Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Sunday, September 14, 2008

When You Buy from the Bulk Stores: A Lesson on My "Feeder" System

The BJ's and Costco's of the world are great and make your pantry plentiful and convenient, but they do cause a storage dilemma. Where do you put the giant jars of mayonnaise and the 50 packets of oatmeal until you use it all? If the "buying in bulk" concept serves your household well, as it does for mine, you do have to set up a system for how your house is going to absorb the bulk. Not every home has a giant amount of storage for large numbers of products.

I recommend utilizing a feeder system whereby you have #1: your kitchen, and #2: an annex somewhere else i.e. basement or separate pantry not adjacent to the kitchen. #1 holds your everyday needs, in normal storage sizes, with a reasonable number of or only 1 of an item. For example, in a cabinet, you'll find one canister of rice or one box of muffin mix, or a basket of a dozen snack bags. The wholesale size/larger container stays in the #2 location, only to be accessed when levels become low in the kitchen (#2 feeds into #1). For the bathroom, for instance, you keep a few extra toilet paper rolls, but the rest of the 16-pack is in the basement. When you need more, you "shop" in your annex to fill the levels back up.
The rationale for this system is based on the idea that each room has prime real estate that you want to use efficiently. A household can only use so much of something at a time, and therefore doesn't need ALL of anything readily available.