January is the best time to re-evaluate and take note of what is around your household. For us, that means looking at my stockpile of household items and pantry items, and see what we have done well with the past year and what we can hold back on stockpiling in the new year.
As a frugal shopper and stockpiler, it is important to keep track of what you attain and figure out how much you really use up throughout the year. Understanding that your stockpile takes up prime real estate(see point #4) in your house, will help you see that you need to keep organized whenever possible. At the end of the year, I see how much we have left of an item, and if it is taking too much space, I take half of it and give it away to a local shelter or to family members. Since I know that another sale will come up for that item eventually, I will be able to rebuild it up if I use it after some time. I like to make sure to check expiration dates as well. I had to get rid of 3 tubes of toothpaste that were expiring at the beginning of this year. It also will give me more space to stockpile items that we use a lot and always seems to run out.
I also look at the way I organize, not only my stockpile, but my major working spaces. The space where I take care of my coupon and grocery circulars, my mailing station, and of course, the kitchen, are all re-evaluated and changed to fit how I would like to operate in the new year. Just today, I re-organized the freezer and figured out a new way to place items to make it easier for all of us to grab things. The fridge was viewed and shelves are moved, and I even found a new way to display some of my favorite items that we recieved as wedding presents.
Lastly, I take a peek at my gift stockpile. I collect items thorughout the year to use for various gifts, and it helps to look at what I have left after the holidays. I can see what I will have to keep an eye out for all year, and see where I can slow down. For example, the after Christmas sales are always great but after I viewed my stockpile when we got back from Ohio, I saw that there really wasn’t much that I needed to get from the sales this year. I picked up some lights for outside, some gift tags and one roll of gift wrap. That was about all we needed to add. Since I had been over-zealous in past years, I can slow it down this year and use up our stockpile during Christmas 2010.
Do you all re-evaluate the organization of your stockpile, or your household, at the beginning of the year? Does it help or does it just drive you batty?