Friday, January 30, 2015

Magic Plastic Bag Storage (In Which Laura Is Obsessively Organized)

I spent several hours this morning crawling around on the ground rolling grocery bags up into a center-pull tube so that they would take up less space. This is productivity, folks.

See, yesterday it rained all day, and when it rains, we give out plastic grocery bags for people to either put their books inside or stick over their baskets or library bags to keep the books from getting wet and moldy. We had classes visit, so I had to send home at least twenty bags with kids, and they were all crumpled up in our box we keep in the cabinet beneath the desk. Some bags were inside others. Some were full of onion skin. Some were tiny and useless. Some were much too big to use for just one book. It took forever to sort through them, the kids got impatient, some started pushing others, and a riot almost happened in our doorway--until the teacher told them that the time they were spending being rowdy might make them late for art, and they all calmed down and behaved like angels. They did NOT want to be late for art.*

After they left, I started searching the internet for a viable solution to make the mess of our cabinet less...messy. The tutorial I found is super-easy and it is genuinely fantastic to grab a bag without tons more falling on the ground behind the circulation desk or having to untangle them from the mess. Small things make me so very happy.

It is so wonderful, I am leaving the tutorial here. You can ignore it. Or you can do the same thing I did and get endless joy out of taking back all the mess of that one cabinet or drawer at your house (or workplace) that drives you a little more crazy every time you look at it.

For the record, when I came across bags larger than the standard grocery bag size, I folded them into triangles to keep separate. Now I know if I want a big bag, I grab a triangle, and if I want a normal bag, I pull one out of the roll. The triangles are the same as those paper footballs kids flicked across the classroom when I was in elementary school. You can make them by laying out the grocery bag flat, folding it in half and then, starting from the bottom end, fold one end toward the other, then back again and repeating this until you get close to the handle. Tuck the handle into the side of the now-triangle-shaped bag, and you're done. (If that explanation sucks as much as I think it does, Google "paper football" because there is bound to be a picture-based tut
orial for you to follow.)

* So called "specials" classes like music and art are important to kids. They love them. They learn TONS from art and music (and library time with a qualified school media specialist). Its time administrations stop taking away funding and instead make the arts a priority in ALL schools. If your school district isn't doing this, start writing letters to the editor of your local newspapers, talk to your school board, get in touch with other parents, and make a change happen. 

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