Today you can pick one, two or more of the mini projects, all involved with getting a handle on the pileup of bags.
Let’s recall the process we are using throughout the month:
- Gather your supplies:
- Boxes or bags labeled with:
- Trash can/recycle bin
- Damp rag/wet wipe
- Boxes or bags labeled with:
- Empty challenge area for the day. And by empty, I mean EMPTY.
- Once the area is empty, wipe it clean with a damp rag.
- Now sort the items into these categories: (The Seana Method’s R.E.D.D.S. system)
- R- “Restore”: items to go back in
- E- “Elsewhere: items to keep, but which don’t belong in this space
- D- “Donate”
- D- “Dispose”: trash or recycle
- S- “Store”: items to keep for sentimental reasons, or perhaps for a long-term future use, but which are not regularly used. (These items will eventually need to go into a bin/box in an attic, basement, or closet.)
- As you are sorting, put items into the boxes/bags you prepared.
- Once you are finished sorting, put the “Restore” items back into your designated area.
- Carry the “Elsewhere” box/bag around your house and redistribute its contents.
- Move the “Donate” box/bag to the car to be donated.
- Trash/recycle the “Dispose” items
- Put the "Store" box aside for now. When the month is over, these items will be packaged for long-term storage.
Bags are a useful tool in our lives. Some are strictly functional, while others also serve a decorative purpose. Having some bags is terrific, but having too many is a common cause of clutter.
Take a look at the following list and see which kind of bags you might want to sort through and organize today. For whichever you pick, gather all like items together to a sorting surface and decide what to keep and what to give away. The key for ALL of them is to designate a storage area/container/shelf/cabinet where you will store bags of this type. Once you fill that space, you CANNOT keep any more. If you have set aside more to keep than fit in your predetermined space, you must begin again with the sorting process until you have a quantity you can comfortably accommodate. For each type of bag below you will find some ideas for how to store them in your space.
Plastic Grocery Sacks – Consider using a small trash can, old tissue box or other small container in which to squish these bags. When the container is filled, recycle any additional bags that come into your home.
Paper Grocery Bags & Shopping Bags – Take one bag and use it to hold all of the others. When the outer bag is full, don’t keep anymore. Store under a sink, on a pantry floor or in the bottom of a closet.
Bags with Handles (e.g. Canvas) –Hooks are the best way to easily store and access these bags. Any hallway can be transformed into a mudroom with hooks, as can the back of a closet door or wall of a children’s room. Pegboard can also be hung on a garage or basement wall from which large hooks can be easily hung.
Lunch Bags & Boxes – If you have space, they can go into a kitchen cabinet (pull out drawers are perfect.) Or, get a large bin or basket which can hold all of them, and put it on a shelf in a closet, pantry or mudroom. Another alternative is to hang them from hooks on the back of a pantry or basement door
Purses – The key here is to aggressively sort so you don’t have too many. This can be difficult as purses are fun, valuable and hard to give away, but remind yourself that someone else might really need one that you could donate. Consider nesting small, decorative clutches into a larger bag. Line them up on a closet shelf. If your shelves are very long, use a bin, basket or shelf divider to keep them from falling over and taking up too much space.
Sports Bags – Don’t let these get too far into the house as they are often dirty. Designate a space in the garage, mudroom or somewhere right inside the family entrance. Only keep “in season” bags in these prime spaces. Store the bags used for out of season activities in the garage, attic, basement or on a high shelf. Once again, since they have straps, think about where you might be able to hang them.
Briefcases & Computer Bags – Try to keep only the ones that you are currently using and that fit the electronics you have. If you have space, designate a closet shelf. If not, use a bin or basket to hold them and store it on the floor of a home office, coat closet or mudroom. Remember that the bags (unlike the electronics) are not climate sensitive, so you can keep them where it works for you.
Luggage – If you travel frequently, keep your luggage under your bed, in a corner of the room or in a handy closet. Otherwise, luggage can be stored in an attic or basement. The job here really is to sort through and see if there are any pieces you no longer use that you can pass on.
Can’t get to all of these bags today? No problem! Choose the one you feel like tackling, and then come back to the others this weekend, or another time that works for you. One more day this week and then you can rest!
Submitted by Seana Turner, founder and President of The Seana Method