Plastic bag storage

Plastic bag storage

I know, this topic (storing plastic bags) has been done and done again. I’ve tried a few different methods of corralling them, but I have my own criteria as well.

I use reusable cloth bags for every *planned* grocery store trip. Sometimes though, I get caught without them and while I use paper sacks sometimes, I do like to collect some plastic shopping bags. They can come in handy.

My criteria for what to do with the plastic bags:

  1. I don’t reuse bags that have had something wet in it – whether it was milk that had condensation on the outside, or meat that leaked blood – I will throw those bags away.
  2. I check the bags for holes before storing them. If there is a hole, big or small, I can recycle it at the store.
  3. I use different sized bags for different purposes. Most of my “regular” sized bags go on to become trash can liners in my house, or to pick up after my dog when we take walks.

In my house, I like to use those sturdy Target bags for the bathroom trash. They are taller than the grocery store bags, and the bathroom trash tends to be “grosser” than the other trash cans in the house. I change my bathroom trash bag every week for trash day, whereas other bags in the house, which might have only had paper products, might just get dumped and the bag remains for another week.

The first thing I tried was to corral the bags in an empty tissue box.

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This one was so cute I’d kept it on display for a while, waiting for a way to upcycle it. This was my chance! It was a little difficult to get just one bag out, and I worried about any bugs getting in. Also, as you can see, the box was starting to rip on the corners.

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When I tried the cleaning wipes container to store bags, I was really excited. It worked great!… Until I got more bags to add and the container still had a bunch inside. I ended up with a container in use, and a bunch of random bags under the kitchen sink anyway, waiting to be put away.

I decided to roll each bag up individually:

Smash flat with all the air out

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Fold in half (handles together)

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Roll from bottom

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Once I had them all rolled up, I held them all together vertically so they were the same heights. Then I put them all into the empty container at the same time. I REALLY had to squeeze all the air out!

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Now I can get them out easily, and add more easily. I do have to take off the entire lid rather than just pop it open – but that’s not difficult. I will say that the container is crammed full and I can’t imagine trying to stuff another in right now, so I would probably recycle any bags I got while the container is so full I can’t add more. The rubber band around the base is in case I want to keep more bags in a rubber band for any reason.

You’ll notice the Target bags are not in this container – because I use them differently. All the Target bags are rolled up together in another Target bag, and under the bathroom sink, as that is where I use them.

Now… what to do with that Aladdin tissue box?

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Organize your purse

My purse was getting a bit cluttered and disorganized, so I decided to dump it all out and organize.

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This is the purse in question: I got it at a flea market and it looks and seems brand new. It was perfect for my needs and still is.

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Inside.

Inside I realized I had a bit too many of certain things. Like, a pocket calendar AND a planner? I got the calendar in January (or before) and the planner just last month. 1calendars

Obviously I only need to carry the planner around – it is what I use.

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Coupon organizer. I do use this, though I might get a different one, because this one doesn’t have all the folders I need. Maybe that will be a future post.

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Do I really need three notepads in my purse? Nope. I kept the most functional: far right.

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On the left: my wallet. On the right: my “extra” card holder.

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Inside the wallet are my important cards (debit card, giftcards, shopping cards, insurance cards, driver’s license) and cash. The shopping cards are rewards or discount cards and are on a small key ring. I went so far as to punch a hole in my Best Buy card because though it was not small like the others, I wanted it to be on the same ring. I just made sure to punch the hole through a spot where there was nothing important.

I also keep a different small change container for my pennies. I chose my (very) old Smackers change purse because it is see-through. The rest of my change is in the middle of the wallet.

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Finished product: on the left, my wallet, card holder, checkbook, and chosen notepad; on the right, my coupon holder and planner. Everything stands vertically because I have a tall enough purse that I can fit much more this way.

There are two smaller compartments which hold floss, hand sanitizer, and headache medicine (left), and a calculator, gum, and a pen (right).

The most important items: my keys and cell phone, go in the very front zippered pocket where not much fits, but when I need one of those items, it’s easy access.

My sunglasses rest on the top of the main pocket for now so they won’t get broken.

That’s it! Nice and organized now.

What’s in your purse? Anything similar to mine?

Small plastic drawer organization

I have a three-drawer plastic container under my bathroom sink. I used to keep hair decorations and makeup in it.

Top drawer consisted of clips, bobby pins, and barrettes:

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Middle drawer held a brush, ponytail holders, a few headbands, and A LOT of ribbons:

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I’ll get to the makeup drawer in a minute.

First task was to declutter. The top drawer may have looked organized because of all the small boxes housing different things, but I didn’t use all of those things and that’s not organized to me. I made three piles (besides what I kept):
-throw away
-offer to adults – specifically, mom
-offer to little girls – nieces

I offered to my mom pretty soon after I made these piles, and what she didn’t want I either threw away (bobby pins/small, deformed clips) or donated.

Any ribbons I didn’t want were thrown away. Then I tied the shorter ribbons together (there were fewer) and rolled up the larger ribbons. (I use shorter ribbons for wrapping around a ponytail, braid, or bun; I use longer ribbons to wrap around my head like a headband.)

I then combined the drawers, since I had less of everything.

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I’ll admit, it looks LESS organized now. But trust me – I’ll be more easily able to find things now.

The next drawer housed things from another area under my bathroom sink:

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The place in the cabinet where this was was NOT helpful. And I almost never style my hair, so some products were unnecessary and others need to be more readily available so I’ll REMEMBER to use them!

This, minus the hairspray that didn’t fit, became the third drawer down:

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I also have my sporty-headbands in this drawer.

Bottom drawer used to be makeup… and other random stuff, apparently.

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Threw away every broken or super old makeup, the tattoos, the extra sponges (which I don’t use, I use a brush) and was left with virtually nothing.

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But that’s okay, because I rarely wear makeup. I plan on putting the brushes, mascara (not shown), and eyeliners – everything in the pink pencil holder – in a jar or something in my medicine cabinet. The eyeshadows, blushes, sharpeners, etc. will go in a travel makeup bag and live somewhere else so I can have another free drawer.

Since doing this, I’ve used more hair decorations than I have in a while, because I remembered they exist!

What’s under your bathroom sink?

Dusting, polishing, disinfecting list

dust glass germs

Now, I don’t go along dusting/cleaning/disinfecting each individual item and then checking it off. I do a room at a time, or all of one thing at a time, before checking anything off. Example: Disinfect all the light switches in the house in a row. 

I made this spreadsheet a long time ago so I’d be sure to remember to do everything. Also, it feels awesome to check off the whole sheet.

For the record, I do not dust all of those things, clean all of the glass, and disinfect everything on that list weekly. I tend to not even do it monthly. These three things are on my cleaning list at the bottom where I write when I last did it, and when I’ll next do it. It’s kind of a play-it-by-ear type of thing. Anything that needs done (example: the glass in our front door gets dirty easily and might get cleaned more often. This list is for the DEEP CLEAN.

I decided what to add to the dusting list by what gets dusty, and the glass list by what is made of glass. The disinfect list is what gets touched. Some of the things, like the breaker handle in the laundry room, is almost never touched. I might decide that I don’t want to clean everything on the list and I don’t beat myself up about it if I don’t. Usually I check it off anyway or draw a minus sign through it to indicate that I did not do it and do not intend to.

Lastly, I’ll say that I keep this list in a sheet protector in my main household binder (another post on that later) so I can use a dry erase marker and just erase easily when everything has been X’ed off.

Do you use lists to remember everything you have to do? Or for the satisfaction of crossing things off when you’re finished?

Keeping your online sales organized

Selling list

To keep track of what I am selling and where, I made a spreadsheet.

Column A is the list of items (bold items are general categories; each category is separated by thicker lines.)
Column B is the starting price.
Columns C-I are places I have listed for sale. The bold dates are the original posting for that item, and non-bolded dates are the most recent “bump”.
Column J is how many bumps, so I know that I’ve tried. Some communities only allow bumps every so often.
Column K: When I will next bump.
Column L will be to show what has sold and possibly when.
Column M is when I’ll give up on selling the item.
Column N is where the item will go if it does not sell by the date in column M.

This makes for an END IN SIGHT, helping me feel better about the amount of boxes and things that I need to get rid of.

August cleaning chart

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Updated cleaning chart for the month of August.

I think it’s pretty self-explanatory; I even have legend at the bottom!

I changed it so drastically because I decided I wanted to condense. There are so many things I do all at the same time, because they are near each other or involve the same cleaners. I wanted to put “vacuum” in every room because I always break that up. I do not do all the vacuuming at one time, rather, I pick up a room and then vacuum it.

I also included the monthly items in the room section where they go. It’s more likely I’ll do them on time this way than if they were separated at the bottom like before.

I’m excited about the color-coding and bold/italics to signify different things, rather than asterisks everywhere.

Also – honestly, I haven’t been keeping up with the routine cleaning as much since I’ve had the house in uproar trying to declutter. Revising the cleaning chart and changing it so significantly was inspiring!

Any questions? Ask away in the comments!