Home Forums Living Spaces Kitchen How to organize plastic bags other bags

This topic contains 30 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar of EraserGirl EraserGirl 2 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #158683

    I know there are plently of plastic bag dispenser ideas, but this question is a bit different. I keep several sizes of plastic bags, and also ziplocs, fabric pouches, and big & small paper bags and huge plastic shopping bags. I need to have an overview of them, so that I can find the right thing when I need it.

    Do you have a bag center ? What does it look like ? Any ideas for me ?

  • #168293
    Avatar of mdfloyd

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    I have no ideas or help for you because I was just in the kitchen with some quart-size plastic Ziploc bags in my hands, wondering how to organize all the various plastic bags I have!

  • #168294
    Avatar of pkilmain

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    Not the perfect solutions, but (1) I keep plastic grocery bags (which we use when scooping cat litter) in a larger plastic bag hanging from the laundry room shelf in the basement; (2) I keep other plastic grocery bags in a wastebasket inside my bathroom cupboard; (3) I keep ziplock and bread bags organized at the back of my bread drawer in the kitchen. The ziplocks are inside a gallon one, the bread bags inside of, um, a bread bag. :) When we get too many plastic grocery bags (how do the accumulate when I make a concerted effort to use reusable bags?) I bag them up and take them to either the grocery store for recycling or to the thrift store (that way they get reused).

  • #168295
    Avatar of djk

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    I am afraid I don’t have a brilliant solution, but this is what I do:

    I have some plastic (cello)and cloth bags which I use for gifts. I use them regularly so they are currently in my desk drawer, lying flat.

    Ziplock baggies have a certain spot in the kitchen (again, there are few that are not in constant use and rotation, I am not talking about 20 bags, more like 3-5 free at any given time, unless I have just replaced worn ones with new).

    The plastic grocery bags get tossed into a canvas bag that doesn’t really have a home yet. At present it is plopped on top of the drying rack in the bathroom because that is closest to the door and DH grabs bags on his way out to the shops. They are also close to the litterbox, and I use them to line the recycling boxes as well. So we usually don’t have many around. For heading to the market we use market baskets.

    I don’t like to use the store bags so I have little nylon bags that fold up into a pouch not much bigger than a pack of cards, and they come with a little hook so they get hung up on tacks in the wall by the door (hidden by a curtain that also hides the prehistoric fuse box). I have several, and always have one in each bag so on my way home from work I can do a quick shop.

  • #168304
    Avatar of Rosa

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    Eternal Voyageur, I don’t have a help for plastic bags (we have one big shopping bag full of all the plastic bags, I pick through it when I need a bag) but for paper bags, there’s usually one that’s sort of wider and fatter than the others – like a shopping bag from a gift store or book store – and for some reason they almost always have twisted paper cord handles, so they even feel different than the other paper bags.

    So I fold up all the paper bags and put them in the one that’s got a slightly bigger footprint. We go through them pretty quick because we have to use them for recycling and I use the small lunchbag sized ones for storing tomatos and mushrooms.

    But anyway, that paper bag sits on a shelf in my pantry. Eventually they always tear, and then I just switch to another paper bag (unless I’m completely out, but that’s pretty rare.)

  • #168316
    Avatar of trillie

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    I used to have one of these plastic bag holders (where you stuff them in on the top and pull them out on the bottom), but that never worked for me, because the rare times I need plastic bags, I need a specific size. So now, I fold them/tie them in a knot and keep them in a basket on a kitchen shelf. I keep ziploc bags, garbage bags or any other plastic bags that come in a roll in a drawer.

    eternalvoyageur, did you see Stumped! on the Unclutterer blog? There are over 130 comments on how to store plastic bags (and to stack baskets or to store muffin pans).

  • #168322
    Avatar of pammyfay

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    Do you have a closet near the kitchen? I’d put some hooks in the back of the closet, or on the side walls, and then I’d put smaller bags inside similar larger bags. For smaller ziplocs (for food), I store them in my breadbox. For larger ziplocs, they all go in one very large ziploc (the kind you can put even a basketball in!) and are stored on a shelf in my basement. Some of my totebags are in a larger totebag hanging off a hook in the back of my front hallway closet; the more purse-like bags are with all my other purses in one of those sweater holders with individual shelves that hangs off the closet clothesrail. And even tho I try to use other bags for grocery shopping, I still need to keep some of the plastic bags that groceries use (I have a dog), so I have one of the bag holders trillie refers to.

    But this is also a good time to figure out when the last time was that you used those small paper bags or the huge tote bags. Maybe they don’t need to be kept, or if they do, maybe they don’t need to be front and center in your space.

  • #168325
    Avatar of JuliaJayne

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    Here is what I do. It’s more or less the point-of-use method. If I don’t use a type of bag often, I don’t keep many.

    I keep zip bags and small paper bag in a drawer in the kitchen. Everything needed for lunches or putting food in the freezer, along with freezer tape and a marker are all in the same, easy to access spot. Paper grocery bags, (I only keep a few) are folded flat and stored on their sides in the utility closet. I have bins for yard waste, but I keep one roll of lawn & leaf bags for overflow. I keep the in the garage. Plastic grocery bags: I use these to line the kitchen garbage can and to pick up dog poo. I store some in the utility closet in the kitchen, and some in the garage.

  • #168376

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    Not a genius system, but this works for our household:

    1. Boxes of Ziploc bags (2 – 3 sizes) are stored with aluminum foil, wax paper, saran wrap, and parchment paper.

    2. The roll of garbage bags is stored at the bottom of the garbage can.

    3. Paper bags are stored as Rosa suggested.

    4. Plastic sacks (from the grocery store when I forget my cloth bags) are stuffed into this ridiculous drinking boot that my husband was given at his bachelor party. (http://101tees.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/dasboot.jpg). If I did not have “das boot,” I would probably use my least favorite floral vase. 90% of these bags will be used as garbage liners in the smaller garbages throughout my house, so whenever the boot gets full, I divide the stack of bags among the four garbages and put them in the bottom of each garbage can so there are always fresh bags available for the next time I take out any particular garbage.

  • #168377

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    1. Grocery Bags: Our pantry is under the stairs and has a sloping ceiling, so we attached the shopping bag dispenser (from Simple Human: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family.aspx?c=14457&f=35596) on the ceiling to save space. After every shopping trip, I stuff whatever I can in it and what doesn’t fit goes to the recycles.

    2. Ziploc: I had my husband nail these racks (http://www.spacesavers.com/pc-wrap-organizer.html) to the unused wall of the pantry. I use it to store all my ziploc bags, saran wrap, tin foil, crockpot liners.

    3. Trash bags: Under the sink.

  • #168379
    Avatar of whyawhelk

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    I fold all my plastic bags into a triangle and toss them into a drawer, (Like this: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1317932/how_to_fold_a_plastic_bag/ ) or into the bottom of whatever bin I’ll be using them for. I also do this with my roll of garbage bags, i.e., put it in the bottom of the garbage bin, underneath the current bag. I do this because then not only do I not have to go looking for it when I take the bag out, but it also forces me to keep the bin clean at all times, otherwise the roll gets icky.

  • #168380

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    Ooo, those folded bags look tidy, but the video took 60 seconds to fold one bag. My “stuff in a glass boot” method is definitely quicker, and easier to get my husband on board. :)

  • #168381
    Avatar of whyawhelk

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    It does look like an awful lot of work, but it actually isn’t. It took me two times to get the hang of it and now it takes me just a few seconds to fold a bag like that. When I first tried it I felt really ridiculous, like “is this how I want to be spending my life, mastering a ridiculous skill?”, but now I wouldn’t do anything else, they take up way less space and the smaller the bag, the smaller the triangle, so it’s really easy to see which bags are which size.

  • #168385
    Avatar of nickynic

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    An old tissue box is a great way to store grocery bags. It’s also neat enough to leave in your car in case you forget your nylon tote bags, to collect garbage that builds up, or any other unplanned uses.

  • #168395

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    Not sure if this is anything great, but it works for us!
    Ziploc(all sizes), Hefty all share a drawer with the foil & wax paper.
    I really try not to accept plastic grocery bags, we use heavy cloth bags for shopping but the ones we do come across are kept in a purple hinged container near the dogs leash, where they graduate to a POOP bag.

  • #168420
    Avatar of TulsaTV

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    For years, we’ve been using an old Utz pretzel barrel minus the lid to store plastic grocery bags from Wal-Mart, etc.


    It has a wide mouth, so it’s easy to stuff in lots of plastic bags. It keeps them from taking up much room. It also serves as a dispenser for bags as you need them.

    We have one of those trash cans designed to take standard plastic bags. It’s great for the “non-smelly” trash in the kitchen. Once it’s full, I tie it up and toss it into an open trash can in the garage.

  • #168448
    Avatar of luxcat

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    if you have space on a shelf in or near where you use the bags, you could use those vertical cardboard (or wood, if feeling fancy) magazine sorters and stuff the bags in them by category (ziploc, fabric, etc) I keep my big fabric shopping bags in the car.

  • #168570

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    I really struggle with this issue because I try to keep all “like” items together – and all the different bags never seem to go well in one place…I recently posted about this dilemma on my blog with pictures http://www.justplainjoy.com/2010/08/04/what-to-do-with-all-my-bags/

    I finally came up with this solution for my plastic bags


  • #175701
    Avatar of zmagen

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    I use these for shopping, and one to keep my plastic bags in – http://www.bunnyfashion.com/samuishopper.php – great fabric shopping bags

  • #175970
    Avatar of G.

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    I keep most boxes of bags in a cabinet, standing on end along with the plastic wrap, wax paper, etc. Then I open the end of the box so I don’t even need to take the box out to get a bag. Used bread bags are stuffed into another bread bag. Used but clean zip bags are rolled up and stuffed into a cut off box (usually ours are not reusable due to holes). Plastic grocery bags are stuffed into another bag hanging in the laundry room, and when full, taken back to the store. Paper bags are in a box under the sink.

  • #191195

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    For my plastic grocery bags that are going to become trash bags (or whatever else they are needed for), my mother gave me something similar to this <http://www.shophandmade.com/Item/6-758-H61C73J&#062; and I LOVE it!

  • #191202
    Avatar of Ella

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    sis: It’s always a tad suspicious when a new member’s first post places a shopping url on the site. But giving you the benefit of the doubt, and given your screen name, we should probably warn you away from the ‘no spend’ and ‘no new clothes’ threads. :)

  • #191203
    Avatar of JuliaJayne

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    susanisshopping (funny name for this forum ;)

    I have a pattern to make on of those sleeves. The pattern can be found on Martha’s sit and a few other places.

  • #191210
    Avatar of Zora

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    I just looked over this thread. I’ll second whyawhelk’s posts from a year ago. Folding the plastic shopping bags into triangles is the way to go! They look so much neater, and once you figure out how, the folding is quick.

    A summer houseguest, a lady from Japan, showed me how to fold the bags. It’s what you do if you’re a good housekeeper in Japan!

  • #191221
    Avatar of Sky

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    I like the folded bags too but I keep mine in an empty tissue box. A lot of bags fit and it only takes up a little space under the counter and they come out one at a time :)

    I keep my garbage bags in the bottom of the trash can too.

  • #191234
    Avatar of arthelemis

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    We don’t have a ”bag center”. Each kind of bag is stored in the place where it make the most sense.

    -Grocery plastic bags are in a hand-made fabric holder behind the bathroom door, next to the cat’s litter box, as we mainly use them as trash bag.
    -Bigger and sturdier bags are in the corner cabinet of the kitchen. They are folded and stored vertically inside a cardboard box.
    -Ziploc bags are stored in their original box in one of the bottom drawer of the kitchen, along with parchment paper, trash bags, etc…
    -Gift bags are stored inside a bigger gift bag in the living room closet, next to the box of wrapping paper.

  • #191248
    Avatar of Parsifal

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    We keep large and small plastic bags under the sink, along with the plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Grocery bags go in a cookie jar to be reused as lunch bags or litter bags. Grocery bags that don’t fit in the jar go to school to be recycled.

    I prefer reusing/recycling plastic bags to bringing my own grocery bags to the store. Did you know it might take as many as 300 trips before the cost involved in manufacturing a sturdy nylon bag is less harmful to the environment than making the same number of disposable plastic bags?

  • #191290
    Avatar of Mimi

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    parsifal, you could use reusable bags made from cotton or jute ;)

  • #192284
    Avatar of meghank

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    We dont have plastic bags in the house. I never really understood why one would want to store them except to bring them back to the grocery store to recycle, but I never really understood having them in the first place.

    We have a couple of reusable bags in a kitchen drawer and some cottom bags with drawstrings for bulk items like flour and beans.

  • #192332
    Avatar of KarenAnn

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    I keep one of those cloth sock things for bags in the utility room. I use them for 2 small trash cans in our home, and I keep some in both vehicles for quick cleanups/trash. I also keep a couple in the diaper bag to contain messes or wet clothes while traveling. If the above places are stocked and the sock is full, I recycle them. I am getting better about using cloth shopping bags for my grocery trips. I bought an insulated one for frozen stuff too. I unload them, then immediately put them back in my jeep or I’ll forget them next time.

    Paper bags, bread bags and such I don’t keep. I used to – but found that the bread crumbs left in those bags attracted bugs and mice and I didn’t use them anyway.

    Ziploc bags I keep three sizes – sandwich, quart, and gallon. They have a home in a drawer now with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and wax paper. This area is in the lunch/breakfast area of the kitchen where I keep lunchboxes and containers, coffee pot, bread box, etc. I tried to organize it to save steps in the morning.

    Any gift bags that are in good shape I fold and keep in a clear plastic container labeled “wrapping supplies” that holds tape, tissue paper, bows, and bags. I don’t entirely like this solution, and have a separate wrapping paper container. All together this stuff takes up way more space than the amount of time I spend wrapping stuff each year.

    Anyway, those are my bag uses and storage.

  • #192356
    Avatar of EraserGirl

    How to organize plastic bags other bags

    i can’t really help here. I don’t take plastic bags from the stores..(4 years running now – not even for produce) the only plastic bags i use are trash bags because my garbage goes into a dumpster. if i save any BAGS at all, it would be the very few brown bags i bring in the house, and usually i only keep 1 or 2 at a time.

    On the other hand, i do have a collection of canvas bags etc…that i use for hauling stuff. they are usually on doorknobs and hooks..this one goes to the library, this one has outgoing mail, this one contains trail committee stuff, this one contains outgoing donations etc…

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