I have spent the past 2 days looking at every possible way to store plastic bags on the Internet. Pinterest, for example, has about 10 really cool looking ways to store them that are linked to over and over again.
You know the types of bags I'm talking about. Those plastic grocery bags you have to use when you run into the grocery store without your reusable cloth bags, because you left them sitting in your trunk.
The people of Pinterest, for some reason, believe I want to iron, fold, flatten out or roll my plastic bags. I do not. I want to shove them. I don't care if they look particularly cute while sitting under my sink. I don't care if they impress people with how cleverly they're arranged. I want to shove them under my sink so they're easy to get at and don't float around the entire cupboard when I want to grab one.
Why, after bashing around the grocery store with a cart that alternates between only going right and skidding to a stop every few feet, coming home putting away the groceries, realizing I forgot the mandarin oranges and the inevitable cleaning out the fridge to make room for the peppertettes I was again compelled to buy … would I want to sit down on the floor, flatten and fold all my plastic bags into thirds, lay them on top of each other and roll them into a tube? I would not.
The intention of course was to find a brilliant way for storing plastic bags, which I would then introduce to you. I could picture it immediately. Me finding the ultimate plastic bag storage idea, implementing and photographing it under flattering light, you my adoring readers gasping and holding your hands to your hearts. This was exactly how Nobel Prizes were won.
But all of the ideas were … O.K., if I'm being my true self … they were ridiculous. If I'm being "hey I'm a blogger and every idea has at least some good in it …, they were ridiculous.
The worst thing about these storage ideas and in fact, dare I say it, Pinterest in general, is it's often based around super-cute photos. I love Pinterest for inspiration but when it comes to some of the DIYS, they excel more at highlighting the overuse of chalkboard lettering than actual usability.
The biggest problem with all of the plastic bag storage solutions was they took too much time to do and … they didn't work. One suggestion was to stuff all your plastic bags in a can with a plastic lid, cut a slit in the lid and pull the bags you've shoved into the can out. Great. Paint the can all pretty and stuff.
The problem with this solution is it's only the first bag that will pull out of the can and the rest just stay shoved in there until you pop the lid off to pull one out and 5 or 6 randomly assert their freedom at the same time.
The other big one on Pinterest was the flag fold. Laying out any garbage/plastic bag and folding it up into a triangle like a tiny flag to be presented to a family of freedom fighting mice.
I've done it before. I'll admit it. I've done the flag bag. It's the kind of thing you'd sit and do while watching television. But it isn't a solution for a quick way to stash plastic bags.
Then there's the roll er up solution. This involves laying out you plastic bags, bag by bag, flattening them out and then folding them in half. Then you place bag after bag after bag on top of each other until you've run out of room or bags or sanity and then you roll them up. This creates a neat little roll of plastic bags that you're supposed to be able to pull out from the centre with the next bag following in succession.
The first problem with this is the fact that when you come home with more plastic bags in a day or two you can't just add them to the roll. You have to save the bags up and wait until you have enough saved to make another roll. Which means you shove them under your sink like you always did and never, ever make another roll again.
The rest of the suggestions were too ridiculous to even consider. Like sewing an old shirt up and filling it with plastic bags. Huh? People are even reupholstering boxes and crates complete with trim, piping and batting. omg. I just wanna find a place to shove my grocery bags and it's looking more and more like that place is going to be up Pinterest's ass.
Don't misunderstand. I will spend an inordinate amount of time on ridiculous things. This Sparkle wipe dispenser for instance. But some things are worth my time and other things aren't. YOU may think an upholstered, piped crate specifically for your bags that will take up more room than just shoving them inside themselves in your cupboard is a great way to spend your time because you love reupholstering and you just ran out of solid white, 2,000 piece jigsaw puzzles to do. But I do not.
To each his or her own. (I'm just saying that to at least appear somewhat accommodating on the subject)
So what was my solution? How did I solve the great grocery bag dilemma?
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One year, in order to use up bits of yarn, I crocheted several tubes a small exit hole at the base, and a larger space at the top and that's for the plastic bags. Also added a loop from which to hang the bag. It holds maybe 50 or 60 bags. We d0 not recycle the bags due to the looming ban on plastic bags in our state.
I use a pillowcase. I undo a small portion of the closed endseam. I shove the bags in the top and pull from the bottom. I hang the pillowcase in my pantry, so as I put my groceries away I put the bags in the pillowcase. Not Pinterest pretty, but it works and keeps under my sink available for all my half empty bottles of wine I use for cooking.
I don't really see the use in building a fancy plastic bag holder,I just put the plastic bags in a plastic bg and get one out when i need one ;)
That's what I do now and I don't like it because that plastic bag filled with plastic bags takes up too much room in my cupboard. It's huge! It's like a massive helium balloon getting in the way of everything. I need something more compact. I'll probably give the kleenex box a try. ~ karen!
I wash out plastic protein powder containers (or equivalent), and stack them open ended on their sides onto a shelf inside my laundry cabinet. I filled up one whole shelf with a couple of layers of containers. Then I just shove all my plastic bags into the slots. By stacking the containers on their sides, it creates "cubby holes" from the containers, and also between the containers. They perfectly hold the bags. Bigger bags go onto the left side, smaller bags on the right.
I am on the same quest. I saw these magazine holders used as holders for foil, cling wrap etc both in a pantry and attached inside kitchen cabinet door. I thought maybe for bags too. Easy to shove in the top and pull one from a hole. I have not tried it yet myself. Haven't even checked out the item in person to see just how large the holes are (they must be in Target or Office Depot etc. But wanted to send on just in case it is helpful. One link is typical size and the other two are taller and wider versions.
Love your blog
I don't know if this was said or not as I did not take the time to read every one of the wonderful ideas others have come up with...but I did the tissue box thing...I didn't use the regular cardboard tissue boxes because I found that it was very hard to get the bags into them and then out again, especially because they were so lightweight. To solve this problem I bought a ceramic tissue dispenser that fits over a cardboard tissue box and just stuff the bags in there..(do not put the cardboard tissue box in it) just use the dispenser. It sits on top of my dishwasher and I can pull a bag out as I walk by and because of the weight of the dispenser, I can just pull and the dispenser doesn't come up with the bag...plus it is large enough that I can push a lot of bags in it before it becomes full, and the hole at the top is large enough that if the next bag does not come up I can just reach in and grab one...Hope this helps someone....
I keep a sturdy little cardboard box in a drawer. It was originally from holding a garbage bag roll. It has a hole in the top slightly bigger than my fist. When I have a plastic bag i crunch it up in my hand all willynilly and stuff it in. One after another. ONE AT A TIME. When my box is full I pull out about 1/3 of them and donate them to the local library as book carriers or to my DIL who lines her kitchen garbage with them. That way I always have some on hand, and there is an excuse to go visit the grandchildren. I've tried all kinds of methods and this one works the best for me.
What about attaching a piece of PVC pipe to that hole in your counter? And shoving them in there? You could tape the sleeve of an old sweater to the bottom of the PVC pipe, use some elastic to somewhat cinch the bottom of the sleeve, and then pull them out, one by one, as needed.
Now... I know you already have a use for that hole in your counter. But it's an interesting start, no?
(Way back in the 80's, all the moms were sewing up old towels about the size of a sleeve, and using elastic on the bottom, and then hanging it inside the broom closet or whathaveyou. My mom still uses one. It works like a charm. Looks like an 80's craft. Hidden. In a closet.)
I use a clothes pegs bag that I picked up at the dollar store. It comes with it's own hanger and a scoop neck opening that makes it a snap to get at the bags!
Lots of good ideas here. I'm enjoying scrolling through the stories.
We used to be able to recycle these at the market, then our city banned bags entirely-yay, then COVID. Now that they are back, we use the Russian doll method as above to group 10 inside one another, then pull edges over the waste basket or even empty recyclables cartons, so the bags auto dispense. when full I can then grab 1 or 2 to empty. the groups of 10 (Prepped while streaming) go into a mop bucket, Now that there is so much excess packaging w COVID, we line some weak plastic bags with an empty food container at the bottom to make the bag sturdier and dump in coffee grounds or what have you, before trashing. I made an outdoor ottoman once using a recycled banners and totes and stuffed it w these bags, also to store them too, great lightweight seating for outdoor movies or padding bleacher seats Sometimes I use them as shower caps over conditioner or hair dye....or as “disposable gloves” for cleaning or city dog/yard kitty poop gathering/disposal...or crumpled up as “packing peanuts”...hoping to be back to no plastic or packaging soon though. have been vigilant to ask for no condiments or utensils w curbside and takeout. keep in mind I am in east coast US, living in a high rise and cringing when I see people buy garbage cans and huge bags that they overfill and drag down the apartment halls leaving a snail trail- use smaller ones and take them out more often, and make less trash...Use the “garberator” (my love is Canadian), don’t buy plastic bags or specialty dog poo bags that don’t break down. Compost :)
We used to be able to recycle these at the market, then our city banned bags entirely-yay, then COVID. Now that they are back, we use the Russian doll method to group 10 inside one another, then pull edges over the waste basket or even empty recyclables cartons, so the bags auto dispense. when full I can then grab 1 or 2 to empty. the groups of 10 (Prepped while streaming) go into a mop bucket, Now that there is so much excess packaging w COVID, we line some weak plastic bags with an empty food container at the bottom to make the bag sturdier and dump in coffee grounds or what have you, before trashing. I made an outdoor ottoman once using a recycled banners and totes and stuffed it w these bags, also to store them too, great lightweight seating for outdoor movies or padding bleacher seats Sometimes I use them as shower caps over conditioner or hair dye....or as “disposable gloves” for cleaning or city dog/yard kitty poop gathering/disposal...or crumpled up as “packing peanuts”...hoping to be back to no plastic or packaging soon though. have been vigilant to ask for no condiments or utensils w curbside and takeout. keep in mind I am in east coast US, living in a high rise and cringing when I see people buy garbage cans and huge bags that they overfill and drag down the apartment halls leaving a snail trail- use smaller ones and take them out more often, and make less trash...Use the “garberator” (my love is Canadian), don’t buy plastic bags or specialty dog poo bags that don’t break down. Compost :)
Mr. Bag Eater. It’s what we called my plastic bag storage unit when my son was old enough to help me with grocery shopping. It was his job to put the plastic bags away while I loaded the fridge and cupboards.
I took a small plastic juice jug with a handle and cut off both the screw top lid and the bottom, so it looks like a funky funnel.
Squish the bag to get all the air out and shove it in the bottom - like stuffing a turkey. The unit stands up with all my other bottles under my kitchen sink. When I want a bag, I pull it out from the top hole. The nice thing about this is I’m always using the oldest bag (first in, first out). Also, when I don’t like the bag I’ve pulled out (you know how sometimes you want a nicer bag with no writing on it) you can just shove the unwanted bag back in the bottom and try for the next bag.
Fast forward 30 years and MBE is still going strong and I don’t have 30 year old plastic bags in it. Unfortunately I can’t convince my now-adult son to come back home just to help with the groceries, but my husband quickly learned what that silly contraption under the sink is all about.
LOL. Glad to hear that your hungry hug is still at work. ~ karen!
I was going to start fresh, but your post speaks to similar features. Granny used to make something for bazaars (anyone else remember those?) and I still have one that must be 50 years old. From a piece of scrap cotton, she basically made a tube - could be any size you like - with a loop at the top to hang it by a hook, somewhere convenient. There is a channel for a piece of wide elastic near the bottom, so it makes sort of an elastic cuff. You shove bags in the top, and tug out the bottom. The cuff is snug enough that bags don't fall out even if you push down, but you can easily get your fingers in to grab one. As Cathy mentioned, rotation is a good thing, and it's easy to pull until you get the size you want and put the others back through the top. I recently replaced the piece of elastic that had outlived its best before date, so it's back to full function.