Pinspiration: DIY Plastic Bag Organization

Oh hey. I’m Kate. You may know me from my blog thetwentysixthyear or more specifically as one of Megan’s best friends: proof of friendship. I am honored to be guest blogging today and thought I should kick off with a fun fact:

I love cleaning and organizing.

Rewind. Yes, it’s true. I actually enjoy cleaning and organizing. I find it cathartic.

What do I love more than cleaning? Travel. In fact, how awesome would it be to be traveling the Irish countryside right now??! But since we couldn’t fit into Megan’s suitcase, we’ll stick to organizing.

Have you ever found yourself in this situation:

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Too many bags. Piling up in the cupboard. So annoying.

However, they can be useful – packing lunches, trashcan liners, etc.

The solution? Storing for reuse!!


  • Plastic bags
  • Clear packing tape

Step 1: Flatten out bags, removing all air.

Step 2: Fold bags in half and line bags up so handles overlap the previous bag.

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Step 3: Fold the handle of the first bag (furthest to the left). This will be your center bag – the first bag you’ll pull out.

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Step 4: Tightly roll the bags tucking in the handles of the next bag as you roll.

Step 5: Once you’ve rolled up the final bag, I used clear packing tape around the outside of the final bag which created it’s own canister.

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VOILA!! Organization and peace of mind.

Another option? Tatortots & Jello used an old Lysol wipes container instead of packing tape (how clever!).  What organization tricks do you have up your sleeve?

**Idea courtesy of Tatortots & Jello**



Images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Cabinet Chaos

Apartment living in Chicago provides plenty of positives:  zero yard work, snow removal, garbage shoots, free maintenance staff at all hours, and no property taxes.  However, cabinet space is definitely not one of the amenities you will hear many Chicago renters praise.  Most of us are terrified of opening at least one cabinet in our kitchen in fear of the avalanche of pots, pans, food, or supplies ready to spill out and potentially break a toe.  The black hole of cabinets in my kitchen just happens to be one of the most used:  the pantry/baking/spices cabinet.  To retrieve the flour, I must first get out the step stool then remove the powdered sugar, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder from in front as well as the sprinkles and cupcake liners stuffed on top.  The pure thought of this task gives me the shivers and makes me exhausted.  Here is what the cabinet located above our fridge looked like after finally reaching the flour:

Completely nonfunctional.  Enough was finally enough.  Deciding to take fifteen minutes from my busy Saturday to regain my sanity was one of the best decisions I ever made, well in terms of organization and time management anyways.  First I removed every single item, wiped the cabinet clean, and took inventory combining half used bags/bottles and tossing unnecessary or expired spices.  Second, I prioritized each item based off of useability, flour was honored a rating of 1 whereas seasoned bread crumbs received a low five.  Third, I began placing items back in the cabinet beginning with the larger containers containing flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt followed by placing spices on a cabinet organizer from Crate & Barrel (these turntables would be great also) and finishing with the cooking and baking spray and the vegetable and olive oil.  What a difference, right?

Wondering where those poorly ranked and extra ingredients went?  After also purging organizing our pantry, the very top unreachable shelf became available and the new home of these rejected ingredients including recipe books, leftover oatmeal from these cookies, extra vegetable oil and salt, a baggie of decorating supplies, cornstarch, cake flour, bread crumbs, cocoa, sauces, and jello.

The moral of this story post?  If a space in your home whether it be in the kitchen, closet, or bedroom is driving you to drink, simply take fifteen minutes to remove, reduce, and reorganize.  I promise it will be the most worthwhile fifteen minutes.

On the Ledge

Cluttered with camera cords, pictures, a dry erase board, lamp, papers, and random knickknacks, the desk in our office space was no longer a place to calmly collect our thoughts.  Hanging a three-foot long picture ledge from West Elm (here) slightly lower than the top of the computer screen allotted a new space to display our turquoise fish and my framed second grade drawing of the city, gifted to me by my parents this past Christmas, without occupying valuable desktop space.  Placing a simple storage cube (here) upside down underneath the desk provided a new sturdy home for our printer freeing up additional space above without being inaccessible.


West Elm Wall Shelf {West Elm Picture Ledge}

Tip for clean up{Tape a plastic bag underneath the hole you are drilling to minimize your clean up}

Office Space To Do:

–  Remove the printer from on top of the desk
–  Add a picture ledge
–  Add another picture to the wall shelf
–  Add artwork around the computer
–  Update the lamp
–  Add boxes/tray/storage to hold office necessities (post-its, pens, mags, etc)
–  Trash the Fifth Third Bank mouse pad for something more colorful
–  Dye or stencil the computer chair cover
–  Add some height and dimension to the desk
–  Add at least one live plant

Pinterest: Corkboard

Between the shower, wedding and party invites, tickets, recipes torn from magazines, and coupons, we get an ugly mess of a pile going on in our kitchen and on the refrigerator.  In an attempt to declutter, I purchased a $7.00 pack of four cork tiles with adhesive squares included to attach to the back of the pantry door and brightly patterned homemade button push-pins to hold everything in place.  In five minutes and for under ten bucks, I created a designated hiding place for all my cooking inspiration, coupons and the event reminders we are looking forward to in the next couple months.

{Quartet Cork Tiles Purchased from CVS Pharmacy for $7}

{Apply the supplied stickies on the back of the corkboard}

{Making sure it is straightly aligned, attach to the surface}

{Handmade Push Pin Buttons from}

{The Finished Project}