15 Tips for Storing Stuff You Buy in Bulk
You know buying some things in bulk can save you money, yet storing all those items can be a challenge. Whether you're buying toilet paper, canned goods or baking supplies, here are 15 tips for storing items you buy in bulk.
Locate Storage Areas
Look around your home and see where there may be space to store items bought in bulk. Paper towels and other paper items can be stored on garage shelving. If you’re out of pantry space, is there a rack in the basement for canned goods? Is there space in the hall closet for a big package of toilet paper? Get comfortable with storing bulk items in unusual places.
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If your pantry shelves are full, depending on your pantry, some items can be kept on the floor. Think things that are securely packaged, such as cases of canned goods, packages of juice boxes or cans of soda.
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Invest in Containers
Consider investing in some versatile plastic containers with tight-fitting lids to store dry goods such as flour, cereal and pasta. You can also store things like pet food, dish soap and hand soap in plastic containers of various sizes.
Since exposure to air makes food spoil, consider investing in a vacuum sealer if you purchase items such as cheese, meat and produce in bulk. Take advantage of deals on fruit and vegetables by washing (and trimming if necessary), then flash freeze on a sheet pan. Once frozen, vacuum seal them and toss them in the freezer for later use.
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Instead of throwing that big pickle jar in the recycle bin, wash it out and use it to store items you buy in bulk. Not only can you use glass jars to store bulk items such as rice and dried beans, but also Q-tips and cotton balls, paper clips and small sticky-note pads.
Check the Door
Depending on what you need to store, consider storing it on the back of a pantry or closet door. There are several on-the-door organizers available, including some that have bins for smaller items. Try stocking up on gift wrap and craft supplies and storing it on a spool on the back of the door!
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The Second Refrigerator or Freezer
If you’re going to get serious about buying food in bulk, it may be worth the investment to get a second refrigerator or freezer. Check craigslist for an inexpensive refrigerator or freezer that you can place in your garage or basement to store meat, seafood, produce and beverages. Keep in mind that older, less efficient fridges and freezers will cost more to run than newer models.
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Add a Sliding Pantry
Look around your kitchen and see if there’s any dead space. Often, there’s a slim gap between the refrigerator and the wall or cabinets. Try adding a sliding pantry to store canned goods, bulk spices and large quantities of cooking oil.
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Mason Jars for Spices
If you buy your spices in bulk, try storing them in Mason jars. These jars also come in handy for storing things like loose-leaf tea, dried mushrooms and bulk honey.
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Consider a Bulk-Only Closet or Cabinet
For those serious about bulk buying, consider having a cabinet or closet designated to bulk items only. This will make it easier to determine what you’re running low on and will organize all of your large items in a single space.
Add a Shelf System
If you have room in your mudroom, basement or garage, consider adding a shelf unit to store items such as paper products, canned goods and beverages that don’t need to be refrigerated. Just make sure if storing food items in the garage, they are safe from freezing, excessive heat and mice.
It can be easy to go overboard when buying in bulk, so be sure to stay organized and label items with a date so you can keep track of when you bought them and when they expire. Also, be sure to label items that can be hard to identify, such as various types of flours and grains.
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