Couponing 101 – Organizing Your Stockpile
If you’ve been following our Couponing 101 Series, you’ve probably started to build up a small (or maybe large) stockpile by now. The challenge of having a stockpile is organizing that stockpile. Stockpiling is a wonderful thing as long as it doesn’t take over your entire home. I am very lucky that I have a spare room that I store my stockpile in. Some people use their basements or garages. Others use spare space in several rooms. The space that you have to use will determine a lot of how you store your finds.
Generally, I like to have at least a 12 month supply of non-perishables but if I find a good enough deal and if space permits I have no qualms about having more than that on hand. I also like to share with those in need so as far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier. Having a stockpile gives me piece of mind in knowing that there are so many things that I’ll never pay full price for again. Honestly, most of the items in my stockpile I got for FREE or nearly FREE. When I get to the end of a tube of toothpaste, I know there will always be another tube waiting for me. I don’t have to make an extra trip to the store or spend my money on something like toothpaste.
Here are some simple guideline no matter what you have for useable space:
Decide How Much Space You Have to Use – If you’ve been putting off cleaning out that closet or taking on that organization project in your house, now is the time to do it. Once you know what you have to work with, you can put together a plan. If you haven’t noticed the common theme in a lot of our Couponing 101 posts, it’s organization and planning. Maybe you can keep everything in one area or maybe you have three or four (or more) separate spaces for your stockpile. Don’t overlook otherwise unused spaces like under the bed. That is why underbed storage containers exist.
Organize Your Space – Whether you have a small space or a large space, you want to maximize it. It may mean installing extra shelves in a closet or setting up free standing shelves and pegboard in a spare room. Grouping like items together will allow you to see what you have at a glance. Your stockpile will always be a work in progress. When you bring home a new batch of goodies, you may need to reorganize a little to keep things in order. This is also a good time to dust – Yes. I keep my stockpile dusted 🙂
Rotate Your Stock – First In, First Out. What this means is that when you add items to your stockpile, always store them behind the items of that type you already have. This will greatly reduce items expiring. Knowing if you have expiring items is helpful. You can utilize the soon to expire items, donate them, or find some other use for them.
These are just some very basic tips to help you organize your stockpile. Following you will see some stockpile photos from some of our How to Shop for Free Members to give you some additional organizational ideas.