How to Store Reusable Bags: 4 Clever Tips

Reusable shopping bags on a kitchen island

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Reusable bags have become the norm for grocery shopping: they're practical, sturdy, and eco-conscious. Unfortunately, many of us forget about our stash of bags until we're standing in line at the register.

What we need is a storage method that makes reusable bags easy to grab and go. The following method outlines the simplest and most effective way to store reusable bags, so you'll remember your collection every time you go grocery shopping and will never have to purchase a flimsy paper or plastic alternative again.

How to Store Reusable Bags

The best method for storing reusable bags is one that meets a few necessary qualifications.

First of all, it's important to use a method that works for all types of bags. Canvas totes, cooler bags, and other reusable shopping bags. Additionally, a storage solution should make it easy to shuttle bags from the kitchen to the car. Fortunately, the method outlined below takes each of these concerns into consideration.

The best way to store your reusable bags is to fold your bags and arrange them in a storage bin or basket.

Declutter Your Reusable Bag Collection

Reusable grocery tote bags

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Start by sifting through your bags and tossing the ones you don't use, or even the ones you don't like. Perhaps you have a cooler bag that doesn't seal properly. Maybe you have a tote bag with a handle that is hanging on by a thread. Evaluate each bag in your collection and keep those you know you'll use.

Fold Your Bags

Next, you want to fold each of your reusable bags. For most reusable bags, you can simply follow the natural creases in the bag and fold it accordingly (be sure to finish by tucking the handles inside the bag or wrapping them around it). However, if you have some canvas bags that are less sturdy, use the following method:

  • Fold your bag from the bottom to the top in thirds, as you would an envelope.
  • Fold the left side over towards the middle, then the ride side over the top.
  • Wrap the handle around the bag to secure it and make sure it stays closed.


If you'd like to store a few basic plastic bags with your reusable bags, use the triangle method. Fold your plastic bag lengthwise (like a hot dog) twice. Then, fold one bottom corner up and over the base of your bag to create a triangle (the bottom edge of the bag will align with the side of the bag). Continue folding upward (towards the left side then back over to the right side) until you reach the top. Tuck the leftover plastic (the tip of the handles) inside the triangle to finish it off.

Arrange Bags in a Bin or Basket

To finish organizing your collection, you need a storage big that you can easily move to and from your kitchen and/or garage and the car. Select a rectangular bin or basket, then arrange your bags vertically, so you can see the spines of all your bags (think about the way Marie Kondo folds and arranges clothes in a drawer). You can also insert an organizer, like a magazine file rack or a pot lid organizer, to keep your bags upright and easy to grab.


If you don't love this storage method, an easy alternative is to stash all your grocery bags within one grocery bag. Since cooler bags are more difficult to fold, for instance, you can store your reusable bag collection within one of your cooler bags.

Choose Two Homes for Your Bags

Women placing reusable grocery bags in car

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Lastly, you want to select a designated spot for your bin or basket in both your car and your home. You can set your storage container on the floor in front of or behind your passenger seat so it's easy to reach over and grab a few. Or, if you often drive with others, keep your container in the trunk.

Inside your home, an ideal location would be a cabinet or a shelf in the pantry or garage. If you consistently forget your bags, be sure to choose a location that helps you remember. For instance, keep your reusable bags near your car keys so you see the collection on your way out the door.