Organizing Plastic Bags

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.

Organizing Plastic Bags, A blue plastic grocery bag.
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I love reusing my plastic bags, but I got tired of folding them up into neat little triangles to keep from having a messy plastic bag storage area. Upcycle your old wipes container into a plastic bag dispenser. The bags will pop out beautifully the way the wipes did, just like a fresh box of tissues.

Approximate Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 plastic bag dispenserDIY Plastic Bag Dispenser


  • 10 plastic shopping bags
  • 1 empty wipe container
  • scissors
  • glue
  • decorative paper or fabric
DIY Plastic Bag Dispenser


  1. Press the air out of your first bag. Fold the bag in half and press any remaining air out.
  2. DIY Plastic Bag DispenserDIY Plastic Bag Dispenser
  3. Start laying one bag over the next. Overlap the handles on top of the previous bag to make a long intersecting chain of all 10 bags. Make sure your very first bag's handle is turned upward. This will be the first to come out of the container.
  4. DIY Plastic Bag Dispenser
  5. Starting from bag one (with the upward turned handle) roll bags tightly, tucking in each handle as you roll. Bag one will end up being in the middle with its handle sticking out.
  6. DIY Plastic Bag Dispenser
  7. Pop this into your empty wipe container. Decorate with pretty paper or fabric.
  8. DIY Plastic Bag Dispenser

Source: My mother

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

I just moved into my first apartment alone in 18 months. And I am a self professed plastic bag hoarder! I use them to ship things, line things, wrap things, and yes, carry things.

But, it's like they breed. Trying to stuff them into a drawer or another plastic bag seems counter productive.

So, my tip is get yourself one of these collapsible laundry hampers and simply hang it up in your closet. The rod is almost always removable from one end. If not, use two hangers hanging side by side. You can get these used or at the Dollar Tree.

I have about 400 bags in this one and I don't have to fold them or anything. I hope this helps!

Corral Those Plastic Bags

    Source: None. Just using my head for more than a hat rack.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    A pop can box made into a bag organizer.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

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I line my small waste cans with grocery store bags. My DIL gave me a little fabric tube to hang them in my kitchen and several years later when it was too old to use any more I measured it to make another one. A cotton bandana was the perfect size with no raw edges or extra cutting.

    green bandana tube

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    This is a guide about folding plastic grocery bags. Storing plastic grocery bags for reuse can be a challenge. They seem to require a better solution than stuffing them in another grocery bag.

    Folding Plastic Grocery Bags

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Plastic Bag DispenserEver 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!


    • 4-5 cans.(Milk can size recommended so that your hand and the plastic bag just fits. Remove paper labels. Open BOTH sides. Make sure there are no sharp edges. File sharp edge if necessary.)
    • Paper clips
    • Alligator clips
    • Glue
    • Magic tape
    • Kraft paper, Gift wrapper and ribbon remnant pieces, other decors
    • Scissors

    Plastic Bag Dispenser


    1. Align the cans on top of each other. Tape one end to another so that it forms a long tube.

    2. Measure the height of the can between the upper and lower tab. Cut 4.5 rectangular pieces (depending on how many cans you have) of gift wrappers or Kraft paper with a height equal to the measured height. Do not worry about the lenth - you can cut it down later.

    3. Decide which paper goes on which can so that the paper design on them will look well.Paste the rectangular paper pieces around the cans, making sure that it is all covered. Cut the length where appropriate (for example, the design becomes concealed because of the length.)

    4. Decorate the cans with various stickers, ribbons and other decors. Key point is to place recycling-related phrases that you can point out to the kids in teaching a lesson on this subject.

    5. Place the alligator clips on the tube top side, as far away from each other.

    6. Tread the paper clips so that it forms a hoker. The Plastic Bag dispenser is noy ready to be hung - on kitchen cabinet knobs, on pantry door knobs or just about anywhere. Just make sure they are low enough for the young ones to reach - so they can do the stuffing in or pulling out of the plastic bags!

    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.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    Plastic Bag Storage Tip

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    Where can I buy "storage" bags to put plastic sacks in?

    By Beth from NE

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Read More Answers...

    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.

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    This is a great way to keep those plastic bags near by but contained. Use a large men's shirt sleeve!

    Plastic bag holder made from a shirt sleeve.

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Keep all your plastic bags in an empty paper towel roll. This makes it easier to access them, and keeps them organized.

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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 can use smaller sizes.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Instead of wadded plastic bags stuffed higgledy-piggledy, she 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.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Here's a great way to store your extra plastic bags such as the ones you get at grocery stores and other stores. Fold the bag in half lengthwise (putting the handles together and lining up the bottom of the bag). Now fold again--you have a long skinny piece. Starting at the bottom of the bag, fold in thirds (like you fold a flag) until you get close to the top (where the handles are.) Secure the end (handles) into the opening that is created by this method of folding. You have a neat little triangle to store now instead of a big puffy mess of plastic.

    These are easier to grab out of a basket or bag than a wadded up mess of plastic. I have a three-tiered wire mesh hanging basket in my pantry--the smaller folded bags go in one basket and the larger ones go in another basket. When I need a trash can liner, I grab the right size bag--no more searching through all the bags to get the size I need.

    By Glowgirl from Watertown, WI


    Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

    I have a large stainless steel stock pot that I no longer use and store all of my bags in it and top it with the lid. It holds a lot of bags and looks neat. (10/22/2007)

    By Lilly

    Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

    I found an old stretched out leg warmer in my sock drawer that is no longer wearable. (I got this idea from a post above using a tube sock) I made a drawstring for hanging at the top (insert plastic bags through here) At the bottom I made another drawstring using a narrow piece of elastic. (Don't make this too tight) Insert your hand through the bottom hole and pull out a plastic bag. (10/18/2008)

    By Shirl

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Just a little tip for all the plastic bags everyone gets these days and I store mine in gallon milk jugs. In the center of the milk jug is usually a design like a circle, I cut the circle out then cut the handle in half just by slitting it in half. The reason I do that is then I can hang up the jug and when I get bags, just shove then in the hole in the milk jug. You will never believe how many bags a gallon jug will hold. It's great.

    Also if you want, you can slit the handle as for the bag tip then cut a larger hole in the center of the jug and then hang it on your clothes line and store all your clothes pins in it. I usually poke holes all over the milk carton so if it rains, it will leak out and the clothes pins won't start rotting. And this tip didn't cost you a dime.

    Source: My imagination.

    By Barb from Birchwood, WI


    Milk Jug for Organizing Plastic Bags

    This is the very best tip I've seen in ages! Thank you for sharing your idea! (04/24/2009)

    By Cyinda

    Milk Jug for Organizing Plastic Bags

    I do the same thing and keep one in the vehicle, and use the bags for garbage. We also have a dog that travels with us, now we have bags for doggie cleanups. (04/25/2009)

    By gollyg

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Organizing Garbage and RecyclingNovember 9, 2011
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