Raise your hand if the number of leftover plastic bags is getting a bit ridiculous at your house. (We have both hands raised.) Sure, they’re great mini trash bags for the waste baskets in your bathrooms and in your kids’ rooms, but for every five bags you use, you seem to add 15 more after your weekly trip to the grocery store. If you’re too scared to open the cabinet where you’ve stashed your leftover sacks because doing so could unleash a torrent of plastic, don’t fret! There are plenty of ways to reuse plastic bags, and we’ve rounded up a few to help you declutter and de-stress.
Save sagging cushions.
Instead of tossing out your seat cushions once they’ve started to sag, simply stuff them with balled-up plastic bags. You’ll find yourself with nice, plumped-up cushions without having to spend a dime. You can also use this trick with your patio furniture. If the plastic bags get moldy or wet, all you have to do is replace them (and lord knows you have plenty of extra plastic bags just lying around). Alternatively, use your spare shopping bags to replace the stuffing in Fido’s dog bed to give him a plush pillow worthy of the goodest boy.
Stop clothes from slipping off hangers.
You know those annoying tops that don’t seem to want to stay on their hangers? Don’t waste your money on no-slip coat hangers. All you have to do is wrap your coat hangers with plastic bags so your clothes have something to grip. This craft takes some time because you need to cut the plastic bags into strips to make the wrapping process easier — but if you can rope your kids into helping you out, you’ll be done in no time.
Protect fragile items you’re shipping.
If you’re sending a batch of your famous cookies to your grandkids in another state, you’ll want that fresh-baked goodness to make it there safe and sound. Instead of paying for packing peanuts or just praying that the truck ride isn’t too bumpy, wrap your goodies with your excess shopping bags. It’s an easy way to reduce your plastic-bag surplus, and you can even throw in some old newspapers for good measure to keep your cookies intact.
Make cleaning kitty litter a breeze.
Admit it: Cleaning the litter box stinks — literally! But you can make the process as painless as possible by lining your cat’s litter box with a plastic bag beforehand. Then, when the box smells a bit ripe, you can simply toss the entire bag. If this sounds like a waste of good kitty litter, reduce the amount of litter you pour. Trust us, your nose will thank you.
Keep your car clean.
When you live with kids, messes are bound to happen. (Can you remember the last time you had a clean car?) Keeping a stash of plastic bags in your car for garbage means the kiddos can no longer “accidentally” leave their empty water bottles and fast food wrappers in the back seat. Plus, they’re also great for wrapping up your children’s dirty, smelly shoes.
Watch the video below for 10 home-cleaning hacks that will actually come in handy: