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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Tip: Corral Those Plastic Bags

By Sandi/Poor But Proud 466 2,133

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.

    CommentWas this helpful? Yes

    Tip: Bandana Storage Tube for Plastic Bags

    By Marty Dick 167 967

    I line my small waste cans with grocery store bags. For years I racked my brain trying to store them. 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. I discovered that a cotton bandana was the perfect size with no raw edges or extra cutting. I bought 1 half inch seam tape for the handle and 1 half inch elastic to run through the top and bottom. It must have taken me at least 30 minutes to do this. Extra note... I have one in the kitchen and in the hall bathroom and I have never filled one. I am talkin' several years of grocery and K-Mart bags. This little trinket has been well worth the time.

    green bandana tube

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Use Soda Can Box to Organize Bags

      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

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Why Store Plastic Bags?

      By Leila B. 11 5

      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

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Storing Plastic Bags in Purse or Tote

      By Marti S. 20 18

      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

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Store Plastic Bags in a Garment Bag

      By Betty 104 753

      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

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Plastic Bag Dispenser

      Rela Ann

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Store Bags in Empty Tissue Box

      By shirley 2 17

      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

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

      By joan 7 141

      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

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Milk Jug for Organizing Plastic Bags

      By J 2 7

      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

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Keep Extra Garbage Bags Under the One in Use

      By Macie4 20 30

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Stuffed Animal to Hold Plastic Bags

      By slee15 8 27

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Store Plastic Bags in Paper Towel Roll

      By coville123 326 89

      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? Yes

      Tip: Plastic Bag Storage Tip

      By Sandi/Poor But Proud 466 2,132

      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

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Keep Grocery Bags By Your Door

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Storing Plastic Bags

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

      By Beth from NE

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


      Most Recent Answer

      By Laurie 2 Flag

      August 26, 2012

      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? Yes

      Upcycled Plastic Bag Saver

      By NoRulesArt 40 12

      Plastic bag holder made from a shirt sleeve.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


      • men's long sleeve shirt
      • sewing machine
      • whipped topping container 8 oz.
      • scissors


      1. Cut the sleeve off the shirt as high as possible and hem the end, about a 3/4 inch hem. Leave an opening in the hem for inserting the plastic strip.
      2. Cut the whipped topping bowl into about 1/2 inch wide strip. Round the short ends. Now you are ready to feed it through the hem, it should push through easily.
      3. Cut up whipped topping container.

      4. Next you will cut a slit about 1 inch from the end halfway up and on the other end half way down, this way they can intersect with each other and it keeps the plastic in a full circle.
      5. All you need is to complete sewing the hem up and attach a small loop for hanging.
      6. The bags will fall down into the sleeve cuff and you add new ones in at the top. I turned the cuff up after I buttoned it. Mine hangs in my pantry, it's so handy when I need a bag.

        By NoRulesArt from sunny FL

        CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Video: 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.

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Storing and Using Plastic Grocery Bags

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Organizing Plastic Bags

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Bring Bags on Dog Walks

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Sturdy Storage for Plastic Bags

      By susan 33 441

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: How to Make a Plastic Bag Storage Container

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Onesie For Storing Plastic Bags

      By cj 15 39

      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? Yes

      Archive: Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

      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 Billie

      More Ideas:

      RE: Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

      How about placing some of the extra plastic bags in the bottom or the small trash cans around your house. Then, when you fill one, there are others to use right away! (02/28/2005)

      By Sandy

      RE: Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

      I also use plastic grocery bags in my smaller trashcans.
      I used to keep some in the bottom, as the other person suggested, but sometimes wet stuff goes thru a small hole or the side of the bag slips down the inside & leaves a sticky mess on the unused bags in the bottom. What I do now is store the bags close by in empty tissue boxes that are too pretty to throw away. They are perfect for this purpose. They hold a bunch of bags & the box doesn't take up much room. If you use the long type tissue box, you can set it upright on its end & it won't take up much table/counter space. I keep one in each bathroom & in our truck. (02/28/2005)

      By AuntDarween

      RE: Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

      You can also use an empty milk jug by cutting an opening on one side of the jug. I have a home daycare so I use a lot of bags and I use clean empty cat litter containers. It works out well. My parents bring in bags too and I have several backups. This works out well for me. (03/01/2005)

      By acope

      Taming Plastic Bags

      This is how I keep my plastic bags tamed. First, lay flat then fold in half, then in thirds, smooth all the air out then grab the bottom with one hand and the handle with the other. While you are holding the bottom of the bag, start winding the hand with the handle toward you around the fingers holding the bottom, until it's all wrapped up except a small part of the handle, then slip the handle over the wrapped up bag. Awesome! (03/08/2005)

      By Ruby Barke

      Create a Bag Holder From a Milk Carton

      I clean out my empty gallon milk jugs and when dry replace the lid. I then cut a hole about 2-3 inches on the upper half of the jug then another slightly larger towards the bottom. As I get all those plastics bags from shopping I check to make sure they are intact (no holes or tears) then tightly wrap them around my finger (to press out any air). Then put it into the top hole in the jug.

      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 Debbie

      Grocery Bag Storage Tip

      Here is tip is for all those plastic grocery bags we seem to accumulate. I save them because they are great for when I clean out the cat box , but didn't have a place to store them till I hit on the idea of using a empty tissue box. now I just stuff them in the empty box and store the box away on my laundry room shelf It holds a lot of bags and looks much neater, too. (03/22/2005)

      By Mamaboo

      RE: Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

      I use a tube sock with a hole cut in the toe portion (03/22/2005)


      RE: Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

      I use a fancy plastic bag (from a nice clothes shop!) to squash all the ones from the supermarket into! (sad but true!) Then remove them as and when! (03/22/2005)

      By Julie UK

      RE: Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

      If you have a litter box, more than likely you store the litter in the same room. I saved a large litter container and cleaned it well. Then I cut a baseball size hole in the front center and keep it stuffed with bags. It stands right beside the litter and litterbox, so it doesn't stand out. (03/23/2005)

      By suzi homemaker

      RE: Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

      Use an empty oatmeal tube canister. Cut a small hole in the bottom for the bags to come out. Of course decorate to fit in with your decor and nail up to the wall in your pantry or laundry room. Put bags in the top and pull them out one by one from the bottom. (03/25/2005)

      By frumom

      Archive: Milk Jug for Organizing Plastic Bags

      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


      RE: Milk Jug for Organizing Plastic Bags

      This is a great suggestion. I'll have to make some to keep under our kitchen and bathroom sinks. I just wanted to add that there are good places to get rid of extras- if you have so many that you'd never be able to use them all. Around here the doggy parks and many neighborhoods have "doggy poop stations" with bags for cleaning up after the dogs. Many of the bag holders at the stations are "refillable", so you are helping out your neighbors and cleaning out your cupboards at the same time! (05/22/2007)

      By marina12

      RE: Milk Jug for Organizing Plastic Bags

      YES, I AM A TREE-HUGGER! OK? Now: To avoid dealing with all those hateful plastic bags, use cloth bags. If you don't have any, get them at yard sales and flea markets - they cost about a dollar or so. Or just go retro and ask for paper bags. Cloth bags are great because they are washable as well as reusable. On the other hand, the old-fashioned paper bags are completely biodegradable - unlike the plastic ones - and some have handles, too. If you think the paper ones aren't strong enough, ask for double bagging. They can be re-used many times for all kinds of shopping (keep them in your trunk).

      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 hsorbits

      RE: Milk Jug for Organizing Plastic Bags

      Thank you for this idea. I have so many of these and refused to buy that cute little cloth holder at Walmart that cost a fortune ( I thought anyway). We tried cloth bags and they got dirty and had to be washed or could never be found. My hubby refused paper bags because he believes bugs come into the house on them. These sound wonderful and would fit right under the sink. Thanks so much. (05/23/2007)

      By jazzbird719

      RE: Milk Jug for Organizing Plastic Bags

      I store all my plastic bags in an old blue tin trunk my mother rescued from her parents' farm many years ago. This is a way of just putting what I have to good use. (05/23/2007)

      By gurth

      RE: Milk Jug for Organizing Plastic Bags

      I use my own bags (cloth, back pack and whatnot) when I go grocery shopping. The only time I ever have plastic bags is when I buy more than what will fit in my bags and then I store them under my sink in a paper bag and use them for garbage bags Oh yeah, and I get $0.05 per bag I use in savings at the store. (06/03/2007)

      By Jennifer(the Java Junkie)

      RE: Milk Jug for Organizing Plastic Bags

      I have been told that cockroaches love the glue that is used to make paper bags. I don't know if it's true, I've never seen one of these bugs, but I'm not taking any chances. Just recycle the plastic bags at the store they came from. (09/13/2008)

      By Sandy/Pittsburgh

      RE: HERE'S ANOTHER IDEA - Milk Jug for Organizing Plastic Bags

      I organize plastic bags in an empty "Kleenex Boutique" tissue box which is much less bulky and takes less space than a big milk jug. They hold about 100 plastic grocery bags and the boxes are much prettier than a milk jug and you are recycling a paper product, too! They pull out just like a tissue! Isn't that convenient!

      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!

      By Pat M

      Archive: Milk Jug for Organizing Plastic Bags

      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


      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      Archive: Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

      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


      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      Organizing Garbage and RecyclingNovember 9, 2011
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