Trash Bags: They’re Not Just For Garbage…


colored trash bagsPlease join me in welcoming our newest “Freak” – Stacey Murray!

My organizing supply tote is filled with bags of all shapes and sizes. But, when I go to a client’s home, I make sure my tote bag is filled with one specific type of bag: trash bags. Trash bags are the workhorse of a Professional Organizer’s supply stash. A trash bag’s top job is to help with the purging part of an organizing project—they get unwanted items and garbage out the door.

When de-cluttering a space, I often use three different colored trash bags—black, white, and blue.

Why work with three different colors? Colored trash bags help distinguish one category of items from another during an organizing session. I come across a lot more than trash when I’m organizing. For example, if I’m organizing a client’s closet, there could be a pile of clothes for donation, a pile for dry cleaning, a pile for ‘try on’ and a small amount of trash. What might happen if you tried to de-clutter a closet with only one color trash bag? You could accidentally haul your ‘to be repaired’ clothes to the curb and take your trash to the tailor! You might mistakenly donate your trash and trash your donations!

After hours of organizing, no one wants to see that happen. Here’s a breakdown of the three trash bag colors and how they can be used in an organizing project:

Black is used for trash and items you no longer want. It’s opaque. Once it’s closed, no one including you can see what’s inside. I use very large, heavy-duty contractor bags when de-cluttering with clients.

White is used for donations. If you use white trash bags in your kitchen like I do and don’t want to confuse your donations with last night’s garbage, tie the tops of the bags differently or write a big ‘D’ on the bag of goods to be donated.

Blue is used for dry cleaning/repairs/items for a friend or relative. These are fairly see through–a time saver for when you need to take action upon them.

Whether you’re purging a closet or a huge basement, you’re going to need trash bags. By using different colored trash bags, you’re taking the guesswork out of what’s going out the door and saving your brainpower for de-cluttering and important decision-making.

Stacey Agin Murray, Professional Organizer
Organized Artistry, LLC
Transforming ‘Mess’ into ‘Masterpiece’


2 thoughts on “Trash Bags: They’re Not Just For Garbage…

  1. DotV

    This may bring a laugh – I am almost over it – I moved everything downstairs after surgery. Had bathroom put in – just general chaos – my daughter sent a cleaning letter over to my house – she may have cleaned – but the sacks I had brought my clothes down stairs were put out in the years – my son donated 10 bags – and this is 30 years of good work clothes etc.

  2. Eva Wallace

    Oh DotV, that’s terrible! That would take me a while to get over, too. I’m glad you can (almost) laugh about it!