Disclosure: Links on Simply Shoeboxes may be affiliate partners or referrals.

Organizing Storage--New Shelves: Preparing for 2015 OCC Collection Part 3

Christmas came early to my house!  And not only in the Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts we packed.
I outgrew my laundry room shoe box stockpile storage. 
I shared a few months back about my Shoe Box Stockpile Organization in my laundry room.  How I sort everything into Banker Boxes throughout the year as I shop and craft.  This year I outgrew that space and went looking around my basement for additional room.

There is a long, wide hallway beside the furnace room.  It is along the back wall and is mostly hidden from the living area -- well, sort of hidden. Nothing a couple of curtains wouldn't fix.  I thought it would be perfect for shoe box stockpiling with at least twice the storage I currently had.

With that large of a space I needed an economical way to "shelve" my boxes.  I didn't just want to stack the banker boxes from floor to ceiling as I don't have the strength to be moving them to add
new stock and the inconvenience wouldn't be too fun anyways.  So I went exploring on Google for stockpiling ideas. What works for grocery stockpiles would work for my shoe box stockpile, too.

I found several bloggers recommending these shelving units.  They are sturdy, quick and easy to build and reasonably priced.  Each unit can hold 15 of my boxes with room behind for shoe boxes.  But even with buying them on sale with additional coupon savings and rebates that money could pack a lot of shoe boxes.  I argued with myself, as usual.

Tubs I got for Christmas 2013.
But in the end it would be impossible for me personally to deal with the stock at all if the boxes were just stacked on top of one another.  I still couldn't let myself spend the money.  Then we figured it out.  My husband would give them to me for Christmas.  But he kindly purchased and built them early so I could set up my new shoe box stockpile.

Overflow stock!  These are paper boxes for small fillers (trinkets).
They are wrapped with holes cut in the top because 
we have used them for collections at church.
As we receive empty shoe boxes we will stack them to the right of the shelves and as we wrap them throughout the year we will move them to the space by the tubs.  I plan to personally pack my 2 to 4 year old girl shoeboxes (see:  Divide & Conquer)  as the year goes along (except for those few basic items I may need to wait on a sale to buy).  As I sew my dresses and craft my items I'll pack the shoebox as far as I have supplies and will note on the box what items it still needs.  These I will add at our final packing party.

Empty boxes waiting to wrap.
Wrapped boxes waiting to fill.
I am hoping that by having everything separated by age/gender group when we have our final packing party we can just take the tubs and boxes with that group, set them up on a table and quickly pack. There are a few items, like stuffed animals and balls, that I have grouped together in the tubs -- we may or may not separate them for the packing party, it depends on time, but I would need another set of shelves (for which I have no room) to add boxes for the few categories I did not separate.  We also are tallying on the outside of each as we shop (along with a Google Doc spreadsheet that can be accessed when in the store) -- that way we won't end up with dozens of extra shoes or toys for the wrong age group.

We plan to shop in increments of ten.  As we find deals we will buy up to ten of everything for each group.  Once we have ten of each item for each group we start over and buy ten more, etc.  This way our boxes will be balanced throughout the age groups and our items will be balanced.  Instead of 40 pairs of flip flops and no toys for the 2 to 4 year old boys, we will have ten of each.  But as I shared earlier, I am not setting a goal this year of the total number I plan to pack, so we need something to guide our shopping and increments of ten is what we've chosen.  This will not necessarily be true for items like school supplies -- we will not buy ten of each of those before we begin our second set of ten of other items because we will want to wait until back to school sales.  So when that time comes we will know how many to buy by what we have in stock.

Each age/gender has their own color of labels.
Tally sheets help us know what is inside.
Since I cannot do my own shopping and I need to instruct others, this is the system that I have come up with which I hope will make it easier for them to make decisions on what to buy.

If organization helps fill more shoeboxes, I'm ready to take it on!  If it does just the opposite, I'm doomed!

But two shelving units filled with boxes, along with a dozen tubs, will go a long way in holding all the goodies we will be packing in our 2015 Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts.  Let's hope I don't need to take over the rest of the basement in 2016!  A very Merry Early Christmas to all and to all...a Good Pack!

Update:  If you'd like a peak in my shoebox packing hallway when I'm not quite on top of it all check out this post:  Behind the Scenes ~ A Look at My Shoebox Mess.


Denise Marie said...

totally cool! I have begun yr round shopping. I have a few bins of items. This gives me a few ideas for labeling/sorting my items.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Hi, Denise! Glad you could find some ideas in my organization to help you with yours. That's why I share -- because there just might be something in what I do that can spark an idea that can be used by a reader. Happy Packing!

BearySusan said...

I am new to this blog. This past year (my 3rd time packing) I really "got into it". I started shopping all year and after reading another blog about a lady turning 60 and wanting her gifts to be enough to pack 60 boxes I decided to take that as a challenge (I turned 60 too) and set a goal for 60 boxes. I ended up with 84! But didn't have great organization. When it came time to pack my husband set up temporary shelves with boxes for categories but I didn't feel we were as efficient with my first "packing party" only packing 7 in 2 hours. I learned as time went on. Now I have towers (5-7 drawers each) with items for 2015. Seeing your organization has confirmed that I'm going about this in a smart way however I can do a few things differently. I don't have spae (yet) for boxes once they are decorated or packed. I may also incorporate the spread sheet to keep track so I don't over but either. I KNOW I have plenty of toy and craft items for mist ages. My stuffed animal section is doing well. Washcloths, soap, toothbrush/paste could use some help. Notebooks, crayons, school supplies come in spurts but am mostly waiting for August back-to-school sales(if possible). I also found bags that I can pack in the bottom for children to carry their items. Sorry, If I'm getting too detailed. So glad I found this blog and others. Can't wait to start packing.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Welcome Aboard, Susan! Glad you found my blog. Don't worry about too many details when sharing, I LOVE to hear what others are doing. Sounds like you have a great start at gathering and organizing! Congrats on exceeding your goal. Would love to hear how many you end up with this year! Happy Packing!

Disclosure: Links on Simply Shoeboxes may be affiliate partners or referrals.