How to Organize Reusable Shopping Bags | Stop the Bag Pile-Up!

How to Organize Reusable Shopping Bags | Stop the Bag Pile-Up!

We all know reusable grocery bags are better for the environment than plastic, and although we're committed to the cause many of us still struggle with storing and how to organize our reusable shopping bags. But let's be honest, that tangled mess in your pantry can be frustrating! Fear not, fellow eco warriors, I've been there too and with a little planning, I know that your grocery bags can become an organized bunch.

How to Organize Reusable Shopping Bags?

Step 1: Bag Boot Camp

Before you tackle the storage, sort through your bags. Toss any that are ripped or stained beyond repair. Be honest, are there any you never use? Put them to good use by donating them to a local charity or shelter!

Step 2: Folding Frenzy

Now for the fun part – taming the wild bags! Here are two easy folding methods that work great with our collection of canvas grocery bags:

  • The File Folder, how to Organize Reusable Shopping Bags. Lay your bag flat. Fold the sides inwards, meeting in the middle. Then, fold the bottom third up towards the top. Finally, fold the top third down to meet the bottom. This also creates a neat rectangle, perfect for stacking in a basket.
  • The Roll-Up: Lay your bag flat. Starting from the bottom, tightly roll the bag up towards the handles. Tuck the handles inside the roll for a compact shape.
    shopping bag storage


Step 3: How to store reusable grocery bags in your kitchen if you don't have a panty

Now that your bags are folded like champs, it's time to find them a home in your kitchen! Here are some tips on how to organise your reusable shopping bags:

  • The Magazine file Holder: Lets face it we all don't have huge kitchens and we have to come up with creative storage. My favorite in cabinet storage for my bags includes the use of magazine file holders. I've found that simply folding he bags neatly and keeping a few of these in the bottom cabinet next to my sink works well to help keep me organized.
  • The Bag Hanging Hook: Have some spare hooks near your front door? This is a great place to add that quick grab bag. Be careful though I've found that adding too many bags there leaves my kitchen a bit cluttered.
  • The Bag Drawer: While I've tried storing my bags in a drawer, can't recommend it. I found it difficult to get them out and it simply took away too much needed storage space which I would much prefer to keep for storing the loads of kitchen gadgets that I own.
  • The bag in a bag storage: Got a giant, sturdy bag you never use? Designate it as the "holder of all bags." Also, fold or roll your other bags and stash them inside this mega bag. This option has worked ok but is still is not ideal as I found myself frustrated as I dug into the big bag trying to find special items.
  • Bonus Tip: Car Clip: When storing reusable shopping bags Keep a designated bag in your car for those unexpected grocery store stops. This way, you'll also s never be caught without a reusable option!

How to Organize and Store Reusable Shopping Bags?

How to Organize Reusable Shopping Bags: Easy Ways to Store Your Bags

I love knowing that I'm helping to do good for the planet when I use my reusable shopping, but that tangled mess in the pantry can be frustrating! Here's how to wrangle your reusable bag herd and keep them neat and tidy.

Step 1: How to Organize Reusable Shopping Bags: Decluttering

First things first, when we look at how to store reusable grocery bags we must admit that not all reusable bags deserve a place in your life. Be honest! Some are old, worn, stained and just too plain for me to use them.  I tend to go with the pretty bags more often. I add not so pretty bags to the items to be donated and I usually just keep my champion team of reusable bags!


Step 2: How to Organize Reusable Shopping Bags: Folding Frenzy

Folding is key to keeping my bags from becoming a monstrous pile in the panty. Here's a simple method:

  1. Lay the bag flat.
  2. Tuck the straps inside the bag. (this helps)
  3. Fold the bag in thirds from the top down.
  4. Fold it in thirds again (like a business letter).
  5. Tuck the open end under the folded part to keep it closed.

How to Organize Reusable Shopping Bags DIY

Pretty Baskets:

      A basket or bin is a classic choice. I tried using a rectangular one and folding my bags like clothes in a drawer.  I've found this method though neat and well organized can be a pain if the basket isn't wide enough.  A narrow basket will require you to disturb items that you don't need and cause unnecessary work to keep the basket looking neat. I really didn't need the extra work and I'm sure you don't either.

      Dangle on the Door:

          Got a spare hook on the back of your pantry door? Hang a few bags there for easy grabbing.  I have to admit that this is my favorite bag storage method.  My bags are kept out of sight in the panty but easily accessible on the inside of the door.

          Car Trunk:

              If I'm honest I usually keep a few bags somewhat 😏neatly tucked in the back of the car.  It always helps when I need to stop by the store to grab a few items on my way home.  For this type of storage I create a bag of bags and it isn't too messy because I usually keep only about three bags.

              Repurpose Reuse:

                  Repurpose an old container or box! Just make sure it's big enough to hold your folded bags. The material of the box should also be smooth so that the bags don't get snagged.

                  Create a bag of bags:

                      This is a popular choice I have to admit that I've found it frustrating when there are too many bags.  This method has worked well for me with plastics that are thin but is messy at best with canvas bags.  I've used it for about 3 or 4 bags in the car but has not worked for me in storing all of my bag, I have about 12 bags total.

                      Hang bags near the entry way: 

                          I usually hang one bag next to the kitchen door so that I can grab it easily on the way out, of course one of the pretty ones.😎

                          Contain Bags in a File Box:

                              The file box works well for long term storage but I prefer to be able to grab and go.  I tried this method but then realized how much I enjoyed simply looking at ally my pretty bags.  Also I prefer to use canvas bags and I like allowing the fabric to breathe and air out when I'm not using them


                              A magazine file is a great way to store reusable grocery bags in the kitchen cabinet

                              How do you use reusable bags effectively?

                              Over my years of using reusable bags I've found a few tips that have helped to keep both me and my bags happy.  I hope they will help you too.

                               Assign different bags for different jobs! Use a sturdy bag for heavy items like cans or laundry detergent, and a lighter bag for fruits and veggies. I rest easier knowing that my fruit and veggies bag does not come in contact with the bag used to carry seafood.  

                              Produce Powerhouses: Pack your own reusable produce bags for fruits and veggies. This keeps them fresh and reduces plastic use at the store. This step I have to admit is even difficult for me but I work hard to mastering the use of reusable produce bags and you can master it also.

                              The Big Chill: Investing in an insulated bag is perfect for keeping frozen groceries cold on the way home.  My insulated bags help to keep my meats and fish fresh as I make a few stops on my way home from the store.

                              How to Organize Reusable Shopping Bags

                              Taking care of your crew

                              Wash Day: Just like clothes, reusable bags need a wash occasionally. Check the care instructions on the bag and toss them in the washing machine to keep them clean and fresh.  I usually hand wash some of my favorite bags to help keep them in good shape

                              Spot Check: After each use, take a quick look inside your bag. Did anything leak or spill? Address any messes right away to avoid stains and to also avoid unpleasant smells.  

                               Moreover, with a little planning and these simple tricks, you can easily learn how to Organize Reusable Shopping Bags so that they can be a source of pride, not a cluttered eyesore. So go forth, conquer your reusable bag mountain, and continue to be a champion for the planet!  We need you!

                              The more you practice folding and storing your bags in your storage spot, the process on how to organize your reusable shopping bags becomes easier. Soon, that reusable bag pile-up will be a thing of the past, and you'll also be a pro at grabbing your bags on the go! Visit our Pinterest page for great ideas on how to keep your bags in tip top shape.

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