How to Store Plastic Bags

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Listen, I know plastic bags are TERRIBLE for the environment. But we’ve all been halfway through shopping at the grocery store when you realize you forgot your reusable bags at home. Or you order take-out and it comes in a plastic bag. Or you go out clothes shopping and the store gives you plastic bags instead of paper. My point is, despite our best intentions, sometimes plastic bags enter our lives and accumulate.

Whenever new plastic bags come into our house I like to keep them to reuse them (mostly for cat litter or poopy diapers). And our ‘storage solution’ was simply shoving bags into other bags. It reached the point (I am ashamed to say) that our cabinet under the kitchen sink was full of plastic bags. To be fair, they accumulated over years. But I was tired of shoving bags in and burying my shame. I knew there MUST be a better way! I am on a mission to organize my entire house so this shame cupboard was definitely on my to do list.

So I did some “research” on Pinterest and discovered this nifty little technique for how to store plastic bags! This method changed my plastic bag life and transformed under my cupboard. It was a little time consuming to organize (as most things are when they get out of control)! But it’ll be super easy and quick to maintain. Safe to say I am never going back to shoving bags into other bags.

I wanted to share this technique with any of you that might be struggling with a plastic bag problem of your own. No judgement. Obviously try and avoid plastic bags if you can. But if you can’t try this method to organize them!

For eco friendly, zero waste swaps for your single plastics check out this post!

How to Store Plastic Bags

How to Store and Organize Plastic Bags
Step 1: Gather your plastic Bags

Gather all your plastic bags. Yes ALL of them. I am ashamed to say I had about 4 of these reusable bags stuffed full with plastic bags. Gather them into a pile.

Step 2: Flatten and Fold your Bags

Open each bag and inspect it for old receipts, giant holes or tears. Lay it on the ground and flatten it out. Fold the bag in half so the handles overlap. Smooth it out, then fold it in half a second time. The neater you fold, the neater your end result will be. The bags should hold their folds fairly well without unfolding. Create a large pile of your flattened bag to make it easier for the next step, rolling.

Step 3: Roll, Roll, Roll

To start, flip up the handles of the first bag (as seen in the video). Then begin rolling! You want your rolls to be as tight and even as possible. As you roll near the end of the bag, overlap the handles of the next bag and continue to roll. Continue this pattern until you use up all your bags or are satisfied with the size of your roll. You will be surprised how many bags you can fit into one tight roll!

Make sure you are squeezing out all the air as you go (like rolling up a sleeping bag). I even had a sewing needle to poke tiny holes in the bags that trapped too much air. If your bag starts to unfold as you are rolling make sure you tuck it back in. The neater and tighter you roll, the better your end result will be!

This step took longer than I anticipated. I spent several hours folding and rolling all my bags because I had so many! That being said, adding new bags won’t take very long. So once you have the system in place, it’s easy to maintain!

Step 4: Secure your bundle of joy!

When you are finished rolling, you will need to secure your new bundle of joy. If you have an empty Lysol Wipes container that would be the perfect way to store it! I didn’t have an empty one on hand, so I used a plastic novelty movie theater cup for my main one. I ended up with about 5-6 bundles all together, so I simply secured the others with rubber bands. Essentially you just want to make sure that the bags don’t slip and slide out of their tight rolls and undo all your hard work!

When you need a bag, simply pull the handles up. Then the handles of the next bag pop up! Easy peasy. Just like a box of Kleenex or Lysol Wipes. I am going to keep one roll in my car, and the rest occupying a much smaller portion of my cupboard. I am so happy with this new system and will keep it up forever!

Ignore the Squirt Gun LOL
How to Store and Organize Plastic Bags
I wish I had a before picture for my cupboard, but the after is amazing!

Comment Below if you’ve tried this system and how it worked for you!


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