Weed out shopping bags.

You probably have at least a few shopping bags in your house–the plastic ones you get from Walmart or Food Lion or Michaels or Hobby Lobby or A.C. Moore or Marshalls. I try to use reusable shopping bags when I go to the commissary, but I always forget when I go to a non-food store or when I run by for a quick gallon of milk to grab a reusable shopping bag or use the folded ones in my purse.  So I have a few of them.  And you may have a lot of them if you don’t use reusable shopping bags.  (I would encourage you to use reusable ones for a host of reasons, but I do always say “you do you.”  For example, when my daughter was wearing disposable diapers, I used them to wrap her dirty diapers, so I know some people really do use them.)

Even if you use them, I would suggest that you weed them out if you have a lot of them.  My mom had probably hundreds at one time a few years back.  I had a lot of them last year when I first cleaned them out in September.  They had been multiplying in the four months since then, so I just cleaned them out again and recycled them.  And that’s what I would recommend doing with the ones you want to discard:  Recycle them at your local store.  Many (most?) stores have a box at the entrance/exit for these.  Please recycle them.

While you’re working on this task, consider today how you store these.  My mom stores them in a cabinet where she holds her rarely-used appliances.  It works for her.  I have a lot of kitchen items that are regularly in use, and I have no space for bags in my cabinets.  I have a cute basket I bought at HomeGoods for this purpose and store the basket in my linen closet.  You can make one from a coffee can or a Pringles can or even a two liter bottle.  (I’ve done both and did not like either option. I also made one from a tissue box, but I didn’t like that option either.  Those options may work for you, however.)  You can buy a handmade cloth one on Etsy.  Or you can sew or crochet one yourself.  Find the best solution for your household.  The basket is the perfect solution for me because my preschooler has no problem reaching in the basket and grabbing one when I ask her to, and my husband can find them easily when he needs one.

If you need some ideas for storing your shopping bags, visit my Pinterest board Shopping bag storage.

If you have disposable brown paper shopping bags, sort through those, too.  Recycle the ones you wish to dispose of.  I find these easy to store between my toilet tissue basket and the wall in my linen closet, and I use them frequently to empty my shredder.

Time required:  I spent an hour last year on this task, but I just recycled some more, and sorting through the new ones I had acquired required less than 5 minutes.

Final note:  Maybe you’re still downloading statements.  I’m still downloading statements.  No, really.  I had done this last year before a drive failed.  (More on that and how to back up appropriately later.)  And now I’m doing it all over again.  At any rate, I’m still giving you simple tasks until I we finish downloading statements.  And I’m also fulfilling the need some of you have to dispose of things and truly declutter your house.  (And since I’m (re)working a lot of these tasks with you and since I have family coming to visit in three weeks, this particular task and a few of the ones coming up in the next week or so will be to clean out my linen closet that has become cluttered again by various family members paying less-than-desired attention to the labels on my baskets. 🙂 )

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