How to Create a Stockpile without becoming A Hoarder

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Boy stacking boxes
Photo credit: Alexandre Zveiger

Do you have a stockpile at home? I don’t mean a doomsday stockpile or something that is out of the ordinary. I mean, a collection of fairly non-perishable goods that your family uses on a regular basis and that you keep “stocked” at all times.

Keeping a stockpile (even a small one) saves money, saves time and offers your family security. Here are some of the things that you should keep in mind when starting your family’s stockpile. Follow these simple steps and you will have a reasonable stockpile in no time.

What Your Family Uses on Regular Basis

The very essence of a stockpile will vary from family to family and from home to home. One family may have diapers on their list while another family may be out of the diaper stage. Paper towels are a staple on my family’s stockpile list but if you are a more “green family”, paper towels are something that you may not deem a necessity. Not a bad thing at all. Toilet paper on the other hand…I really think that all stockpiles should have that.

The very essence of a stockpile makes sense doesn’t it? If you use a non-perishable good on a regular basis, why wait until you “run out” of something like toilet paper to go to the store? It makes sense that you should keep some on-hand. Now there is a line between stockpiling and hoarding. Keeping your stockpile to only things that your family uses will help from heading into hoarder territory. So take some time and figure out what you want in your family’s stockpile. Once you do, start working on it!

The Length of Time that You Want the Stockpile to Last

Now that you have figured out what you want to be in your stockpile, it’s time to find out how long you want your stockpile to last. Is it one week, one month, six months or one year? Anything beyond one year and you may be headed into “hoarder” territory. The answer to how much of a stockpile you keep is not only dependent on how much space you have but, what the goal of the stockpile is. Besides saving money, do you want to minimize the number of trips to the grocery store? Do you want to be prepared for an unexpected life emergency such as job loss or natural disaster?

The goal of your stockpile will be a determining factor in how much food and supplies you keep on hand at any given time and will even guide the type of items that you buy.

Prices and Sale Cycles

One of the primary goals of keeping a stockpile is to save money. If you are buying 2 jars of peanut butter at a time, for example…it does not do your family any good to buy it at full price. Getting your stockpile items on sale and at their rock bottom prices is one of the key components to having a stockpile that works!

That means keeping track of sale prices and sales cycles of the products that you buy. How else will you know if now is a good time to “stock up” on your favorite brand of cereal if you do not even know what the regular price of the cereal is? When your favorite non-perishable item is at its “rock bottom” or lowest price, then it is time to stock-up!

The Amount of Space You Have

At the end of the day, how much of a stockpile you keep will be dependent on how much space you have. Stocking up on items to the point that you can’t utilize a space, open a door or gain access to any room is headed to “hoarderville”. However, contrary to popular believe, you really don’t have to have a separate room or basement to have a stockpile. You could keep a stockpile of small health and beauty products like toothpaste and floss in a cabinet or draw. Extra rolls of toilet paper can be stored in a linen or other closet.

Of course, the more space you have, the more you can store. But at the end of the day, a stockpile has to be individualized, be attainable and has to work for you. Remember to keep it simple, keep it organized and keep it sane. I really don’t want to see you on that TV show, Hoarders.

Do you have a stockpile at home?

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