Challenge #17 – Bags

Pile of bags. Today you can pick one, two or all of the mini projects designed to help you organize the pileup of bags.

Today you can pick one, two or all of the mini projects designed to help you organize the pileup of bags.


Bags are a useful tool in our lives. Some are strictly functional, while others also serve a decorative purpose. Having some bags is terrific, but having too many is a common cause of clutter.

Take a look at the following list and see which kind of bags you might want to sort through and organize today. For whichever you pick, gather all like items together to a sorting surface. If you can, wipe the space clean.

A helpful tool for deciding how many bags to keep is to designate a storage area/container/shelf/cabinet where you will store bags of this type. If, after sorting, you find you’ve kept more than will fit, go back and get rid of a few more. Bags in good condition can be donated. Bags that are broken, full of holes, dirty, etc. can just be trashed.

Here are some ideas of how to store various kinds of bags:

  • Plastic Grocery Sacks – Consider using a small trash can, old tissue box or other small container in which to squish these bags. When the container is filled, recycle any additional bags that come into your home.
Storing grocery bags
  • Paper/Reusable Grocery Bags & Shopping Bags – Take one bag and use it to hold all of the others. Or hang a basket or bin on the wall or from a rack. When your container is full, recycle any incremental bags.
Paper Grocery Bag Storage
  • Bags with Handles (e.g. Canvas) –Hooks are the best way to easily store and access these bags. Any hallway can be transformed into a mudroom with hooks, as can the back of a closet door or wall of a children’s room. Pegboard can also be hung on a garage or basement wall. Always remember to install hooks into studs or to use wall anchors so they won’t tear out of drywall.
  • Lunch Bags & Boxes – If you have space, they can go into a kitchen cabinet (pull out drawers are perfect.) Or, get a large bin or basket which can hold all of them, and put it on a shelf in a closet, pantry or mudroom. Another alternative is to hang them from hooks on the back of a pantry or basement door.

Purses – The key here is to aggressively sort so you don’t have too many. This can be difficult as purses are fun, valuable and hard to give away, but remind yourself that someone else might really need one that you could donate. Small, decorative clutches can be put into a shoebox turned on its side or a file sorter that you put on a shelf. Shelf dividers are also handy for keeping purses from falling over and taking up too much space.

  • Sports Bags – Don’t let these get too far into the house as they are often dirty. Designate a space in the garage, mudroom or somewhere right inside the family entrance. Only keep “in season” bags in these prime spaces. Store the bags used for out of season activities in the garage, attic, basement or on a high shelf. Once again, since they have straps, think about where you might be able to hang them.
  • Briefcases & Computer Bags – Keep only the ones that you are currently using and fit the electronics you currently use. If you have space, designate a closet shelf. If not, you can store a bag tucked beside a file cabinet or a desk or hung on a hook. Another option is to corral all like items into a bin and store it in a central location. Remember that the bags (unlike the electronics) are not climate sensitive, so you can keep them where it works for you.
  • Luggage – If you travel frequently, keep your luggage under your bed, in a corner of the room or in a handy closet. Otherwise, luggage can be stored in the eaves of an attic, in  a basement/crawlspace, or even hung from a sturdy hook. Luggage is large and your storage options may be few, so the challenge really is to sort through and see if there are any pieces you no longer use that you can pass on.

Can’t get to all of these bags today? No problem! Choose the one you feel like tackling, and then come back to the others another time.

Which type of bag do you tend to pile up?

13 thoughts on “Challenge #17 – Bags”

  1. I did the same thing with my grocery bags a while ago. I realized I didn’t need them all. When I was finished I had enough for my groceries, and donated the rest. When I am done unloading groceries the bags go back in the trunk ready for the next time..
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    1. I do the same thing with my reusable bags.. put them right back into the back of the car so I’ll have them for next time. I also keep a few in a basket in my mudroom. I love the reusable bags because they are sturdy, nice and sure, and lightweight. I’m glad using them has become trendy:)

    1. Well, I get it. They are fun. But nobody is talking about getting rid of them “all,”… maybe just a few? And the rest in a pretty square basket? Just a thought:)

    1. The cubbies are so great, aren’t they? And its really just a shoe box turned on its side, which is easy. It’s all about structure…

    1. Donating luggage frees up sooooo much space! It is one of the most rewarding sorting projects, right? I keep a few of the reusable bags in my car for groceries, and a few in the house for daily use. I think they are a great product!

    1. Yes, I keep a few in my car and I should have mentioned that in my post. If they aren’t in the car, there is pretty much NO chance I’ll remember them:)

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