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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 guide 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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By 6 found this helpful
November 14, 2011

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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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

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By 9 found this helpful
December 18, 2010

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.

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By Betty from Lubbock

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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 10 found this helpful
July 12, 2012

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.

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By 4 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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By 3 found this helpful
April 20, 2011

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.

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June 16, 20052 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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April 19, 2012

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

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March 3, 20162 found this helpful

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.

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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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By 1 found this helpful
December 27, 2011

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.

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By 4 found this helpful
May 6, 2011

For storing plastic bags, one tip I liked was to use an unused jacket in your hall closet. Stuff plastic bags into the sleeve facing the door. When you need one, pluck it from the sleeve cuff. Nary a problem ending up with two or three.

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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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May 28, 20050 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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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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March 8, 20170 found this helpful

Here is a handy way to store extra plastic bags that can easily be made from a common bandana. This is a guide about bandana storage tube for plastic bags.

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October 15, 20080 found this helpful

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.

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March 15, 20170 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 guide about making an upcycled plastic bag saver.

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February 23, 20170 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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January 22, 20170 found this helpful

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

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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

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 18, 20120 found this helpful

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

By Beth from NE

Answers

July 18, 20120 found this helpful

You can get them at almost any department store with cute designs but they are super easy to make. Take the sleeve of any long sleeved shirt. Cut a 16" length of the sleeve and turn under a 1 inch hem either sewing, with liquid fabric glue, or iron on hemming tape like stitch witch.

Thread a piece of elastic, cut 1/2 the circumference of the top of the sleeve, and join the ends to make a loose stretchy top. Thread a piece of elastic 1/4 the circumference through the bottom to make a tighter stretchy hole in the bottom.

Attach a little loop of ribbon and hang it on a hook either on your kitchen wall (if you can match your color scheme) or inside a cabinet door, Voila! a handy, dandy plastic bag holder. Lightly stuff the bags in the top and pull out through the bottom hole.

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July 20, 20120 found this helpful

I store mine in an empty kleenex box and I find I can stack them too. Some days I just need a lot of them, other days I don't. I also like the tip from another reader about storing them in large medicine bottles and stashing in the car, purse or totes. Another place to stash them is in an empty wipes container. Good luck!

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July 23, 20120 found this helpful

You can fold several of the plastic bags into small squares and store them in you pocketbook. Then if you forget to bring your own bags into the store you can use these. once folded they take almost no space. you could keep them in a little change purse. http://www.wiki  ld-a-Plastic-Bag

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August 26, 20120 found this helpful

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.

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April 20, 20110 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 (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

Answers:

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

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October 25, 20060 found this helpful

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:

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

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

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 Amanda Cope

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

Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

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

By

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

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

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 LJ

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