Friday, April 15, 2011

What To Do With Junk When Cleaning Out A House

Got A House Filled With Plastic Bags........ Make Art Not Garbage

You have heard of the phrase, "from rag to riches", but what about "from plastic bags to riches"? Here is my question to you......does the junk that accumulates in mom or dad's house amount to anything besides garbage? Or put another way... are the plastic garbage bags worth anything?

Why Do Seniors Hold Onto Plastic Bags?

Let's start at the beginning. Why do older adults hang onto so many plastic bags? Any bona fide Depressoin era survivor has learned to save every single plastic bag that comes into their home. For someone in their eighties...that is a lot of PLASTIC BAGS over a life time. And let's face it, this habit was established way before it was cool to be "green" in the kitchen.

Should You Throw Out Plastic Bags?

But let's say that the time has come to pack up mom and or dad's home to move into a smaller place or to liquidate an estate? Should you throw out the plastic bags, save them, donate them or even try to sell them?

My first thought is that if you are planning to have a tag or yard sale, save the plastic bags to use in the sale for buyer to take home their goodies in.

Introducing Plastic Bag Artists

But I also want to tell you that there are oodles of people who are "plastic bag artists". Over the years I have met many mixed media artists who make art out of plastic bags. You will find plastic bag artists who all types of plastic bags and re-work them to make to make figures, pocketbooks, chairs, clothing, table decorations, party decor, masks, furniture etc. out of grocery bags, garbage bags, newspaper bags etc.

Throw Out The Garbage, Not The Garbage Bags

So if you discover a room or closet filled with plastic bags.......don't be so quick to discard them.
Hold onto to some to use for an upcoming yard sale and consider offering them or selling them (cheaply) to a plastic bag artist.

Photos courtesy of:

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Society of Professional Journalists


  1. What unique stuff! I can't fathom making them myself, but I honor the person who does. There are just gazillions of bags around. I like the idea of using them for raw material for crafts like this!

  2. What about using them for doggie poop?