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.


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.


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


Fold in half (handles together)


Roll from bottom



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!


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?

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:


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


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.


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:


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:


I also have my sporty-headbands in this drawer.

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


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.


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?

Card organization and storage

Card organization and storage

I used to collect cards. Every one I got. Before I moved a couple of years ago, I looked through those cards (and notes!) and throw most away, as well as organize them by category – birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, congratulations, prayers/good luck, etc. Each category was wrapped in a rubber band with a post-it on top saying what event it was. I stored them in this cookie tin:

I decided to go through them again recently. I’m trying to declutter and let’s be honest, there is a whole spare bedroom closet FULL of my “memories”.

So I threw away a lot of cards, but I kept some too.

Organized birthday by sender – parents, brothers, or friends. Then organized by date.

Kept some Valentines, a couple Christmas, some congrats and some prayers/encouragement. IMPORTANTLY, I did not always keep the whole card. I generally only care about what my family member or friend wrote. I didn’t have a huge problem with chopping the covers of many cards, so I did.

Also didn’t have a problem putting a couple of holes in each card and sticking them in a 3-ring binder for super-easy access to lots of reminders I am loved.

I alternated where the cards went in the binder – since many were small enough for only two holes, I put some in the top two holes and the next category in the bottom two holes, etc.


Birthday cards from parents


Christmas cards in bottom 2 holes, encouragement in top 2 holes


Even could include my favorite paper plate card from my brother when I turned 19

With some of the cards or the covers that I didn’t feel the urge to keep any longer, I chose a few to cut up (some more) and keep pieces for when I make my own cards, which I do.


I kept these intact.


These, I trimmed, or cut out the fun stuff.


Fun stuff


A bunch of “fun stuff” from only 2 cards, binder clipped together


This is my card organizer. The first half are blank note cards with my initial or something similar on the front, which I tend to use instead of stationary. I have a TON of thank-you cards (I do use them a lot.) I bought a bunch of “Just because” cards for my nieces that can read. I have a birthday card slot, and a slot for cards of every season. Christmas has its own section. The last two sections have the stuff I cut out today.

In each seasonal holiday I have a pink sticky note listing the holidays in that season (per month) that I tend to send out cards for.

DSCN0014WINTER: December (Christmas), January (New Year), February (Valentine’s Day)

SPRING: March (St. Patrick’s Day), April/May (Easter, Mother’s Day), June (Father’s Day)

SUMMER: June (above), July (Independence Day), August

FALL: September, October (Halloween), November (Thanksgiving)





Update – 7/20/13,

Cut apart some file folders that I was not going to use since I’ve switched to a binder and accordion folder system, slapped some cut-up sticky note labels on them, and now I’ve got dividers!

Comment and let me know if you are a card hoarder – or just used to be one, like me!

Next I’ll tackle the cards my husband has given me over the past 4+ years…