Stockpiles may be intimidating when you first start couponing, but once you make it a goal to create one, you’ll find it’s not hard at all. With all the time you’ll spend collecting products and looking for deals, you’ll want to ensure your stockpile stays organized. Space…you’ll need it as your stockpile grows. Your stockpile storage space also sets your limits. For me, when I run out of storage space, it’s time to take a break. When this happens, I force myself to limit my shopping to necessary or free items. Right now, I have no room for more laundry detergent, so I’m not saving those coupons or even looking at laundry detergent in stores. Another way I manage my stockpile is not to have items stacked on the floor. Again, if the shelves are full, shopping goes on hold. This is a great time to donate to charity or gift family with their favorite items! Here are a few tips to begin a safe, efficient stockpile!
1. Make sure shelves can support weight
Canned goods, condiments, shampoo and detergent are heavy and will require more than just a plastic shelf. Wood and metal shelving is ideal for heavy storage. Save the plastic shelving for paper products like Kleenex, toilet tissue and paper towels.
2. Don’t be afraid to move your stockpile as your stockpile grows
Some KCLs use plastic containers, some use a pantry, others have storage in the garage. Find what works for you and your family. Figure in convenience of access, how much you can store and maintain safely. Remember to factor in the temperature in the area that you choose for storage.
3. Secure shelves to prevent toppling over
I have wooden shelves that are nailed to the wall in my laundry room. I don’t want to risk a shelf tipping over onto the floor and spilling my stockpile, or having kids injured if they start climbing. Shelves can become top heavy, and safety is a priority.
4. Keep products easily accessible
When storage is readily accessible, you can unload your items quickly from their bags and into the appropriate places. This saves time and energy. Also, everyone in the household should be familiar with the stockpile and how to access items if needed—this will also help keep items organized.
5. Combine like items for storage
For example, I have a plastic container under my kitchen sink, and it holds several boxes of dishwasher tabs. This allows me to organize by location and empty boxes instead of storing them on shelves. It’s also small enough that it doesn’t take up much room and is in a very convenient place.
6. Organize by location
Maximize use of your cabinets according to location. I keep personal hygiene products in the bathroom cabinets. Q-tips and extra toilet paper is in the linen closet. This keeps a current stock readily available, and then I restock weekly if needed. Having items at my fingertips is prime.
7. Keep your stock visible, especially if it needs rotating
Food requires tracking of expiration dates, so I rotate food items as I purchase them. When I buy ketchup, I bring the current stock to the front and new stock goes to the back. I recently checked my stockpile for deodorant and found I only had two bottles left. Time to look for sales so I can restock!