Three Tips to Help Manage Your Stash of Reusable Shopping Bags

Plus, learn how thoroughly clean and sanitize them.

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person standing with reusable green shopping bag
Photo: Getty / Alena Paulus

Using reusable shopping bags is a fantastic way to make your trip to the grocery store or pharmacy more sustainable and eco-friendly. Since many states across the country have banned plastic bags, more and more people are stocking up on reusable alternatives. But with so many different shapes and sizes of reusable bags, what's the best way to store them? Professional organizer Stefanie Jones of The Realistic Organizer prefers using clear storage bins at home to stash her reusable shopping bags. In addition to keeping all of your bags in one place, this method also helps to eliminate unnecessary clutter. "Storing bags in bins can help ensure you only keep what you have space for. If your bin starts to overflow, it's time to pare down your supply," says Jones.

How to Organize Reusable Shopping Bags at Home

For storing bags at home, Jones recommends placing them in multi-purpose bins (from $2.99, Choose a variety of sizes of bins based on how many bags you have—and the shape of the bags—for efficient storage. Jones also likes that these containers help keep the home neat and tidy. "The sides are high so it helps prevent bags from spilling out everywhere, and they're translucent, making it easy to find exactly what you're looking for," she says.

How to Organize Reusable Shopping Bags in Your Car

There's no worse feeling than arriving at the store only to realize that you've left your bags at home. To eliminate this problem, Jones recommends storing a few bags in your car as well. "That way I know I always have them when I need them," she explains. The pro also recommends folding the bags into each other in your car for compact storage.

How to Clean and Sanitize Reusable Shopping Bags

Reusable shopping bags hold everything from raw fruits and vegetables to ground beef and seafood. That means they can pick up and house a variety of different germs and bacteria. Most reusable bags can either be cleaned by wiping them down with a disinfectant wipe or machine washed. Whether hand washing or machine washing, use the hottest water possible and mild detergent or dish soap to thoroughly disinfect.

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