Stocking Up? Use These Storage Tips to Keep Organized

stocking up in emergency

Whether you’re just an avid Costco shopper or you’re prepping for a national emergency, you can bet you’ll need to stock up at some point or another.

And while those supplies may help ready you for what’s to come, they also pose another problem — a storage one.

Where will you put those 10 packages of toilet paper or that gas-powered generator? Will you have room for 100 cases of water or five pounds of meat? Unless you’ve recently cleaned house or just have a lot of space, probably not.

Fortunately, we have you covered. Next time you find yourself stocking up, try these handy storage tips to keep organized:

Use the space above your cabinets.

Many kitchens have at least a foot or two of space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling — both in the kitchen and in the bathrooms. When you’re stocking up, these areas can be seriously valuable commodities.

Use them for items that are easily stackable — boxes, bins, cans, etc. You can also use it for bulk items like multipacks of toilet paper or paper towels. Just make sure if you’re storing anything above cabinets near the oven or microwave that you choose items that can’t be affected by heat (like produce, for example). 

Look to the garage.

There are lots of ways you can use your garage for extra storage. If you have space, stacking boxes and flat items near a wall or in a corner is an option (just make sure they’re not blocking any pathways to and from the house). You could also move some large items like your lawnmower or wheelbarrow to an outdoor shed to make more room.

Here are just a few other ideas:

  • Add a set of utility shelves. If you have pre-existing shelves installed, declutter and clear a few out to make more space.
  • Install hanging shelves or hooks from the ceiling. This gives you additional storage without taking up any more real estate.
  • Use space under your tool bench. Make sure you don’t put items there that animals or bugs will want to get into (paper goods are a great option here).

Consider under-side storage.

Your tool bench isn’t the only place that has under-side storage. There are actually several other furnishings and parts of the house you can look to, too. Under the bed is a good choice (invest in a few flat bins to keep things organized), or you can even add pedestal drawers under your washer and dryer to add a little extra space in the laundry room

There’s also storage room under some couches and tables (especially ones with tablecloths that hide the underside). If you have any extra room under your dresser or a bedside table, these are options, too.

Consider outside options for nonperishables.

A shed or storage bench is a great way to add some additional storage space to your home’s exterior. If your kids have a playhouse, there might even be room in, around, or under that, too. A word of warning, though: Be mindful of your local climate when using outdoor storage, and take steps to keep animals and pests out. 

Use your attic or crawlspace.

Attics, crawlspaces, and bathrooms can be another nice option when you need to stock up. In the attic, make sure you’re careful about where you store things (never put items directly on your insulation or sheetrock), and be wary of the added heat your supplies will be exposed to up there. 

A basement is fair game as long as you take cold weather conditions into consideration, and a crawlspace is an option, too — if it’s closed off. (Open crawlspaces could mean mold, pests, and more.)

Invest in a garage fridge or freezer.

For frozen items, meat, and drinks you’re stocking up on (water bottles, soda, juice, milk, etc.), an outdoor freezer or refrigerator can come in super handy. Keep in mind this will require a little extra wall space, as well as a slightly higher electric bill. You can offset those energy costs by filling your fridge or freezer with frozen gallons of water (this makes it easier for your unit to keep cool, despite weather conditions).

If you’re worried about the cost of an additional appliance, consider bargain options instead of something brand-new. Try an outlet store, look to the Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor, or Craigslist, or try your local Habitat for Humanity store. Sometimes, buying the floor model of an appliance can also save you cash.

The Costs of Stocking Up

Stocking up (and arranging storage for those supplies) can get costly. Do you need help with footing the bill? If so, a cash-out refinance may be able to help. Get in touch with an Embrace Home Loans expert today to learn more about your options.

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By Aly Yale / March 27th, 2020 / Categories: / Tags: ,

Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.