DIY Plastic Bag Dispenser - The Surznick Common Room

Sunday, February 2, 2014

DIY Plastic Bag Dispenser

Raise your hand if somewhere in your home you have a plastic bag full of other plastic bags... I'm going to assume you're all raising your hand because really, who doesn't? Nick and I had a pretty monstrous stash of plastic bags underneath our kitchen sink that made it difficult to reach anything else under the sink. One day I got so fed up that I was like, "Whatever, I'm making a plastic bag dispenser!"

I had pinned a tutorial on how to make a dispenser out of a Clorox wipes container (pretty smart, huh?), so I decided that was going to be my plan. At my previous job there were always Clorox wipes available for cleaning our desks, so I grabbed an empty container out of the recycling bin for this project. Score!

Here's what you do!
- Flatten your plastic bags as much as you possibly can. Try to get all of the air out. Fold the bag in half lengthwise, smoothing it out again. It's helpful to get quite a few bags flattened and ready at once so they're easy to grab.
- For your first bag, turn the handles 90 degrees so that they are sticking out perpendicular from your bag. Then roll your bag as tightly as you can from top to bottom, leaving the handle stick out.

- When your bag has about 3-4 inches left to be rolled, overlap the handles of your next bag with the bottom of your previous bag. Continue rolling. This links the bags together so that when you pull one out of your dispenser, the handles of the next bag will come up.

- Here's a tip... it's a little difficult to get ALL of the air out of your bags, but they won't roll together as well if you have big bubbles of air stuck at the bottom. If my bag has too much air at the bottom, I put a little pin prick in it to let the air out. This works okay for us, as we don't use plastic bags for liquid or anything that we're concerned will fall out through a tiny pin hole.

- Continue rolling your bags together until you've run out of bags or until your roll almost won't fit into your container anymore. Then put the roll in the container and feed the handles of your first bag through the hole in the top. That's it! Our container holds about 40 bags!

This is one of the best organization projects I've ever done. It's so handy and has made our under-the-sink situation so much cleaner. I decided to use a paint pen to make pretty-up our container a little, but of course this is optional!

By the way, I just searched "plastic bag dispenser" on Pinterest and there are actually a LOT of ways you can organize your plastic bags... coffee cans, tissue boxes, soda bottles, etc. So if our method isn't right for you, there are plenty of other options out there!

Nick and I try to not bring home plastic bags, but we're only human and sometimes we forget to take the reusable grocery bags to the store. When this happens and we accumulate more plastic bags, I usually wait until we have 10 or so and then I just add them to the roll in our container. Easy peasy.

Do you have any other great home organization tips? Please share! I'm a Virgo, so organization is my middle name.

Sarah & Nick


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