Tame Those Shopping Bags




You can go to the store and buy containers and gadgets that will allow you to stuff those shopping bags but why put out your money when you can lasso them and tame them and recycle at the same time for nothing. From a space wasting jumble to a well behave herd of bags is easy following these steps.

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Step 1: Round Up All of Those Wandering Bags

Find an empty tissue box. The more attractive the better but any shape and colour will do.

Locate all of the stray grocery bags.

Stuff them into the tissue box.

Step 2: Start Working on Taming Those Bags

Find an area about 2 feet by 2 feet where you can work with the bags.

Pull out one of the crumpled, space wasting bags out of the tissue box.

Step 3: Flatten Out the Folds

Uttering soothing words, start to pull the bottom seam straight.

Then do the same with the top seams, gently pulling them until they are straight.

Step 4: Pat and Smooth Those Restless Bags

Gently pulling the top seam in one direction and the bottom seam in the other direction, pull the folds into line.

Continually smooth the bag from top to bottom uttering soothing sounds. This seems to help but I could be mistaken.

Here I am switching to a smaller bag in order to get the top of the bag and the bottom in the picture without getting on a chair to get the picture.

Step 5: Now Those Bags Are Getting Tame

After you have smoothed and flattened the bag, it is ready for folding.

Continually smooth the bag with the side of your hand, from top to bottom to stop the bag from getting restless.

Fold lengthwise from top to bottom in half matching edges.

Fold again lengthwise from top to bottom again matching edges.

Now see how tame the bag is.

Fold, this time, crosswise in half and then fold again.

Now you have a very tame bag ready for the corral.

Step 6: Corralling Those Bags

Now find an empty box of a size that will allow the folded bag to lie flat.

Here I am using a K cup box which fits the bags perfectly.

This system works for all of the t shirt style shopping bags.

When I have a good number of them in the corral, I reach in and take a bunch, wrap them in an elastic and take them to the local Thrift Store. They can always use clean bags and they appreciate these bags taking up so little storage space. I just keep the banded (not branded) bags in the K cup box until I am going near the Thrift store. They take very little room in my carrier bag to take to the store.

When they are folded like this, it is much easier to keep one in a pocket or purse for actually using when shopping. Now there is a novel idea.

Step 7: So That Is the System

When the bag is emptied, check if it is clean inside and if it is, stuff it in a tissue box.

When you have time or when the tissue box is stuffed to its limit, take a few minutes to go through the taming system. And in between time, keep those bags quiet and out of the way on a shelf.

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14 Discussions

Chelsey Patterson

3 years ago

Thanks for this nice post. Shopping bags plays a major role now a day. And most of bags effect badly on environment. That's why everyone should use Paper Shopping Bags everywhere. Before some days I bought These types of bag from Global Store Supply, Inc. They provided me best product with very low price.


3 years ago

thanks for the tips here

I also bought this for $3 at ikea to hold all my bags


Reply 3 years ago

It depends on what you do with your time. I, for example, don't just 'watch TV'. If I'm sitting with the TV on, I'll do things like count out my spare change, fold laundry, etc. This falls into the category of stuff I could do while watching TV (particularly during commercials), and it is actually productive if I can recycle/reuse it.


3 years ago

If you use the $ grocery bags, you can eliminate the plastic bags. When the shopping bags get tired fill them with soil and plant something in them outside.


4 years ago on Step 7

oh, what a grand idea! In our cabinet we have out -of-control bucking bronco bags needing taming desperately! Thanks, I'll get on this project right away.


4 years ago on Introduction

This is wonderful, and it also has given me ideas of what to do with all kinds of boxes that otherwise would end up in the recyclable bin...Thank you for sharing.


4 years ago on Introduction

I love your ideas!! I did something similar with grocery bags. I recycled a baby formula container. I cut a hole in the top and stuffed the bags in it. I take it with me to my painting class to help with clean up. I also recycled an empty Clorox wipe container and keep one filled with bags in the trunk of my car. Helps when the grandsons make messes.


4 years ago

No one but me in my family gives a hoot about saving these bags. I would be the only one that would be doing this and after a shopping trip I would have upwards of 50 bags to fold and that would be after, the once every two weeks, trip carrying in the groceries and putting them up. Too much work for me on that day but maybe on the second day after shopping! I have been reusing my empty dog food bags to hold all of my bags. That way instead of pulling them out a few at a time and shoving them into the recycling bin at my local grocery store, I can just set this bag of bags next to it and I'm done.
I always take these back to the grocery store for recycling. Your idea of the thrift store is brilliant, I could also take them to my local Goodwill Store! Thanks for the idea!


4 years ago

need of the hour :). thanks for sharing.


4 years ago on Step 7

Hi We have been doing this for years. It really takes no time at all and when we

need a bag they are right there. Convenient, space saver, recycled. Thanks for letting others know about this.