Upcycling: What to do with Old Reusable Bags

At one time, I’m sure you thought you needed that new cotton tote bag, but after only a few uses, you probably tossed in the back of the closet with the rest of the reusable bags. Now you’re left with several reusable bags that you don’t know what to do with them.

Before you toss those tote bags in the trash, consider the following upcycling tips to breathe new life into those old reusable bags.

tote bags


Storage for Out-of-Season Items

Reusable bags are great for storing out-of-season items. Even a small-sized tote can store small summer toys, while larger bags work well for bathing suits, swim trunks and beach towels. Once filled the bags can be hung from hooks in the attic or neatly stacked in the back of the closet.

Hobby and Craft Items

Reusable bags are a great way to sort and store your hobby and craft items. For example, instead of having your many balls of yarn laying all over your craft table, keep them in an old tote bag. If possible, use a separate bag for each type of item. This will let you organize better and make it easier for you to find the item you’re looking for.

Washable Trashcan Liner

Old canvas tote bags can act as a reusable trashcan liner. Keep in mind, however, that the liners should only be used in dry trashcans, such as in an office. Placing wet or liquid items in the canvas lined trashcan can stain the material and cause a mess in the trashcan.

Auto Emergency Items

All vehicles should contain a few simple yet vital emergency items, such as first-aid kit, flashlight, tire gauge and fire extinguisher, and an old tote bag makes a great storage place for them. Simple fill the tote bag with the emergency items and keep in the trunk of your vehicle. That way you will always have them handy when and if you need them.

Laundry Bags

Place the old tote bags in your children’s room so they can place their dirty clothes in them. If you have multiple bags, place one for light colored clothes, one for dark colored clothes and a third one for white clothes. This helps teach your little ones about sorting laundry, and the handles on the bags make it easy to transport the dirty laundry to the washer.

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