If you've got a large excess of plastic and shopping bags accumulating in your home, here are 11 uses for plastic bags that will help you use some of them up.
If you come home from the grocery store or other shopping trips with plastic bags, after you unload your groceries or other purchases you may wonder what to do with them.
While any large excess of ones you receive should be recycled (you can read the Declutter 365 mission for this task at the link) there are lots of reasons to keep at least some of these plastic shopping bags around your home, because they've got lots of household uses.
Here is a list of 11 uses for plastic bags around your home to give you ideas of how to repurpose these item, so they're not just clutter accumulating in your home:
Every bathroom and many bedrooms will have a small trash can that needs a liner. Instead of buying special smaller liners, stick with using these plastic bags in those small trash cans.
They are just the right size, and super easy to grab when the trash can is full to empty. The handles make it even easier to tie them off and put in the outside garbage bin.
With kids around these make the ideal car garbage bag, since you can fill them and just throw them away afterward.
They also come in handy if someone has an accident, or even when a child gets car sick.
One idea is to hold some of these extra plastic bags in an old repurposed baby wipes container. You can check out this and lots of other repurposed plastic bag holder ideas here.
When you empty your purse to switch to carrying a new one have you noticed it kind of deflates and loses its shape while in storage? The same thing can happen to shoes, especially tall boots.
You can stuff clean plastic bags into your purse or shoes to help them retain their normal shape while in storage.
(Here are more handbag and purse storage ideas you can use as well.)
Plastic bags are very helpful when packing your bag when traveling.
First, you can place your shoes in a bag so they don't get your clothes dirty.
In addition, throw a couple extra bags in there. You can use them while on your trip to hold wet items, like swimsuits, or to separate dirty clothes from the clean ones in your suitcase.
I think we all remember Rachael Ray and her "garbage bowl" which is the bowl she used while working in the kitchen to place scraps and trash until she was done to quicken kitchen clean up.
You can add a plastic bag to line your bowl, or just use the plastic bag without the bowl, to place food peels, scraps and packaging while cooking and then throw it all away when you're done. It will save you some trips to the trash can, and also keep your kitchen counter work space a bit clearer.
If you'd like to make it easier to keep your bag open as you work, or to collect more stuff in the kitchen or bathroom using one of thes bags, you can use this over the cabinet plastic bag holder rack. (referral link).
When you move you always seem to need more packing material to cushion fragile items. Plastic bags are perfect for this task.
You can place items inside the plastic bag and wrap them up, or stuff them between larger items so they don't jostle and bump each other in transit.
You can even use these bags to separate plates and saucers. They offer some support and are a very inexpensive way to protect your household products.
If you take your dog out for a walk grab a few plastic bags and stuff them into your pocket to safely and easily pick up your dog's mess.
The trick is to double bag, grab the dog's waste and then turn the bag inside, bagging the waste without you ever actually touching it.
(Get more ideas for organzing pet supplies here.)
When you declutter or decide to clean out your house and have a garage or yard sale you can let your customers take some plastic bags.
They will appreciate something to carry their purchases home in, plus toward the end of the day when you want to move merchandise you can have deals like, "everything you can fit in the bag for $3" or something similar, to get the stuff out of your home.
If you are using disposable diapers or even cloth diapers, a plastic bag is a great resource. For disposables these plastic bags are a great way to tie off those dirty diapers to take out to the garbage bin, or to mask some odor in your main indoor garbage bin before you take the trash out.
For cloth diapers the bags make an excellent wet bag for when you are out and about and need to change your baby or toddler's diaper.
Keep some in your diaper bag as well, you never know when you'll need them for throwing away a dirty diaper, or to hold other messy items from your child.
One idea quite a few readers have shared with me, for repurposing plastic bags, is to use them to make plastic yarn that you can then use to crochet items, like sleeping mats or more sturdy bags.
If you're interested in learning how to do this, check out how to instructions on sites like YouTube.
Here are photos sent in by a couple of readers, the top photo from Sherron, and the bottom from Angela, of what they've crocheted using their old plastic bags.
They are also the perfect way to transport items you are donating or throwing away.
Get lots of ideas for simple decluttering missions you can do here.
There are tons of great ways to use leftover plastic bags around your home, and this list is a great place to start! I'd love to hear your ideas as well, so tell me below in the comments.
Here are related articles you may enjoy. First, if you've got too many plastic bags, even to repurpose, check out these tips for how to recycle and declutter plastic bags.
Further, if you want ideas for how to hold the plastic bags you're keeping, so that you can use them later, get ideas for how to make your own plastic bag holder using repurposed items around your home.
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!