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How To Store Plastic Bags (8 Simple Tips)

assorted plastic bags in wooden table

Most American families have more plastic bags than they will ever need, thanks to countless grocery store runs. If that’s you, you likely have plastic bags stuffed in a drawer, under the sink, or in the back of a cabinet. To ease your plastic pain, below, we put together a list of eight great tips on how to store plastic bags! If your home is bursting at the seams with plastic bags and you need a solution to keep them under control, read on!

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The 8 Tips For Storing Plastic Bags

1. Use a Medium Cardboard Delivery Box

Millions of Americans buy things online, and with some of those deliveries comes a medium-sized, heavy-duty shipping box. Simply open the box’s top, take everything out, and fold the sides of the top into the box. Voila! You now have a sturdy, handy plastic bag container you can stick in the pantry, a cabinet, under the sink, or wherever you have room. You can fill the box as full as you like, and if it breaks, no big deal because it was free.

woman opening box in the kitchen
Image By: fizkes, Shutterstock

2. Use a Doubled-Up Paper Grocery Bag

If you shop where they still provide paper grocery bags, you’re in luck. Simply double one up by taking two paper grocery bags and placing one bag into the other. Carefully line them up and open the two bags fully, and you’ll have an instant, free paper container to store hundreds of plastic bags.

Even better, when the bag’s full, all you need to do is take it to the plastic bag drop-off at your local grocery store and place it inside. Then put two more paper grocery bags together and start again. It’s easy, free, good for the environment, and will keep your kitchen from becoming a plastic-bag-filled mess.

woman holding paper grocery bag
Image by: Jumpstory

3. Use a Large Coffee Can

A large coffee can is a great solution if you want easy access to plastic bags and a quick place to store them that won’t clutter your kitchen. Once the coffee’s been used up, clean the can, and you have an instant plastic bag storage container with a sealable lid. A large coffee can easily hold between 50 and 100 plastic grocery bags. Also, while not tiny, a large coffee is still pretty small and will fit on your counter or in a kitchen cabinet.

Coffee Tin
Image Credit: BeSignNet, Pixabay

4. Use a Disinfectant Wipe Dispenser Bottle

If you use disinfectant wipes to keep your home clean, you’ve seen the plastic, tube-like containers and the convenient tops that let you take out one wipe at a time. You can use the same container with plastic bags to make a convenient plastic bag dispenser that’s small, unbreakable, easy to store, and makes grabbing a single plastic bag a breeze.

One thing you should note is that to do it right and be able to dispense plastic bags from a wipe dispenser container, you have to roll the bags together. Although not difficult by any means, rolling plastic bags takes some time.

cleaning wipes
Image Credit: Wipe Dispenser Bottle, Shutterstock

5. Use an Empty Beverage Can Box

If you drink a lot of carbonated beverages in cans, you’ve encountered the unique boxes they come in. When used correctly, a beverage can box conveniently dispenses the cans for you in the refrigerator. When empty, the dispensing function makes a fantastic box to store plastic bags.

A beverage can box is small enough to put in a deep drawer or under the sink. Organization experts recommend wrapping the box with heavy-duty paper to give it extra strength and durability.

man taking out beverage from box
Image Credit: Dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock

6. Use a Baby Wipe Container

Baby wipes are a godsend if you’re the parent of a baby, toddler, or young child. The containers they come in can also be helpful when it comes to storing plastic bags. They’re durable and small enough to store anywhere. Plus, when rolled, you can disperse plastic bags one at a time. No, a baby wipe box won’t hold a huge amount of plastic bags (maybe twenty?).

baby wipes container
Image Credit: heller, Shutterstock

7. Purchase a Plastic Bag Sleeve

OK, so this is less a tip and more of a great product recommendation. For several years there have been plastic bag sleeve pouches available. These cloth bags with a cinch strap allow you to hang them conveniently on the back of a door or a hook in your pantry. If you have the time and DIY skills, you could also make a plastic bag sleeve dispenser for your plastic bags; The Scrappy Geek has them for free.

8. Use a Large, Plastic Jar

This last great tip on how to store plastic bags might be the easiest. Why plastic? Because a large glass jar is fragile and, if dropped, will smash into a million bits. A plastic jar will hold plastic bags just as well and bounce if dropped. Plus, you can store a plastic jar almost anywhere in your kitchen and have a bunch of plastic bags at the ready when you need them.

plastic jar with red cover
Image Credit: ThamKC, Shutterstock

How to Roll Grocery Bags for Storing in Containers

Today we looked at several excellent tips on storing plastic bags, some of which mention the need to roll the bags before placing them in the storage container so that you can grab one easily and quickly when needed. Below are the step-by-step instructions on how to roll plastic bags together, so they come out like baby wipes or Lysol disinfectant wipes.

  • Flatten two dozen plastic bags on a flat surface, pushing all the air out and making sure they are lined up well and neat
  • Fold the first bag in half vertically. The handles should now be lying on top of each other. Remember to press out the air again.
  • Fold another bag the same way, and place the handles overlapping on the bottom of the first bag.
  • Take the handles of bag #1 and fold them to the side so that they stick out beyond the side of the bag. They will stick out of the storage container you use as the “starter” bag.
  • Roll the bag tightly and keep rolling as you get to the 2nd bag
  • Keep rolling the bags until you reach the halfway point (roughly) of the 2nd bag.
  • Fold another bag in half, place the handles on the bottom of the bag roll, and keep going, rolling up the handles of each new bag you add to the roll.
  • Continue for as many bags as you want in your roll
  • Place the roll, Handle-side up, in your storage container.
  • Place the lid on the container and push through the handles from bag #1 to make it the starter bag.
  • Enjoy your new, free, easy-to-use plastic bag dispenser

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Final Thoughts

Plastic grocery bags can collect fast and turn your kitchen or pantry into a mess. The six great tips we’ve discussed should help you keep the clutter to a minimum and make it easy to store and reuse all those plastic bags. Every tip is easy to implement and convenient to use (although rolling plastic bags might not be everyone’s idea of a good time). We hope the tips we’ve shared today will be useful and empower you to skillfully control the weekly stream of plastic bags that flow into your home.

Featured Image Credit: Victoria 1, Shutterstock


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