August 8, 2015

Organizing Recyclable Plastic Bags

Recyclable plastic bags don’t always get reused right away, so they accumulate in the dark recesses of your kitchen cabinets. And when it’s time to reuse, you “ukay-ukay” (dig) into them frantically looking for the right size bag for your purpose. It’s like stashing your underwear in your drawer without folding and then rummaging through everything looking for that particular piece you want to wear. No offense to folks who choose this kind of excitement but, to me, it’s an inconvenience (yes, I fold underwear).   

This was my stash of recyclable plastic bags before I found a way to organize them:

Stash of recyclable plastic bags.

I figured that all I needed was some simple manner to quickly identify the bags, keep the same sizes together, and make them quickly accessible for reuse. So, let’s see what we have around the house. Aha! A stash of empty tissue paper boxes. (Hah, I bet you were sure I had those piled somewhere.)
Empty tissue boxes for repurposing.

Now to put up a grid to identify the bags. I’ll need a piece of paper as large as the largest recyclable bag I have in the stash (could’ve recycled a brown paper bag but I had just cut up the biggest one in my pile into a costume pattern). I sorted the bags according to size (I was surprised there were only five universal sizes) and drew the measurements onto the paper to serve as a handy guide. Then I taped the paper to the inner side of the cabinet door.

Grid of plastic bag sizes.

I labeled five tissue boxes accordingly, and slipped the bags into their respective storage containers. And there they are!

Organized recyclable plastic bags.

Organized recyclable plastic bags.

Now it’s a snap to put away the bags and pull out the right-sized bag for the purpose. No more unsightly stashing, fumbling, and rummaging. Recyclable bags organized. Just like my underwear.  

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