“Help! How do I stockpile/coupon in a downsized home?”

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I got this great question from reader Missy on my Facebook wall yesterday:

We are getting ready to downsize from a house to an apartment. I still want to be able to coupon and save money, but we just will not have the space to stockpile.
Do you have any tips/ideas to help me coupon and save money while living in a small apartment?

I’d love to hear from my readers that live in smaller houses or apartments – how have you made it work? Do you have any creative ideas for how Missy might maintain a stockpile in her new apartment?

17 thoughts on ““Help! How do I stockpile/coupon in a downsized home?””

  1. I have no ideas but I’d love to hear others suggestions. We downsized from 1600 sq. ft. to 880 sq. ft. as a temporary measure to save money — well we’re saving money but no place to put anything!

  2. One way I condensed my kitchen stuff was by using an over the door shoe organizer. (make sure if you get one it has see thru pockets or you can’t see inside the pouch) You can put it on the wall or in your pantry if you have one. I have fruit snacks, taco season packets, microwave popcorn in the pouches. You name it and it can generally go in there. Plus it saved me a ton of drawer space I no longer had.


  3. Raise the bed and get sliding drawers to store stuff in under the bed. If you don’t get sliding drawers it will be hard to get to the stuff, so that part’s important.

  4. When my 3 kids and I lived in a small 2 bedroom apartment I got pretty creative to free up space for my stockpile using “wasted” space in the areas the items would be used in……For an example – In the bathroom: I put in plastic shelves above the plastic shower siding to hold all of our shampoo, conditioner, body soaps and bubble bath. I invested in an over the toilet organizer to hold all of our hair stuff in baskets on the shelves – 1 basket had hair tyes, another had clips, another had combs etc. below the shelves had a couple of doors which held hair spray, gel, mousse etc. in fifo styled boxes. I also invested in a hanging towel bar with a shelf and couple of doors which held pads, deodorant and body spray also in fifo styled boxes – under that was a small laundry hamper which sat on top of our scale….on the top of both organizers held all of our toilet paper hidden behind a cut up and sewn together again fabric shower curtain (matched the one we had for the shower) stapled to the ceiling. Behind the door held an over the door coat hanger (4 pegs) to hold a toiletry bag and a robe. In each toiletry bag held each persons hygiene allotment for the month – 3 pump travel bottles: shampoo, conditioner, body soap, tube of toothpaste, small travel bottle mouthwash, toothbrush etc…..this really helped the kids to learn not to waste. I put in a shelf over the door to hold all the bathroom cleaning supplies in fifo styled boxes. On the wall next to the vanity held 2 baskets ( handles removed) 1 for hand towels and 1 for wash rags – each one rolled up and stacked on top of the other. Between the wall and the medicine cabinet was another wasted space so I hung a couple metal bath organizers (you know the ones meant for hanging n your showers that come in gift baskets) to hold crimpers, curling irons and a hair dryer. In the medicine cabinet held all of our medicines for the year: cold, flu, allergy etc – I took a couple old belts and hung up razors and cough drops on the wall between the medicine cabinet and the toilet organizer – Under the sink held all of our towels. Between the toilet and the sink was our plunger which held 4-5 rolls of toilet paper – in front of that was a small garbage can. Now this bathroom was so tiny that if someone was standing at the sink you couldn’t get in the bathroom but the room didn’t have that “crowded” feeling despite everything I had in it.

    Here’s some ideas in other areas of the home: shelves above windows/doors, pegboards beside entryways, baskets under side tables, under beds, ceiling – hanging baskets, chains for clip on items, tall dressers, boroughs, under tables/desks, tall bookshelves etc. There are many “wasted” spaces to store your stockpile but the key is you have to be organized so you can either hide it in your decor like shelves alongside windows hidden behind curtains (blends in and your window looks bigger) or blend it in in an art deco sort of way – think italian bistro for the kitchen hanging everything you can’t put in cabinets or have room for on the counter. You’d be surprised how much space you can find 😉

  5. You get creative!

    If you do stockpile in a small space, you will probably have to come to terms with the idea that your stockpile will not be hidden. You may have to keep some things out in the open. I keep most of our bathroom items stockpile on a shelf above the toilet. The toilet paper/paper towels have been stashed under the kitchen table before.

    Also if it can go in the fridge, it does as we often have extra space in the recesses of our fridge, and the extra stuff helps it stay cold without using as much electricity. (I’m thinking condiments/jams/etc. Stuff that says refrigerate after opening. If there’s room in the fridge, I put it there right away even before we open it. I like to think it stays good longer that way too, but that may just be wishful thinking!)

    If you will have good friends/family nearby with a larger space, you can ask them to store some of your stockpile for you. My parents live close by, and I stockpile a bunch of stuff (like toilet paper and paper towels that take up a lot of room) in their large pantry and let them use it as well as a thank you for sharing the space. Since I get such good prices on stuff, I can easily afford to share some of it with them.

  6. Wow, that’s a lot of great ideas! I have 1500 square feet and I still may have to take advantage of some of those! 🙂

  7. I use the linen closet for my stockpile and store sheets and such under the beds in the under bed rubber maids. I had shelf space that boxes were on and decided… which do I need more boxes of ” stuff” or stockpile stuff we will use and need?… I store cereal above my washer and dryer. I also have cloth drawers with goldfish crackers, chips, snacks etc up there also.
    I like to store things so I can easily see the expiration dates.
    IKEA is a great place to get inspiration for little spaces. –

    Angela- maybe you should have readers take pics of stockpile storage… for a future post. 😉

  8. We lived in a small one bedroom apartment that didnt have a bedroom door so it was almost like a studio. We had two of those foot stools that had storeage space. I kept all sorts of stuff in them. We bought a cabinet went befind the toilet and stored all of our bathroom stockpile in it and all the cleaning supplies.Get an over the door shoe holder you can fit all kinds of things in them from spice packets to soda cans to condiment bottles. The plastic over the door shoe holder worked so well I still use one in my pantry today. We had minimal kitchen utensils and dishes so there was more room to stockpile. I also used my oven for storage space because we lived in California so it was rarely the weather to bake anything. I had to keep the cabinets under the sink organized so i could keep the stockpile there. It can be done you just have to get creative. It’s just a matter of looking for space saving containers and thinking outide the box. Good Luck!

  9. I have about a 700sqft 1 bedroom apt. for just me and I do quite a bit of stockpiling! Luckily this place has a decent amount of kitchen cupboards and a big closet, but here’s some of what I do:

    I have a big 6’x6′ Ikea bookcase (5×5 cubes) that I use as a room divider between the dining nook by the kitchen and the living room. On the living room side, it is filled with books and knickknacks, the bottom row is baskets that have boxes of crackers, boxes of Ziplocs, etc. in. The lower 3 rows have a backing put on the case and I store a lot of other boxed items behind the books (mostly paperbook novels so lots of space!). On the kitchen side, the bookcase adjoins my small kitchen table and on the top 2 shelves from this side I store cereal, open snacks/nuts, various drinks, and some couponing supplies. A few large appliances are on the top of this case – crockpot, dehydrator.
    -Food is stored in nearly every cabinet along with dishes. Most of my paper towel stock is on top of the fridge along with chips.
    -I am constantly running out of fridge/freezer space. Best purchase ever was a small 7 cubit feet? chest freezer that sits on the balcony.
    -Overstock snacks/chips is on the shelf in the entryway closet. I keep meaning to get some actual shelving in one side of this to organize more.
    -The water heater closet has canned food shelving on one side. Dog and cat food is in 5gallon buckets along with cat litter in here also. I have room to put another canned food shelving on the other side.
    -Toilet paper is stacked behind the door in the bathroom as I have a litter box cabinet that doesn’t allow the door to open completely flat to the wall and this creates an unused corner (still plenty of space to move in and out the way it’s designed). Sliding drawers make lots of easy bathroom storage as well as an over-the-toilet-organizer and big medicine cabinet mirrors.
    -Hanging sweater-type closet organizers are great in the closest for pasta, pasta sauce, condiment overstock. More toilet paper/paper towels is easily stuck in the corner behind my shoe rack.
    -An extra dresser in the bedroom holds gift/travel-sized items in drawer one, candy overstock in drawer two, health/beauty in three/four, and Christmas tins/tape in drawer five.
    -Extra canned goods are placed in under-the-bed organizers. Extra linens are in under-the-bed-organizers too.
    I keep 2 boxes in the bedroom – food and non-food for items I have gotten but do not need – once full these are shared with friends/coworkers and/or taken to the food bank/shelter. I also keep a big basket in my closet for baby-shower items.

  10. Weed out other stuff in your home that you don’t need – keep closets and drawers free of things you won’t use at all.

    We have a “food safe” which is just a great big dresser/armoire kind of thing that has drawers and a door with a shelf inside. I put lots of canned and packaged items in it, and in the door/shelf area I put cereal. You can’t see the stuff from the outside, the food safe is slim enough to not take up a lot of room in the dining area, and it holds a LOT of food.

    Also, rubbermaid (snapware, tupperware, etc) bins are great for storage and they stack, and they fit on closet top shelves, under beds, etc.

    Mostly though, the food safe works best for us!

  11. We had stuff hidden everywhere possible when we lived in a 900 sq ft apt! I bought baskets to go over the cupboards and I could fit tons of stuff up there. We also had boxes under our couch and any extra diaper packages went under my sons crib. We built a wooden shelf (like a pedestal) that went under our washer and dryer to store extra laundry stuff, and we always used the space under beds. If you sit and think about all of the small spaces that are otherwise wasted you can come up with a lot!

  12. We lived in a small 2bed apartment and there was a hallway that lead to the bedrooms but the kitchen also allowed access to the bathroom and bedrooms so we put IKEA shelves up along one wall in the hallway and at the end by the first bedroom and it became my walk in coupon stockpile pantry… the area is a bigger area than I have now in my 5+bedroom house!! I liked my nook in the apartment better!!

  13. One tip I have is I took locker shelves and put them in all my cabients under the sinks and now I have two shelves to store shampoo,laundry soap, cleaners, ect.. that get lost.

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