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Saving and Reusing Plastic Bags from the Perspective of a Home Organizer

Do you save bags? Most friends I know do. Many clients do. I do. But at what point does this bag collection become out of control? When you have a bag of bags, and you need to put the bag of bags into another bag of bags, and soon you have an entire cupboard filled with bags of bags, then you may have too many bags. But perhaps you need and use all these bags. You re-use them for trash can liners, soiled diapers, doggie doo pick up, or for the next shopping outing. I suggest folding them to save space. Some people (speaking for myself) differentiate between “good bags” and “not good bags” and keep a bag of bags of each type of bag, such as grocery bags, versus shopping bags.

If you have decided your bag stash has taken over and you need to get rid of some, I have found places to re-home them, such as second-hand shops or pre-school/daycare/kindergartens.

I must bring to your attention and alert you to one very important thing. I’ve had the experience when working with clients that bags were kept under the sink. Most of the time, there isn’t an issue…however… I have had to be the bearer of bad news on more than one occasion. I have had to alert the client there is dampness/moisture/mildew or a leak under their sink.

If this is the scenario, the bags are wet and/or have absorbed the mildew smell or have mildew growing on them, you MUST throw them out. I’ve also had to be the bearer of bad news to alert the client of evidence that Mickey and friends may have visited and an exterminator should be dispatched. These bags should also be trashed.

So these are my two thoughts about re-using bags. This post was inspired by a status update by a favorite thrift shop that wrote they are happy to take your bags of bags.

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I have seen that plastic grocery bags can be turned into plastic yarn (or plarn!) and used just like yarn to crochet. You can make plastic mats, bags, or other storage containers, and the crocheting process results in a surprisingly durable material. Pretty neat!


Julie Bestry
Julie Bestry
Feb 21, 2023

Excellent points! I teach a little rubric to my clients: "Plastic is a petroleum product and petroleum is made of dead dinosaurs. Don't keep dead dinosaurs under your sink." (Trust me, they laugh.) Old plastic gets sticky as it breaks down. Yuck. I've learned that the only "good" bags are Target bags. They're heavier-duty and work perfectly as small trash can liners or for carrying my "nice" shoes when I have to wear sneakers on a bad-weather day. The bags I keep live in two places, in a canvas tote hanging on my laundry closet (in my kitchen) and a smaller stash is stuffed in an empty tissue box such that you can just pull one out at a time,…


Keeping some bags with the intent of using them is always a good idea. It's when the keeping exceeds the ideas for use that it gets out of control.

I love your suggestions for rehoming bags.

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