Finding Storage Space for Bulk Purchases

By , June 1, 2013

In the previous post, Buying Bulk The “New” Investment Strategy I supported buying bulk. I also acknowledged that implementing this strategy requires proper storage solutions. A lot of people avoid buying in bulk, and even deride those who do, simply because they can’t find the room to store bulk goods till needed.

The first step toward creating your own buffer against just-in-time supply is to change your attitude. This is not an all or nothing proposition. Buying some items in bulk can improve your economy and security without having to buy everything in bulk. A case of toilet paper may make sense, while a case of toothpaste may not. Be judicious in your shopping, to accommodate your needs and your storage limitations.

Simple shelves under the stairs store our CDs. They could just as easily hold TP rolls, canned goods or other bulk purchases (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

Simple shelves under the stairs store some of our CDs. They could just as easily hold TP rolls, canned goods or other bulk purchases (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

Next, evaluate your storage possibilities. Obvious storage spaces include less accessible locations in your home: under beds, the back corners of closets, the highest shelves in the kitchen.

It rarely makes sense to leave bulk items in the original packaging—open up the big pack of tissue and stack the rolls in the available niches rather than holding out for a space big enough for the whole thing.

Simple shelves are easy and inexpensive to build. They can be added in many unexpected places with very little effort. Every little bit helps.

Re-evaluate your current storage usage. Most of us store boxes of belongings we haven’t opened in years. Does it make sense to allow items you don’t use to prevent you from keeping items you do use (and eventually use up) every day? Maybe it’s time to sell or donate that stuff, to make room for things you need. It’s at least worth considering.

If you run out of storage, hide your stuff in plain sight! A folding screen can section off a corner of a room, concealing the goods stored there. A nice piece of fabric draped over cases under the coffee table, or against the wall can hide boxes. Within a short time, these caches will become “invisible.” Likely, you have “invisible” boxes of stuff you never use (see above) in plain sight right now.

If you simply can’t store it all, network. Find neighbors who use your same brands, and coordinate group purchases. This will divide a case’s cost and storage among several families.

These are just a few simple solutions. If you put your mind to it, you’ll find answers that fit your situation far better than anything I might suggest.

I am not necessarily advocating stockpiling, or “hoarding.” But I’m not knocking it either—strong arguments can be, and are made for this practice. We certainly stockpile, not only because buying in bulk when possible helps our very low bottom line, but allows us to avoid frequent trips to town.

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