Many homes have an assortment of plastic bags, from grocery bags to trash bags. It can be difficult to organize them all, so it may require some creativity. This is a guide about organizing plastic bags.
This is a fun video with a solution for folding plastic bags to save space. It's a little labor intensive but the end result is neat to see.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
Plastic bag clutter? Quickly smooth the bag. Starting on one side, roll into a sausage. Now tie it in a single knot then tuck each end in. This takes up the space of a small baseball and is neat and tidy. A small container with a lid will keep them contained.
By Joan from Ontario, Canada
Ever figure out where to put those tons of plastic bags you get when you go to the groceries? Here's a cheap way to do it while teaching your young ones the value of recycling!
One last tip: Segregate plastic bags that have holes in them versus those that do not have holes. Place them in different dispensers. Label your dispensers as appropriate so there will be no guessing needed which one is which.
By Rela Ann
Take a child's onesy pajamas with feet. Then sew up the cuffs at opening. If you want to, sew the upper arms where connected to the body of PJs. Then, attach a ribbon for hanging and you have a cute plastic bag holder by putting bags in neck area. You can then put this in your nursery or child's room for garbage and diapers.
By CJ from Minot, ND
My Japanese friend held a garage sale just before moving back to Japan. I helped her tally the prices in American money. One customer bought many items, so I asked Megumi if she had any plastic bags to give out. She showed me a brown grocery sack full of them, but what a surprise!
Instead of wadded bags stuffed higgledy-piggledy (like at my house), Megumi had taken each bag by the bottom and the handles and smoothed it to a thin, upright column. Then she had laid the brown paper sack on its side and placed each plastic bag inside, with the handles up. When I looked in the paper sack, I saw neat rows of handles. All I had to do was pull a set of handles and out slid a bag, ready for service!
By Stef from Dublin, OH
An easy way to store your plastic grocery bags is in an old, clean plastic milk jug. Most of these milk jugs have an indented circle on one side. Just cut out the circle and stuff in the bags. It will hold many bags and is easy to store.
By Jan from Gainesville, GA
Ever open the plastic bag cabinet or drawer and have them all "spring" out at you? I was condensing some today when I thought "I wonder how small they can get?" So, I rolled one from the bottom up so the air would leave, and when it was done, it was the shape of a long cigar. I then folded it in 1/2 and 1/2 again, and stuffed it in a spice jar. I actually got 3 in there! Now, I am not saying you have to put them in spice or medicine bottles, but you can fit a lot in ziplock snack bags, old coffee cans, pringles tubes, or just about any container that keeps them "corralled"! I hope this helps.
Take a large mesh orange or grapefruit bag that has a draw string type handle from your store bought produce. Snip a bottom corner of the bag off. Insert grocery bags or cleaning rags. It hangs where you wish as well as easy pull out from bottom corner. When it needs to be refilled, go from the top and refill as your bag empties. Beats all them plastic grocery bags from gathering up elsewhere.
Also, I line an empty cat litter bucket with plastic grocery bags, Then with my extra bags in hanger bag, I place the daily dirty litter in A BAG, tie it shut and drop it in bucket and snap lid closed. I do that throughout week and the night before trash pickup, I carry the whole bucket outside for trash, air the bucket out, reline again for another week.
RECYCLE! When it comes time to get rid of dirty kitty litter, remove bucket lid, tie the liner handles on bag shut, and throw out with the trash. Bucket with lid keeps out smell until disposal time. PS:
MY litter box/bucket remain in the basement, and no one even knows I have two cats, no odors.
By Lisa from Belle Vernon, PA
With I store all my plastic bags in empty tissue boxes. Just tuck them in and pull them out one by one as needed. It's so easy to grab for lining garbage cans, dog walks, or any other fast thing I might need them for.
By Shirley from Bradenton, FL
I converted an old garment bag into a plastic bag holder. I put a clothes hanger in the hole of the garment bag and hung it on a hook in my garage. I zipped it up about half way and crammed all my plastic bags in it. The more bags I get the further up I'll need to zip it.
By txbetty from Lubbock
I use old Kleenex boxes or wipes containers to store my plastic bags. I try to organize them by size. For the kitchen, I need larger bags to fit my waste basket. In the bathroom or for recyclables (I use these to tote to the bins), I can use smaller sizes. In the car, I can use any size. These containers allow me to pop them out as needed without fumbling around. The wipes containers are very sturdy for getting thrown around in the car and last longer than the cardboard Kleenex boxes.
By Susan from Elkhart IN
The fabric tubes for storing plastic bags are useful and can be handmade instead of purchased. For those of us that are not as crafty with a sewing machine I have the solution. I use an empty cardboard fridge mate soda case that your sodas come in from the store. The hole that dispenses the soda is used for both loading your plastic grocery bags and removing.
To make it look nicer, I covered mine in contact paper that I had leftover from lining my cabinets. I also keep one next to any small wastebasket that uses the plastic grocery bags for easy rebagging. The dispensers easily stand on their own next to the wastebasket or because they are so light, they can be hung on the wall, fridge, etc. with a couple of self adhesive velcro pieces.
Be creative, one of the holders I covered in brown packaging paper or from a brown grocery bag and let the kids decorate it however they wanted. Very useful, costs nothing and is a great rainy day craft for the kids!
By Rebecca from Mechanicsburg, PA
Take a piece of fabric, fold it over and sew side. Hem each end leaving space for the draw string. Run a draw string at the top with a string to hang the container on a nail. Run elastic around the bottom and pull together. Put your plastic bags from the store in them. If you need one pull from bottom.
By Carleen from Little Rock
In our frontier area, we are a long way from town. My problem with plastic bags is that there are just too many of them. After lining all my garbage cans with them, I hang one bag on the door and stuff the other bags in it.
When I make the long trip into town, I grab that bag of bags and take it out the door. When in town, I drop it off at the thrift store, the library, the farmer's market or the recycle bin at whatever of those four I stop at. My point is why would anyone want to store them? They are just plain in the way after they are empty.
My second solution to reducing the clutter of bags that find their way home with me from the store is to not use them. When at some grocery stores you can request paper. This I do. I can use it to start fires, wrap packages to mail, and haul out the burnable trash.
I have found that using those reusable fiber grocery store bags is not only a good way to bring home my groceries, but I also save 50 cents when I use them. I make far fewer trips back and forth from the car, and I can sort the groceries in them as I pack them. I put them one inside another and store them in my car for my next shopping trip. Simplifying my life is the best way to avoid a clutter of extra plastic.
By Leila B. from Brookings, OR
I found that if I take a plastic bag and smooth it out and fold it up small, I can get several into a large prescription bottle which then goes in my purse or tote. You'll always have a plastic bag when you need one and you're away from home.
By Marti from Athens, GA
Keep all your plastic bags in an empty paper towel roll. This makes it easier to access them, and keeps them organized.
By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario
When one full bag of garbage is taken out, I replace it with a new one. I make sure there are 6 folded bags under the new one. I always have a full week of garbage bags without hunting for them when they have to be replaced. That way the bags are out of the way and ready for the next bag of garbage.
By Macie4 from Walnut Creek, CA
This is a great way to keep those plastic bags near by but contained. Use a large men's shirt sleeve!
Approximate Time: 1/2 hour
By NoRulesArt from sunny FL
In both my laundry/utility/mud room and in the kids' bathroom, I took a stuffed animal that at one time had electronics inside with a velcro closure on the back for replacing the batteries. The bear and dog had long since stopped working and they were headed for the landfill. I got the idea of cutting the battery box out and removing the stuffing in the body, leaving the head, arms, and legs fully stuffed. I then use the body to stuff full of plastic bags for the waste paper baskets and hang it on a hook on the wall. (For safety reasons, not for use with toddlers). Everyone, up to and including my teen girls, thought it was cute and it saves us many steps to get a bag.
Someone asked why save plastic bags? For trash liners, to stuff those slippers into when packing for an overnight stay, to keep the rain off that library book, to return the t-shirt left at the house last time best friends slept over, getting the cups and litter out of the car, wrapping that greasy part that DH is taking to the parts store to find a replacement, cutting in strips to crochet a reusable shopping bag, an emergency bib when feeding a friends toddler, to tie that dirty diaper up in so the whole house doesn't stink, to hang on the step ladder to hold cleaning supplies when washing windows or hanging curtains, to scoop the kitty liter box, to tie all the nuts/bolts/fasteners to the shelves you dismantled when moving, to hold clothespins when hanging sheets outside, cushioning material when mailing a package, keep a few in the car to slip your hand inside when checking the oil in the car or filling the gas tank to keep hands clean so you don't arrive at the office smelling like a gas pump, to take some tomatoes from the garden to a friend, etc. I find 1000 uses for those recycled plastic bags besides just bringing purchases home from the store.
If you have a dog and need somewhere to store all the empty plastic bags for walks etc., put them in an empty Kleenex box by the door. They don't get in the way, and they don't look bad either. We keep one in the car too for trips to the park.
This is a health tip for those who live frugally or green. Make sure you wash your cloth grocery bags on a regular basis, in warm water with detergent. Rinse well, squeeze out the excess water, and hang to drip dry.
Meats often leak juices onto the bags, and produce sometimes carries pests or bacteria from the soil. Often times those can spread to the items which are placed into the bag on your next grocery trip. So, wash them often.
Also, ask the sacker to place your meat in a plastic bag prior to putting it into the recyclable cloth bag. That helps cut down on soilage and bacteria.
By mom-from-missouri from NW, MO
Leave a few grocery bags by your door. If you are working outside or forget something you can just slip them over your shoes so you don't have to take them off before walking across the floors and carpets.
By Liz From Ontario
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Here are questions related to Organizing Plastic Bags.
Where can I buy "storage" bags to put plastic sacks in?
By Beth from NE
An old tube sock will hold about 50 bags. I cut a small hole in the toe for dispensing. I also wad up about 4 bags in a toilet tissue tube and stash them in the car.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
I like to save plastic grocery bags for the small trash cans in our house, and I had no place to hold them. I just could not see myself paying for something to hold these, that would be so ironic. Instead, I use a box that holds a 12 pack of can sodas, taped it up where I had to open it, and reinforced the opening where you pick it up by putting tape around it, and I ball up the bags and stuff them in. You will be surprised at how many it will hold!
By Ruby Barke
The milk carton holds an unbelievable amount of plastic bags and when your ready to reuse one you just pull one out from the bottom hole. I've labeled my jugs according to size of bags, small, medium and large, that way I don't have to pull out a bunch of bags looking for just the right size.
I do craft fairs occasionally and yard sales, and this works great for recycling all those bags and I'm able to give customers a bag to hold their goodies in. The handle on the jug makes it easy to hold also. (03/16/2005)
By Julie UK
By suzi homemaker
If you are like me, you come home from stores with two or three items in a plastic bag and so many plastic bags, there aren't enough cabinets or drawers to put them in. I came across a handy dandy way to store them until you need them. On the sides of each gallon milk jug is a nice round circle just right to cut around. Cut one of them out, making the hole large enough to get your hand in or out. Then, as you collect those pesky bags, just stuff them one by one into the jug. They will come back out easily, one by one just as you put them in. A bottle holds dozens of bags. Hopes this gives you a way to free yourself from that mess of bags.
By Signaler from Bellefontaine, Ohio
I recycle magazines and newspapers and office paper in the beat up paper bags. These bags and paper are re-made into other products, including more paper sacks and food packages. Plastic bags are made with petroleum which we are paying outrageous prices for now and they do not "disappear" for generations!
I hope you will at least try my methods for awhile. Maybe you will want to become a tree-hugger, too. (05/22/2007)
By Jennifer(the Java Junkie)
I also reuse "Kleenex Boutique" tissue boxes - the really pretty ones, and recycle as gift boxes. They hold socks, underwear, coffee mugs, food products, and so much more! I've been doing this for years and my friends and family love the idea and have now adapted the idea in their own lifestyle. I'm sure that there are other things these pretty & sturdy boxes could be used for. What ideas can you come up with?
Remember: Revive, reuse, recycle! (09/13/2008)
By Pat M
Just a little tip for all the plastic bags everyone gets these days and I store mine in gallon milk jugs.