Using, Reserved, On-the-Way

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Jeri Dansky of Unclutterer reminded me of our move from Houston to Boston a few years ago in her very good post on "Organizing a Small Space". Moving from a three-bedroom house to a one-bedroom apartment with an office, we did it all, from ridding ourselves of two-thirds of our furniture, to using risers so we'd have more under-bed storage space. (We still ended up needing a storage unit during that time!) Probably the thing that our stay in Bean Town made me rethink the most was how I shopped -- also covered by Dansky:

Even if it saves money, you'll probably have to pass on many bulk purchases because you simply won't have room to store what you've bought. Some people manage to find space for a few high-priority bulk purchases (toilet paper, paper towels, cat food cans, etc.) but forego the rest.
Bulk purchases don't save just money: they save time and prevent minor disasters. I continued with cat food, litter, toilet paper, and some baby supplies, but went to what I think of as a "using/reserved/on-the-way" system for most other things I used to bulk purchase, as well as a few new things once I saw how much easier and more effective keeping track of inventories was at making things run smoothly.

A good example of a new item I'd keep in stock this way was our shampoo, which was hard to find in Boston. We'd have a bottle in use, a spare, and, when the in-use bottle ran out, shampoo went onto the grocery list so that we could replace the spare.

Now that we have more space, I do a similar thing for smarter bulk purchasing. We have a small shampoo bottle in use, an "in-use" larger bottle for refilling it, and a spare large bottle. In our current situation, using large bottles saves me time, while the second large bottle insulates me from the haphazard restocking policies of our usual store, which can sometimes go a week or two at a time with certain items out of stock.

-- CAV


Today: Corrected some wording. 

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