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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 page about organizing plastic bags.
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March 12, 2009

You can help save wild birds and animals: When unwrapping bread, groceries etc., I roll up the plastic wrapping or bags that I can't reuse and then tie them in knots before binning them. This prevents animals and birds getting their heads stuck in them or, just as bad, getting them stuck in their throats while trying to eat any food still adhering to them.

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February 1, 2016

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.

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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!

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

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By 5 found this helpful
July 19, 2013

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.

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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.

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By 5 found this helpful
December 27, 2011

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.

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I always have a full week of garbage bags without hunting for them when they have to be replaced.

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June 16, 20053 found this helpful

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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May 28, 20051 found this helpful

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.

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December 22, 20052 found this helpful

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.

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October 18, 2018

In California, we pay 10 cents per bag at the grocery store. Lately, I have been forgetting my bags and buying new bags which adds up. I found a great solution, fold the bags and store them in an empty tissue box.

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You can stuff a lot of bags in the tissue box! Then, I place the tissue box in the trunk so there is no clutter inside the car.

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March 24, 20091 found this helpful

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.

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January 16, 20051 found this helpful

Tie knots into the bags you throw in the trash. Department Store bags, dry cleaning bags, grocery store bags etc. This prevents little ones from playing with the bags. Therefore no danger of suffocation. By Chell

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September 6, 2017

Cut the bottom off a 2 litre plastic bottle. Put your bags in through the bottom. Pull one out through the top. When you need one, just pull through the opening.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 18, 2012

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.

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Questions

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March 16, 2011

I save baggies that have not had meat in them. My problem is their storage. By the time I have a collection of large, medium, and small baggies, bread bags, and good cereal bags, I have an awful mess. The easiest thing to do is not to let so many accumulate, but I often freeze a lot of small portions so I often need quite a few at a time.

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Any suggestions of organizing and storing these?
Thanks so much.

By Montana Jewel Therapy from MT

Answers

March 16, 20110 found this helpful

Go to a thrift store and find the multi-drawer www.stacksandstacks.com/closet-storage-drawers
You can also find them at yard sales, etc., put your baggies in the drawers.

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March 16, 20110 found this helpful

I suggest you put them back in the box(es)! Save one cereal box, mark it somehow (tape a piece of paper on the front of it or mark with a black felt pen: cereal bags) and then neatly put the bags back into it and store it on the shelf or place where you store things of that nature (cleaning supplies, not the pantry, I mean). Same with the baggies, save a box for each size and put them back into the marked box. That's the freebie way, the other thing I can suggest which would cost money is shoes boxes. Plastic ones with lids. They stack nicely and you can mark the box as to what is in them. You could combine more than one kind of baggie in a shoe box, just keep them separated by having them in a larger baggie (pint size in a gallon size baggie, quart size in a gallon size baggie). Of course, the other freebie way on this is regular cardboard shoes boxes, but the clear ones are nicer looking. I use plastic shoes boxes for flour, rice, etc. (What won't fit in the canisters). You do need to make sure they snap tightly though, for food.

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March 16, 20110 found this helpful

Hello! Perhaps it's because we drink coffee everyday, but I'm always looking for ways to reuse the plastic coffee containers with handles and snap-on lids. (If you don't drink coffee, I'm sure you know someone that does - just ask them to save you a few.) I use them in the house and DH uses them in the garage for a multitude of small item storage/sorting options.

I put a piece of duct tape around the containers and label them with a large point Sharpe pen. (You could label them Small baggies, Medium baggies, Large baggies and Cereal bags.) They stack nicely, are easy to grab off of any shelf, and you could get a lot of each size plastic bag in a single container.

Thanks for making me think of this! I reuse many of these bags, too, and it never occurred to me to organize this mess. I think I'll start using these coffee jugs to sort my own mismatched collection of reusable baggies! :-)

On a semi-related note, I also save and reuse plastic shopping bags as liners for small trashcans (among other uses). I keep an old, tattered tote hanging from a ceiling hook in my cleaning closet and save the shopping bags for at least a second use/life before discarding. Hope this info helps.

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March 17, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks ladies, all are good ideas, and yes! I am always trying to find uses for those plastic coffee cans.

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March 17, 20110 found this helpful

I would use a over the door shoe holder. This shoe holder has pockets for each individual shoe. I actually sewed just the right amount and size for each of the bags that I use. You have to have a pantry door of course to use this hint. I also use one to hold household misc and craft room misc too.

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March 17, 20110 found this helpful

I re-read your post to see what others had to say, and I agree, the shoe bag works also. I currently have my dish cloths in a shoe bag in the pantry, because my kitchen has only 2 tiny drawers (in which my silverware and utensils are in those).

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March 17, 20110 found this helpful

I don't save plastic bags any longer than it takes for me to carry them to our local Walmart store and put them in the re-cycle bin. I put all plastic bags in there for them to recycle. I use hard plastic sandwich containers and others to keep food in. I do not have the room or the patience to deal with all the clutter so I look for places that can use them or recycle them and take them there. Recently found a vendor in Nacodoches, TX who recycles wine bottles. Guess where mine are going?

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March 18, 20110 found this helpful

Edith, that is a great idea. I have the same problem with my used bags. I do have a pantry door so will be using that idea for sure.

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March 18, 20110 found this helpful

I roll mine up and store them in a large coolwhip container. I can tell at a glance which size is which. Any sized container would work and it does not look bad left setting in the corner on my cabinet.

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March 18, 20110 found this helpful

If you can sew, then take an old tea towel and stitch the 2 long sides together. Hem top and bottom and insert elastic; attach a handle made from ribbon or tape; then you pop the bags in at the top and pull them out at the bottom.
I got a lot of scraps of material from a store some years ago and made a lot of these for school funds.

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Read More Answers

March 3, 20162 found this helpful

This is a page 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.

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January 22, 20174 found this helpful

Recycled solutions to organizational issues are often thrifty and creative. This is a page about use a soda can box to organize bags.

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March 15, 20172 found this helpful

Here is one idea for making a plastic bag saver using the sleeve from a man's shirt. Repurposing and reusing all in one. This is a page about making an upcycled plastic bag saver.

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February 23, 20172 found this helpful

Reusing empty grocery bags is becoming the norm. There are many ways to store them until you need them. Using an empty tissue box is actually reusing two types of packaging and reducing waste.

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August 29, 20190 found this helpful

If you live in an area that still allows one use plastic shopping bags, you probably have struggled with organizing and storing them. This page offers several possible solutions focusing on using recycled plastic containers for organizing plastic bags.

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February 27, 20190 found this helpful

Many consumers reuse their plastic grocery or shopping bags. Keeping these flimsy bags organized and contained for future use can be a challenge. This page contains several solutions for storing plastic grocery bags.

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 20, 20111 found this helpful

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.

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October 25, 20060 found this helpful
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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