Whether you’re a beginner or an expert stockpiler, there’s likely one issue we all share in common—we want more space! I know I’m constantly monitoring myself when I'm couponing to figure out how to store all my finds, especially because my pantry space is not what anyone would call ample.
These five ideas—all picked up from experienced KCL stockpilers—have really been helpful to me as I've learned to use my available space creatively for stockpiling.
If you have additional tips you find helpful, please share them here in the comments section so we can all learn!
1. Repurpose other areas in your home, attic, basement, or garage.
If you have a small, stuffed pantry, it just stands to reason your stockpiling capabilities in that space will be limited. So think "outside the pantry." Do a walk-through and notice other under-used spaces where you will be able to control temperature, humidity, and pests.
- Storing dry goods: A dry, cool, dark space is ideal for storing dry staples, paper and household products, and canned/dried foods.
- Storing perishable fresh foods: Many dairy products and produce items can be successfully frozen so long as you store them properly for freezing.
In terms of stockpiling freezable items, I’ve long advocated use of a second freezer if you have a larger family and limited time to shop and cook.
2. Rethink your stockpile packaging and organization.
It can be tempting to come home and just load up your shelves with new stockpile items. But sometimes that packaging can be unnecessarily bulky and may end up costing you valuable stockpile space!
4 Options for finding extra stockpile space:
- Change the packaging: Experiment with removing the packaging for canned goods, soft bagged staples (like beans or rice) and boxes of smaller snacks like chips and crackers.
- What they don't know…: Consider creating a "concealed in plain sight" stockpile stash by covering a file cabinet or set of end tables with a pretty bolt of cloth.
- Under-furniture storage also works: Even if your only alternate storage is under beds or behind couches, thin, flat, under-furniture bins can make this work for you!
- Make it pretty: Some items in your stockpile may even be pretty enough to display openly on shelves or in open cabinets, especially if you find some artistic ideas for labeling and display on Pinterest or Instagram.
Check out some of these ideas in pictures!
3. Clean out your pantry and reassess.
When my best friend's mom passed (at age 90 after a beautiful, long life!) I helped my friend clean out her family’s pantry and second freezer. Being a survivor of the Great Depression, it turned out her mom had been a committed stockpiler.
But we soon realized she hadn't been quite so committed to stockpile rotation and checking item expiration dates.
We found that more than three-quarters of her pantry and freezer were filled to the brim with genuine antiques—canned and dry goods, dairy and staples that had dates indicating they had been manufactured before we were born!
How to reassess your pantry usage:
- Take everything off the shelves and move it out into the kitchen.
- Separate everything into categories.
- Look at expiration dates, and line what you have up in order of closest-to-expiration-date items being first in line.
- Ask yourself if you may have items that would be better donated (since you’ll likely never actually use them, even though they were a good deal at the time).
- Then replace what you plan to keep, taking the time to organize yourself for the future in the process.
After completing this process, you may find you have plenty more pantry space you can use!
4. Considering moving other stored items to make room.
If you also use your pantry space for storing paper goods, party supplies, or small kitchen appliances and cooking implements, it may be time for them to make a move.
Here, consider how and where you use each item most. For example, it could actually make good sense to move paper goods to the back of the house in bathroom closets or cabinets. You could install a ceiling rack or wall hooks for kitchen implements, pots, pans, etc. (they can be very pretty to display and great conversation starters when entertaining!)
And here again, you may find items you are storing that you simply no longer use – consider donating these to make more room for what you really need and can save money on by stockpiling!
5. Opt for space-saving items when you have size choices.
Let's say you can choose between using a coupon for regular detergent and concentrated detergent (in a smaller bottle).
By simply keeping your available stockpile space in mind (and, of course, verifying you can use concentrated detergent in your home washer!) you can begin to save space wherever you can.