Store It At the Store: How to Curtail Your Urge to Stock Up

published Mar 14, 2014
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(Image credit: Jason Loper)

Ahhh, the mysterious allure of the big box store. Everything’s so big that after a while of cruising the aisles with your double-wide cart, it all starts to look so, well, normal sized. Until you try to cram all those extra large helpings of household items into your super-small pantry, that is. Don’t want to store your apocalypse-worthy stash of paper towels under the bed forever? Read on for a friendly reality check.

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There are a few different types of mental roadblocks that trigger your inner hoarder to stock up on household goods. Let’s ID them now.

Roadblock 1: Buy more, save more — While it’s true that in order to sell more product, retailers do discount larger portions of goods, are you really saving money? Sure, buying 20 rolls of paper towels will bring down your price per roll, but remember that the register isn’t your only cost here. Storage comes at a price, even if that price is only your annoyance at digging through over-stuffed cupboards everyday. If you live in a city, it’s likely you had to rent a car or get your order delivered and those charges add up fast. Don’t let yourself be blinded by low sticker prices and forget there are other factors at stake.

Roadblock 2: Convenience — Maybe it seems faster to stock up once in a while than take to several trips to the store, but is it? Is it easier to walk down the street a couple of times a month or to precariously balance piles of goods on the top shelves of your closet and then rearrange every time you need to get a trash bag?

Roadblock 3: You Might Run Out — Yep, that’s true. Living dangerously without a backlog of dish liquid means that you could find yourself on the wrong end of a pile of dirty dishes without a backup jug of soap. So? It would be annoying, sure, but the one or two times it’s likely to happen will be nothing compared to the annoyance of dealing with an overstuffed home. Trust. We live in a fortunate land of plenty, so there’s no need to hoard everyday items. Just say no.

So just how many household goods should you keep on hand? If you can wash dishes, sop up messes and blow your nose for more than a month without hitting up the store for supplies, then consider taking a bit of a shopping break to work your way through that stockpile. You’ll find the extra room it clears up in your home (and maybe even in your mind) refreshing.