills each month. However, the brands I tend to use are regularly on sale in the supermarket so at this time I buy 2 or 3 (dependant on the deal and how much space I have in my storage areas for these things as I want them to not add any clutter to the house). If I always have a need for them then they won’t go to waste, and I am happy in the knowledge that they have cost me less overall then if I went out and did a standard shop for the same amount each week/month. Not only that, but it also saves me time at the shops trying to find a good deal at each and every visit!
I think a lot of us are natural stockpilers and will usually go for the items that are on offer, but sticking to the rule that you should only buy what you use regularly will also stop the sales minded among you buying up all the 2 for 1 offers on the shelf!
Remember – its only a bargain if you were going to be spending money on it anyway!!!!
What to stockpile in the kitchen
Stockpiling works really well for canned goods, and dry goods. If you ensure that you have a cupboard for “extra” stock, or that you rotate regularly so that older stock is always brought to the front, then you will have a great system in place to ensure you make the most from deals in the shops.
Write down what products you regularly use (you may have already created a shopping list showing you the most common products in your home and this is perfect!) then you will always know what brands and products you could easily buy more of when you see them on sale.
Items such as the following are great ideas:-
- Pasta / Rice
- Packets of Soup
- Gravy Granules
- Herbs and Spices in jars
- Oils and Vinegars
- Bottled Water and Squash
- Kitchen Roll
- Cling film
What to stockpile in the Utility
The utility, if you are lucky enough to have one, is a great place to really maximise the storage and get your homes stock organised (I think of it like an offices stationery cupboard! – its the go to place when you run out of anything!)
Depending on how big the space is, you can simply stockpile utility types items (see list below) or you could start to use this room for stockpiling kitchen and bathroom items as well. Its really up to you as to how you set out your home – what works fo you is the right system in the end!
I will always advise people to have as much storage as possible in this room – floor to ceiling works really well – and can house everything!
Heres some ideas:-
- Washing powder and Fabric Conditioner
- Cleaning Products
- Wipes, Dusters, Sponges
- Bin Bags (and any other plastic bags!)
- Light Bulbs
What to stockpile in the Bathroom
This stockpile could be anywhere – ideally I would have at least one of everything to hand in the room you need it, but in line with the organising staple “keep like with like” you may prefer to keep everything together.
I have a large built in cupboard in my bathroom for this purpose – everything is to hand and you can easily see when you are running low. Note – if you have small children just ensure that cleaning products are out of reach)
Some items to stockpile:-
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Bath and Shower Gels/Oils etc..
- Toilet Roll
- Cleaning products
- Body Lotions
- Feminine Hygiene products
What to stockpile in the home office / paperwork area
How many times have you gone to write a note to someone only to not be able to find a pen and paper to hand – REALLY frustrating! Keeping plenty of the following will help to alleviate that annoyance!
- Notepads / Paper
- Sticky notes (Post it notes)
What to stockpile in your finances
This is a less tangible thing in some ways, but equally valuable.
- Stockpile your store card points to enable purchasing something useful and specific with them. i.e. a Tesco Clubcard – you can spend them in store as you go, but if you save them up you can get more value for them when spending them outside of Tesco.
- Stockpile all the spare change you have when you walk through the door – men love to unload their pockets when they come in – and this soon builds up – you could end up paying for a holiday, or having a “free” month each year from the proceeds!
What to stockpile in your cards/presents area
I fully am on board with having a present/wrapping area set up somewhere in the home as it really does make life so easy!
In its most basic form, this can be a drawer or a cupboard anywhere in your home. Its contents will have spare occasion cards, wrapping paper, notelets, sellotape, tags, stamps, brown paper, parcel tape and pens – and in its larger form will also have a selection of pre-bought presents for those instances that you need a present QUICKLY!
It is the GO TO place when you need to send a card, when someone unexpectedly turns up with a christmas gift etc…. – and its also the place that can save you many hours of errands to the shops to get presents and cards each time you need them.
And the best reason of all to have one is that it saves money as well – as you can easily stockpile items in this area.
January is the best time to stock up on Christmas items – as they are all in the sale. Make sure you buy what you will use, and get a great deal! Same goes for after easter, and regularly shops have sales on cards etc… so I find stocking up when this happens will pay itself in the long run!
Presents can be bought when there are deals on too – think 3 for 2 offers in Boots for example!, or again after christmas or an occasion of some kind. If you have a budget for you presents then doing it like this often means you get more for your money as well which is a bonus!
Bright Stockpiling Ideas!
- Know what you use, and make a mental note to always only buy when on offer as much as you possibly can
- Have allocated space for all your stockpiled items – this way you’ll easily be able to check how much you have and see what you need to look for that week in the shops
- Look at the space you have in your home – can you maximise the storage further to give you a more streamlined way of storing your stockpiled items.
- Make the most of points cards also – and buy items when the points can make the most difference to value for you
- Use a credit card to accrue points on your spending each month – and set up a direct debit to pay it off in full every month as well. The points will then soon add up and you often get great deals and vouchers that can be spent as well CAUTION THOUGH – only do this if you are sure you can pay back in full each month.
A word of caution….
or two! – Firstly – don’t stockpile unless you have the storage for it – otherwise its just clutter!
Secondly – I don’t know whether you have seen a programme recently on TV about extreme couponing. Its a US based programme about people who make collecting and using coupons to pay for pretty much everything they need.
How great to be able to walk into a supermarket abd be so organised that you can fill 2 or 3 trolleys full of shopping and when its all totalled up at the till and your vouchers are taken off, you end up owing NOTHING!
Now – I said this was a word of caution – as, for these stockpiles to really add value to your home you need to be able to manage them easily and not let them take over – otherwise you may just find its ruling your life.
To sum up
When you are stockpiling always remember the golden rule
ONLY STOCKPILE THINGS THAT YOU USE REGULARLY AND THAT ARE BOUGHT WHEN ON SALE
Keep this in mind and stockpiling I am sure will work well for you – I’d love to hear from you if you have any extra ideas, or have been able to put this into practise!