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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Stocking Up vs. Simplifying - Must They Be At Odds?


It seems like in the blogging world there are bloggers who advocate stocking up (prepping being an extreme example of this) and those who advocate simplifying and minimizing. And very often the two are polar opposites of each other.

However, we feel like we can do both. And that the two are not goals at odds. We have a large stockpile of certain items, we store them in an organized fashion, and believe that makes our lives more simple.

Our system may not work without storage space in your home for the items we stock up on; but, I'm guessing, most people can find some places in which to store some items and build a stockpile of items that are important to them in an organized fashion without appearing any more cluttered than before stocking.

My goal in this post is to share what and why we stockpile, images of how we store our stockpiles, and how we believe that stockpiling has helped to simplify our lives. My hope is that this glimpse into how we do this will provide you with some ideas to think about and if you're interested, a springboard from which to begin figuring out how you can do simple stockpiling in your home as well.

Items We Stockpile:
  1. Household Paper Goods (paper towels, kleenex, baby wipes, & toilet paper) 
  2. Disposable Kitchen Items (ziploc bags, plastic wrap, parchment paper, canning lids, etc.)
  3. Foods Grown in Our Garden or Purchased at Rock Bottom Prices & Canned at Home
  4. Canned Goods we Purchase From the Store 
  5. Gluten Free Flours (stored in the freezer) 
  6. Gluten Free Pastas & Other Dry Food Goods
  7. Frozen Produce, Shredded Cheese, & Meat (stored in the deep freezer) 
  8. Household Cleaning Supplies (all purpose cleaner, toilet cleaner, glass cleaner, dishsoap, etc.)
  9. Personal Care Supplies (soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.)
(Many of our household supplies are stockpiled, by type, in these labeled bins near the ceiling in my laundry room. They hide the cluttered look that stockpiles can have and the bright colors help brighten the whole room. Most of our cleaning supplies are in labeled bin in our linen closet.)


Why We Stockpile & How We Believe Stockpiling Has Simplified Our Lives:
  1. We stockpile to reduce trips to the store. There is almost nothing I hate more than running out of something and having to run to the store for it. Running out of things like toilet paper or multi-purpose cleaner just adds an unnecessary stress to my day. Assuring that I am stocked up on basic essentials that do not expire, or do not expire for a long period of time, assures that we won't need to make a random mid-week trip for toilet paper. And, how often do you go to the store for one item and come home with only that one item? Saving money there too...
  2. Speaking of saving money, stocking up helps to save us money. We can purchase items that we stockpile when they are on sales and be sure that we have enough of the product to not have to purchase it at any price less than sale price. We purchase most of the items we stockpile, except those that we make ourselves, when they are on sale. We then purchase at least enough to last us until the next sale. 
  3. I don't have to closely monitor our supply of several products, thus clearing brain space and simplifying life. Instead of closely monitoring how much of products we use on a regular basis we have on hand, I simply check on our stockpile once a month before my big monthly shopping trip. At that point I take note of any items that need to be added to my grocery list to stock up on. Around the same time that I make my monthly shopping trip, the Costco bulk sales are announced and I can check to see if any of the items on sale are ones that we need to restock around the house. At this time I make note of any Vitacost purchases that I need to purchase and if there is enough to make it to free shipping, I make an order from Vitacost as well. In just a day or two of checking my stock as I have time I can stay on top of making sure that all of our basic daily-use products are stocked. No thinking about it the rest of the month! 
  4. It allows me to serve my family higher quality food (including food we grew and canned ourselves!). When I choose to only purchase at rock bottom prices and then to stock up on items that our family eats, I have the ability to purchase organic foods or other healthy options for the same price or less than conventional. This is incredibly helpful since our family is gluten free. By purchasing gluten free foods in bulk, the price per unit begins to decrease as our commitment to purchase more at one time increases. Stockpiling food also allows me to can or freeze produce that I grow in our gardens (and thoroughly enjoy the hobby of) and preserve them for use by our family throughout the year - it's a great way to serve our family high quality food for less! 

(Most of our food stockpile is on these shelves in a basement closet. Here we have all of our canned goods - both from the garden and from the store, gluten free pasta, oats, and sugars.) 

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