5 Creative Ways To Store Your Reusable Shopping Bags

Do you often neglect to grab your reusable shopping bags on your way out the door? Whether you use them, collect them, or maybe even forget them, storing your bags can feel disorderly and overwhelming. 

First established in the early 20th century by grocer Walter H. Deubner (per Impak Retail), reusable shopping bags are a fresh way to promote products and brands while making groceries easier to transport home. While disposable options reigned for a time, reusable shopping totes came back in the early 2000s as both a fashionable and eco-friendly choice, per Factory Direct Promos. However, storing them can be discouraging with their awkward, bulky size and thin, slippery fabric.

So, how should you store your reusable shopping bags? Keep them together. Whether you place them in the pantry, kitchen, car, or garage, there are several simple and inventive approaches to storing your bags so that you can access them when you need them most. From folding to filing, dividers and bins, you might be surprised how simple it is to keep organized.

Fit your collection within another bag

Does your reusable shopping bag often fall after you place it on a hook or shelf? Many eco-friendly cloth bags have a slippery, thin surface, possibly made of plastic like polypropylene (PP) which makes them a chore to store. Other materials might include paper, cotton, hemp, or some other biodegradable plastic via Ethique. Whatever type of material you prefer, the overall size and fold of the bags can be tricky to hang.

A simple approach is to flatten and smooth out each bag by folding them into their already established creases. Then, stack them on top of each other, fold over the entire group, and place the bags inside a large bag. From here, you might hang the collection on a sturdy hook with plenty of space. Another easy access spot to consider might be in your garage or car. If your pantry or a closet is near the back door, make space for your reusable bags there.

Fold and tuck them into a storage bin

Just as you regularly fold your clothes, towels, and bedding, you can also fold and store your shopping bags. This makes grabbing them on the go a much more convenient process while using less space (via Organizing Is My Happy). Additionally, storing them all in one place will save you time searching for whichever one you need. 

Use a sturdy woven basket or plastic bin that's tailor-made to suit your style and the location it'll be stored. Using a storage bin with a pull handle may be a convenient choice so that you can easily retrieve bags when needed. This type of container can be placed wherever you need easy access to it, such as in the kitchen or in an easily accessible drawer.

Start with a flattened bag and fold it over a few times from the bottom while keeping the handles out. Then, bring the handles down to rest through the middle of the bag and fold the material over one more time. From here, you can place the bag inside the small container with the others. Continue to fold bags, and fill up the bin until finished.

Organize bags with a desk organizer

Commonly used to organize files, folders, or magazines, but also kitchen items like cutting boards (per Cooktop Cove), a wire, plastic, or cardboard desk divider might be just what you need to keep your reusable totes in line. Utilizing a metal wire divider or sorter will assure a durable place to store them while also keeping them separated. 

Determine which size divider you require by rounding up and counting all of the reusable bags in your house. While many organizers offer approximately 8 to 11 spaces, you can double or triple some of the bags up within one space depending on the width and height of the divider's gaps.

Smooth and flatten out each bag, then securely fold them in half or in thirds while tucking the handles down. Then, finish by placing them upright in their designated slot. If you have a variety of colors or sizes, you might arrange them by these categories for a simple approach. Also, since the organizer is portable, you can easily relocate it when needed.

Fold reusable bags into triangular bundles

There are other creative ways to bend and crease your shopping bags other than the traditional fold-over technique. If you're shopping around for a new technique, give the triangular bundle method a try. Ultimately forming a tiny football-like shape, this style is possible on cloth and plastic totes and significantly saves space with its petite shape. You can situate the small bundles snugly in a stylish storage basket, drawer, or bin at home, or stuff some inside a handbag when out running errands.

Flatten out your bag while pressing upward from the bottom to release unwanted air. Fold the bag over halfway, then over again. According to Winnie Y, be sure to continue to smooth out the bag from the lower end to eliminate air that can get trapped from the top area, which will make it harder to fold. Next, tightly fold up one corner and keep going, ascending in a tri-fold format. When you've reached the end, you can tuck in the remaining material or handles inside an opening within the triangle.

Use wall-mounted organizers

Wall-mounted pocket organizers or bins are a great way to utilize space above the floor or to simply implement added storage space. There are several types of wall-mounted bins to choose from such as tiered organizers, wall-hanging cloth bags, cabinet door racks, and wire baskets, like this sizeable storage rack from Wayfair

Although the image above shows a woven wall-hanging organizer in a bathroom, you might utilize the same kind of structure or material for your shopping bags. Depending on the size of your organizer's opening, you can either fold them over once or twice while fitting them together, or pile them together neatly. 

Consider placing other go-to items within your organizers like trash bags or canned goods. You might also want to install your baskets on the inside of a door or the wall of your pantry or closet so you can pull one out for quick use. If grabbing a reusable bag beside the door suits your routine better, designate a space on the wall within your garage or mudroom.