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What is a good way to store reusable shopping bags? Answered

They always end up scattered around our house, unless they find their way back to the car. Anyone interested in writing an Instructable for some type of storage container or system for reusable bags of varying materials and sizes?



Tie them in a knot and put them in a shopping basket. Then store them on a shelf or in a cupboard.


7 years ago

When I was little I would jump off stairs and use them for pershrts

id put the rest of them in 1 bag and put the bag of bags in a cabinent in ur kitchen

in 1 huge bin liner like me

I like to use coffee cans . they can hold at least 100 bags .. good luck

cut the bottom off of a plastic bottle and take the cap off.  hang bottle upside down and pull one out the mouth when needed.  add more through the non-mouth opening

As you empty the reusable shopping bags, fold each one back up and make a pile of them.  Once finished, just slide the pile into one of the more decorative reusable bags and hang it on the doorknob so you remember to take it back out to the car the next time you go out.  The bag of bags is convenient to sling over a shoulder as you head off to do some shopping.  

One bag of bags sufficiently serves my family of six on grocery day and is good for library trips and when it's time to deliver Girl Scout cookies or Boy Scout popcorn.  If you use cheap bags (WalMart has some for 50 cents) it's ok if you don't get one or two back every now and then. 


8 years ago

my groceries come in plastic bags. then i lay them out in the yard to collect rain water.


8 years ago

there are special plastic bag holders you can buy. but if you dont have any money you could make one from a sleve of a old hoodie/sweater.....hm i feel an instructable....;)

Take a recently-empty-not-yet-crushed tissue box and start stuffing the bags through the slot.

hang one and put the rest in there

if you want it 2 be nice n neat sew a bag for it... that is of course, if u kno how 2 sew. if u do i have some instructions i can send.

Add all of the plastic bags into one bag, and put under one of the shelves in your pantry closet!

Just shove them all in another bag, and hang it on the back door handle to remind you to take them back out to the car.

You took my answer! That's what I always do. :P


8 years ago

I always like this way: strighten the plastic bag, fold into 2 - then fold again into 2 - you will get small long shape. Then make triangle from the bottom-end, continue to fold the plastic like traingle until reach the end. Then slip the end into last folded. So you will have a nice small neat triangle plastic bag

Where I live everybody uses something like the below, often made w old trainers or even socks, tights whatever. But I fold them like Gorfram but instead of rolling, I do a knot.


at home we have a zip-loc bag box which we put in the cabinet without the lid thing, and just push the bag in it and pull it out when needed

Canvas bags I fold lengthwise, roll up as neatly as possible and place on the bottom of another canvas bag. A hook in my entry closet holds the "master" bag and any canvas bags that have yet to be rolled up and put in another bag. Plastic bags I fold lengthwise, roll up as neatly as possible, and then twist the handle loops so I can slip them over the rest of the bag to keep it rolled up. These get dropped into the bottom of my handbag. (A few plastic bags just get stuffed into an old facial-tissue box which is part of my "time-to-clean-the-catbox" kit.) Paper bags get folded flat and stored in another paper bag. Am trying to figure some neat-&-convenient system for carrying a variety of plastic bags: grocery bags, produce bags, the small "bulk items" bags, and those super-large grocery-style bags for oversized purchases. Will do an Instructable if and when I ever figure something out.

Hey Gorfram, Your last para - IKEA have solved it - imagine a flat-pack open cylinder that has a flattened back so that it can be hung up. Youshove your bags in at the top and pull them down at the bottom. the cylinder also has holes all over to reduce material useage. ;-)

Cool idea - thanks. I'll have to see if IKEA US stores have it - my toilet paper may just have found a new home. :) Unfortuntely, the quest referred to in my last paragraph is more for a convenient way to carry sorted plastic bags around with me, to the Farmer's Market or Food Bank. If the IKEA bag-holder were 1/5 the size, it'd be perfect.

toilet rolls don't fit in it - plus there's no appropriate gap to pull the paper through. Let me know if you can't buy them in the States. 1/5th size? It's pretty small to begin with, at your size it wouldfit in your pocket! lol!

Pokcet-sized is exactly the idea - so I can whip out exactly the right-sized bag for my groceries at the store, fresh produce at the Farmers Market, or a leaky box of cous-cous at the Food Bank. (Hmm... If I ever do figure it out, it might be a good entry for the next Pocket-Sized Contest. :)

I think you should combine a few ideas to achieve your aims: wear several plastic bags on your feet - which serves as wellington boots at your farmers market... as you buy goods, you can whip off a bag off your foot (alternately, please ;-) and if you buy Roquefort cheese, hey well, your bags will enhance their flavour! Now, how's that for being, green, efficient and minimal? te he he!

See now, this is brilliant - I could use the produce bags for wellies/galoshes/"rubbers" :), the smaller "bulk item" bags for gloves, standard grocery bags as hats, and the oversized-item bags, with a little tailoring, as rain ponchos. Good thing it rains so much around here (especially on Farmer's Market days), or else people might think I looked silly. :)

'tailoring' could be very easy - for just a few bucks you could use those sandwich bag heat sealers which would also 'weld' the bags for you.

I was just gonna use a Stanley knife, maybe scissors if I felt like being fancy about it - I dunno about you Brits with your "bespoke" plastic bags from Seville Road sandwich sealers. :)

Well, we do have - breakfast brunch elevenses noon tea luncheon high tea afternoon tea dinner supper.. so we do a need a way to keep our sandwiches super-fresh! (actually I once did a proper Victorian eating-day, and by golly, was I full all day long - I don't quite know how we conquered an Empire!)

Now you're bragging about using plastic bags for "rubbers" ! pmsl! This is a respectable site, I'll have you know! (only kidding!) It seems as though it's not only the bags that are (bio)degradeable, the humour is, too!

Good jokes - any jokes, really - being few and far between in the world of plastics and polymer science, I'll never forget the day that "Elastomerics Journal" came out with a cover article on "Perfect Rubbers" (a perfectly legitimate, if apocalyptically boring, mathematical technique for modeling some behaviors in elastomeric polymers). I still regret not having stolen that issue from my then-employer's tech library. :)

May I suggest an answer to your dilemma, (seriously!) - I'll send you a pm - you'll be pleasantly surprised!

I made a canvas shopping bag 20+ years ago and I'm still using it. I fold it into a neat little square about 5" x 5". I usually wear a fleece jacket and it has big pockets inside. That bag lives in one of those pockets. If your bag is fabric - not plastic - fold it neatly and press it with an iron. When you are finished with it, it will be really easy to just collapse it back down to your neatly folded square. I don't usually need plastic bags so I don't carry them. You could just tie each one in a slip knot so they stay separate and easy to sort through to find the one you want. Then just pull the knot out and use it.

Great Idea about the ironing fabric bags into the folded shape - I'm going to give that a try. :) With the plastic bags, it's the sorting through for the one I want that bothers me - I hate making other people wait while I get my own act together. (Perhaps what I really need is therapy for self-esteem and entitlement issues, but I'm hoping that - once I invent it - my quick-draw self-sorting plastic bag speed holster will be cheaper. :)

Nah, while you're fishing around getting your bag ready -we can be chatting away and keeping people in queue waiting...

(btw - have you noticed that *women* usually only think about getting their cash/card ready after it's all gone through the till, and not during?)

Well, I have noticed that men tend to think that, which is why I try to always have my cash/card/reuseable-shopping-bag act together by the time the till goes "ding!" (we may need to add "internalized misogyny" to my list of therapy-eligible issues above).

Whether women are indeed on average slower than men in conducting the customers' side of of retail transactions, I have absolutely no idea.

But hey - once I've got you juggling my cash/card with trying to neatly place my purchases into my already-handily-proferred plastic bag, I'm fine and happy: we can go on chatting all week. :)

fold it into a square and always keep it in your car. my mom usually forgets to put them in the car and has to use the plastic bags. p.s. I made an outdoors forum called green clubs. be sure to comment!

My mother took one of those dollar reusable bags and cut it apart for a pattern ,chose fabric, got interfaceing ( the fusible type, and made her own. You can wash them, they fold nicely, can be used for alot of things, and most of all no more mountain of plastic or other types of bags.... Its easy I made a set of 6 varying in size and shape and strength.

For the plastic type from a grocery store, I recommend gently re-shaping/pulling it into a long deflated tubular/rope-like state, then tying it into a knot. It ends up with a ball-like shape, which can be easily grabbed or dropped into a kitchen drawer, jar, or bag with minimal snagging.

there's lots of things: - doggy-bags - use them and tie excess unused bags to the doggy-bag bins - library - they love them, ppl get toomany books and have nothing to carry them in - recycling - use a bag to line your recycle bin - less mess and pop the whole bag into the refuse for disposal - tools - bag your tools together; screws, drivers, drills, etc - hobbies- keep specific groups of items together - for me it omputers so I have many bags each containing a different kind of cable - shoes - I bag my shoes and put them away in the box. They stay clean and dust-free - gardening - weeding, getting rid of stones etc line your trug with a bag - insulation - be careful with this one - no fires near - I use mine to line the outside and inside skins of my shed - tooth floss - cut strips of bag up and use it as floss - as they do in Africa - quick gloves - messing with oil/dirty stuff and no latex gloves? pop a bag on your hand! I could goon but I'm bored now- your imagination is the only limitation! Good luck

I actually bought a RubberMaid brand bin that's made for the purpose that mounts under the sink. Maybe this will give you some ideas for making one yourself: (note that the little hole in the bottom is meant to be used as the place you pull a bag from...imo...way too small.

I've got something like this in my pantry except it looks like a long sock with a hole in the toe. Works perfectly.

I just pull them out of the top when I need one. I think I've seen the kind you're talking about...very simple to DIY too. good idea.

If by reusable you mean fabric... Mine live in a backpack when not in use, along with my coupon file, so I can easy grab them on my way to the store.