What can this be used for?

rabbit8January 29, 2005

I purchased some drapes from JC Penney. They came in those

clear plastic bags with zippers. What can the plastic bags with zippers be used for?

Thank in advance for your help.

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Toss them -- being afraid to toss something because it might be of potential value at some point is the root of clutter.

If you can't think of a purpose, there is no purpose and if you ever needed a bag you could buy one for an insignificant sum of money.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 8:34PM
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I have the same sort of zipper plastic bags from Penney's that I bought sheets in. This sounds really stupid, but I just can't part with some of the extensive packaging that some products come in. It seems so wasteful, but Blaze is right. I need to just toss them. I mean, it's not like I've got a hope chest or something that I'm saving fine linens for. I even have the HUGE zippered bags my comforters came in. How crazy!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 10:11PM
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Cupof -- Look I am as CRAZY as you as I used to save that stuff -- I came from a family who kept everything. Even now I get a pang when I get rid of packaging --

But it's dysfunctional -- toss toss toss -- this stuff is easy because there is NO RATIONAL REASON to keep and it eats up space -- and even if you can cram it in somewhere you don't need it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 10:21PM
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I have some of those nice plastic bags with zippers. I too, couldn't part with them thinking they would be good for going to the beach, and putting shells in or wet clothes. That was about two years ago. Haven't used them yet! (But I might)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 10:46PM
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I do think this thread illustrates why your houses are cluttered and disorganized.

These plastic bags are worthless -- several people admit to saving them because they think they might be useful but haven't yet found them to be useful.

GET RID OF THEM -- just to show yourself that you can start somewhere.

What the heck is the worse thing that can happen if you get rid of a plastic bag ---

I used to have those bags --- along with lots of other stuff -- and I still have way too much useless stuff.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 11:14PM
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I use them to store extra blankets, sheets, excess pillow cases. It helps keep the dust mites out.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 6:28AM
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I use them to store out of season clothing. They make excellent dust covers for lightweight items that are too oddly shaped to put in a box.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 8:29AM
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I use mine to store out of season sweaters.They can fit nicely under a bed and keep the dust bunnies at bay.
BTW the ladies over on the winter sowing forum would die for those.

Eliza ann

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 8:38AM
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I have some doiley-type stuff and some table toppers for holidays. Some are slinky like so I put those in the bags. They stay folded better. I also have a travel trailer that I store some sheets and blankets in during the season we wouldn't use it and it keeps them clean. But if I don't have anything to put them in at the moment, I toss them. And...you know what else is going??? The travel trailer! HaaHaa.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 10:46AM
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Not to keep beating a dead horse but if you have a real immediate use for them - fantastic. However, most people save them at of fear and inertia -- fear that they might need them at some point -- inertia because once you have shoved something away, it is going to take more time and effort to get rid of it.

Also, there is a domino effect -- if you are storing bags (or any other useless piece of clutter), then you are taking up space that could be used so that other stuff is more accessible and better organized. If everything is jammed into a closet for example, and you must remove something to get to something else, the whole process becomes harder and perhaps one is more likely NOT to immdiately return everything to its proper place.

I am not picking on plastic bags per se -- although as one poster pointed out, letting go of your useless stuff could potentially bless someone else -- here sewers for some reason :)

I am just really trying to show how the psychology of fear and hoarding can overtake rational judgment and wind up with our being paralyzed at tossing anything

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 11:35AM
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blazedog, you are right! It is a deep-seated fear. I work with a woman who is a terrible hoarder. It is very inefficient to work under those conditions. She's concerned about wasting time, yet, we have to wade through her junk to get to what we need. We have gently complained and she knows of her problem, but can't let go of things collecting dust for years. Television shows have been done about this subject. I wonder why we are programmed like that.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 1:24PM
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If I have a blanket or tablecloth in the linen closet still unwrapped, I use these - because it makes them more stackable, and less likely to come unfolded. But if I have no extra unwrapped linens, I toss the bag.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 1:45PM
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I found one of those bags in a box I was sorting through in the garage yesterday. I too have a problem getting rid of these bags. After reading the different comments, I am going to put the linens into it.

I have an even worse problem. I save bags that remind me of certain places I've visited and want to remember. I used to save multipes of them but I've finally narrowed them down to only one bag each. Anyone have any uses for these? I am not at the point of throwing them out.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 2:41PM
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I use the bags for spare blankets, comforters, etc. Also use them for different sewing projects I am working on. They keep all items together til I get back to it. The smaller bags I use to keep individual patterns in, just the right size. Especially if it is a pattern I have used so much that I've had to make it over, or have made the pattern into several sizes!
Love those bags!
In fact, I've had two kids move out and have 3 comforters in the closet without bags! Had to roll them to get them to fit!
Kathy G in MI

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 9:08PM
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eliza ann, how would they be useful for winter sowing?
*eyeing my seeds*

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 10:37PM
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I'm not one to "keep" stuff...but in this case I have a good reason. We move about every two years (military). I keep all the heavy, zippered bags that our blankets, bedspreads, drapes, etc. come pacakged in. (I don't keep the sheets' bags though.)

When we get orders to move I begin washing and repackaging all these items. It makes them easier to pack; they stay cleaner in transit, and aren't such a mess when the packers re-deliver them. We have movers to pack and move everything, but I pre-pack all electroics, valuables, linens, etc.

When not in use, I keep the bags in my linen closet, under the items they will be holding when we move once again. Or, in the case of drapes, on the same shelf extra curtains stay on.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 2:38AM
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I used a curtain bag like that to put a toy in when I GAVE IT AWAY to the Goodwill!

The bag was useful, and it was out of my house.

We were giving away Godzilla, and he had a stand, and paperwork, and batteries. I was trying to figure out how to keep them all together. I put them in that curtain bag, zipped it shut, and tossed the whole thing in the giveaway box.

I'm w/ blazedog. If you know you have a use for them, use them.

If you have ACTUALLY used them often in the past, and clearly envision a probability (not *possibility*--probability) that you will use them again, but can't use them right now, then you can keep a very few of them in a special place. Here's how:

 pick a number--kind of a low one, such as 5. That's how many you may keep. If you have more than 5, you have to throw the extras out. You are allowed to keep the 6th one and toss the 2nd one, but you may only keep 5. (or maybe 3)

 pick a home for them, so you can find them later, when you DO want them. If you use them for sewing, put them w/ the sewing stuff. If you use them for storing blankets, put them where you store blankets. If you use them in the attic as a dust cover for stuff you store up there, put them in the attic.

(I like that idea of using them as a dust cover for stuff that won't store in a box easily!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 10:23AM
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Sylvia, I have actually used them for sowing early seeds - they do work quite well as humidity covers, as long as the zipper is left open a little bit. :-)

I use them for yarn and crochet projects - but small ones for pillowcases, etc, I generally end up tossing, unless I use them to package christmas gifts (gift sets like washcloth, soap, scrubby, etc).

If you don't feel right about just tossing them due to environmental issues (and I know the point of this forum is to declutter and toss - but there is validity to the idea of not wanting to contribute more thick plastic to landfills as well), I have another suggestion - take them to your local craft shop, and ask if they have a use for them. I bet they will be glad to take them and use them for crafts, and you won't have just tossed it out either. It *will* be out of your house though, and that's the main idea anyways. ;-)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 10:41AM
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While I was reading the newspaper over lunch (Minneapolis StarTribune), in the Budget Living section I saw the following:

"The zippered pouches that sheet sets and blankets are sold in can be reused as swell see-through storage. Stuff them full of grocery sacks and keep them in the car when you shop at warehouse or club stores that don't offer bags."

Their timing could not have been better.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 12:53PM
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I use mine for extra comforters and blankets. Like Caroline, our family moves every 2 years with the military. I find the bags very useful to keep linens clean during the moves. Otherwise the packers tend to just throw everything in the boxes and I end up having to rewash and refold once we unpack.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 8:46AM
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I love them for organizing knitting or other hand projects. Unfortunately, I got rid of all of mine during a recent decluttering and now find that I would like to have a couple of them for some knitting I am doing. Oh well, a ziplock will do. And besides, it's better without the clutter.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 9:05PM
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I keep mine and put toys in them. Toys that have many small parts. Polly pocket dolls, hot wheel cars etc. These bags are usually pretty stiff sided and sturdy so they work well for this type of thing. I also use them to store linens in and my guest sheets. I have used them for craft projects- like my crocheting. I think there are a lot of use. IF you can't use it right now though, I'd toss it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 12:35AM
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I have you all beat. My husband dug my kingsize sheet zippered plastic holder out of the garbage. He is storing his lawn mower battery in it during the winter! I guess Good for him!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 12:41AM
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I save all sizes of these bags and use them for all kinds of stuff, in the house, in the garage, in the car trunk. Sent my daughter off to college with lots of her dorm stuff inside (car trip) - you can see what's inside without having to paw through a whole deep box of stuff, and she can shove whole units under her bed or up high in her closet. Younger daughter uses the little ones as a sponge bag / toiletry bag for overnights and summer camp. Also keep colored pencils, pens, and make-up pencils in the small bags in her bath vanity. We get at least one rubber band with each morning paper, 7 days a week, and I keep those (ultimately they get used at school or here at home). If I have articles that need to be returned to someone else, or donations that need to get to Goodwill, I zip them into one of these bags and sit it near the garage door or in the back seat of the car - bacause they're transparent, I am more likely to complete the delivery. I admit, I am a saver of such things - when I think of the resources that go into such packaging, which is often ultimately tossed into the landfill, then I turn around and see the boxes of plastic bags flying off grocery shelves, it makes me just feel desperate about the environmental costs - hidden costs that many folks don't think about when tossing. If you cannot make use of the zip bag, pass it along to Goodwill, or to someone else who might need it. Give it a little creative thought, walk softly on the Earth. That's my two cents' worth - thanks everyone. I'll keep reading!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 1:45AM
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I keep a box for putting junk in to go to charity. Whenever it's full I drop it off and start a new box. I put those bags in there and if they're still there when the box is full it goes too. The charity uses them to resell bedding.
That way if I need one shortly I still have it and if I don't they're still going to good use.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 10:53AM
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I have one in the trunk of my car to keep messy things in so they don't mess up my car - for instance, when transporting a potted plant - or food dish that might spill. I put them in the (un)zippered bag to keep the car clean.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 10:52PM
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I too use these bags for a lot of storage items; sweaters, out of season clothing, coats in the summer, blankets and comforters, etc. I even purchase them at the local blanket factory every once in a while for 20 or 25 cents.
And they DO stack in a closet better when storing something like extra bedding. However, I don't keep a bunch around, only a few, and know where I can get more within 10 minutes if I needed it.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 12:15AM
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I'm big on tossing stuff, but I think with a bit of effort the re-using is the best bet. I keep one in my stuff in the van, so that if we end up with wet, messy crud I have a good way to contain it. I've also used them to pack the thrift store stuff in. Under the bed storage works for me.

Not advocating keeping every bag which comes my way, but I really can't see throwing these out and then purchasing a bag. I'm really trying to teach the kids not to be so wasteful. Since I rarely buy items in these bags, I could actually use some extras.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 1:35PM
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I use those zippered (or sometimes snap-locked) bags.

I've got a big one that held a feather bed... that's on top of a set of cupboards and holds all the hand-me-down clothes that youngest daughter still has about a year before she will fit into.

The ones I bought sheets sets in are used in my fabric cupboard to hold fabrics. They are very handy for keeping together fabrics that are all of a sort or intended to be used together. I wish I had more of them, they make it easier for me to just pull out a bag of stuff and start right in on a project. They also make the fabric cupboard easier to tidy.

In Australia, our Target stores sell packs of underwear in that sort of packaging... exactly like the zippered ones but smaller and with a snap instead of the zip. I just slip out the card style labels from their pockets and peel off any stickers, and then they make excellent bathroom storage. Each daughter gets one for her hair accessories, I have one for spare combs and brushes, one for tweezers, nail scissors etc, one for my small stash of cosmetics. In our crowded household these bags make finding things in the bathroom drawers so much easier.

Don't keep them... use them! I wish I had more of them.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 1:57PM
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I think Blazedog has a good point if things are kept out of an irrational fear of throwing something away that could ,possibly have a potential use one day.

But, I also agree with the posters who hate to fill up the landfill with something one day and then have to go out and buy a replacement the next. I have been de-cluttering with a vengence for about five years- it is hard work, and if you saw my basement (we are in the middle of a whole-house reno- so massive amounts of 'stuff' are being stored down there), you would have a hard time believing me. But, what has worked for me has been cleaning out stored items, and if I really don't feel comfortable throwing it out, then I make myself think of something else to use it for. That's when all the years of saving those friggin zippered bags for 'something' came to an end. I stopped saving them and started using them. It was like a gift to myself, in more ways than one. I got to put linens in a waterproof, dustproof container, I got rid of a bag of bags, and I felt good that I'd eliminated some of the clutter.

AND, I really like the idea of keeping one in the van for holding food or plant items that might spill- thanks for that!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 9:33PM
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I also saved them for years and finally used them to organize all of my linens into them. When I recently moved, it was so easy to just put these filled bags into a box and then unpack them into the new linen closet. I don't keep the sheets for my bed in the bags. They're in each set's pillow cases. The only other item not in there are my everyday towels. Comforters, guest sheets, tablecloths (which are hardly ever used) and extra towels are in the bags. It's made my life so much easier since I don't end up rumbling through everything looking for the few items I regularly use.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 11:24PM
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Question for everyone here (from a Canadian) - do you recycle your plastic (anything) as of every pick-up day or not? We do, but it sounds to me that you just throw everything out, and I wonder if our municipal regulations are that different?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 6:23AM
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my experience is that every municipality is different.

What I do for recycling is very different from what folks in other places do.

Of course, I live in the nation's largest city (w/ curbside recycling pickup 2x a week), and other folks posting here live on farms with no garbage pickup at all (so they must drive to a recycling center--if one exists near them).

But even two similar-size cities/towns may have very different recycling programs.

This can be because there no recycling facilities near enough to them, or because they'd have to pay extra $ (therefore, higher taxes) to recycle trash, or because the recycling industry near them is so advanced that the recyclers actually pay the city.

Also, we can only recycle to match the RECYCLING INDUSTRY. If they're not set up to physically melt down certain types of plastic, it doesn't matter what we the homeowner/consumer want to do.

Not every type of plastic will recycle. Those zippered plastic bags, for instance, do not recycle. Not where I live, and I bet not in other places either.

Also, know this: When the people on this forum "throw things out," or "toss them," they very well MAY MEAN that they are recycling. Sometimes they are donating. Here, we focus not on the end of the "tossing stuff out process" most of the time, but mainly on the *beginning*

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 12:25PM
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To the recycle question-We have curb side pickup weekly. I recycle two recycle bins full each week. It amazes me how much plastic the two of us accumulate in a week.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 5:11PM
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Send them all to me!! I use them for storage of ribbon and trim bolts. They are perfect!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 5:18PM
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We use our various size bags like this for packing our clothes for airline travel. We always seem to find the TSA flyer inside our bags. If they need to, they can unzip and stick a wand in, but I can now be reasonably assured that no one has pawed through our stuff.

When we fly overseas [i.e. lost luggage country!] we cross-pack. The bags for his undies etc. and casual pull-overs, and those for mine make unpacking a breeze.

Last time we had to stand and watch our bags being inspected I asked the TSA if they had a problem with the bags and was told it was a good idea.

Coming home they are great to separate dirty clothes.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 5:44PM
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Well, I have the opposite problem here. I am looking for large, strong, CLEAR plastic bags. I have some larger items that I prefer to store in plastic in the (dusty, icky) basement. For example, I need to store my large size cat carrier, my granddaughters walker, & exersaucer(sp?) in. And I prefer clear, as it is so much easier to see what's in them, then guess what's in the big black trash bags (even if they're labeled) ;)

Does anyone have any suggestions where I might find bags around this size or slighter larger? TIA

PS. I use those small zippered linen bags to keep my individual lingerie sets separated in a drawer.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 6:52PM
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ttt.....I still need help finding big clear bags...anyone??

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 9:53PM
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I think I had seen some sold at a dry cleaners.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 10:03PM
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katclaws... IKEA in some locations do a zippered bag in their DIMPA range ... it probably isn't as water resistant as the bedding bags, but it is large and available in two sizes.

Here is a link that might be useful: dimpa zippered bag

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 6:28AM
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One of the big food-storage-bag companies--Glad or Zip-lock or someone--sells incredibly large versions of their bags. i can't find them in NYC (our grocery stores stink), but when I visited my friend in the D.C. area, they were in her grocery store. I'm not sure they'd be large enough, but they were pretty big.

and if all else failed, you could wrap them in plastic wrap, I suppose.
like that kind for shipping & packing

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 9:29AM
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I think these are the bags TS is referrencing.

I have been using these for about 4 years. I used them at work for seminar activities. Each table received their instructions and project material. What a life saver. I kept telling the other offices to buy these bags for their seminars, I didn't realize that I was in a test market and my colleagues in other parts of the country didn't have access to them. So I bought out the local supply and sent them to the other offices.

Now I use them at home for a number of organizing applications.

Here is a link that might be useful: XXL Bags

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 2:42PM
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At either Sam's Club, Costco, or BJ's, I purchased large garbage bags that are 'clear' to the extant you could tell what was inside. Not as clear as a zip-lock type, but clear enough. And the large size fits a 55 gallon drum.. actually now that I think of it, I think they are called drum liners! I no longer have the box, or I would give you the name.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 5:13PM
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Thanks so much for all your suggestions!
I'll be looking into all those ideas.
The drum liners sound like my best bet & we do have a Sam's club nearby.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 8:00PM
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I did some looking around in the small town where I live and I ran up on some very large bags by ziplock at the local Dollar General Store. They were big enough to pack a bed comforter set. I was surpise to see them there. I went back for more and they didn't have any. It probably was a one time deal.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 9:56PM
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If you need really big and sturdy clear bags, check with your local hospital's housekeeping dept. Most hospitals use those bags to minimize stuff being thrown out by mistake. I was working in a hospital office when I moved cross-country years ago, and got a whole box of them. I still have a few, and use them as mini-greenhouses, storage for large craft projects, etc.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 9:45AM
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Personally, I would only save it if I have a use for it right now. I have saved those same type bags for extra linens and blankets...but I only have enough for what I'm using at the moment. Excess for the "just in case" situations are not allowed in my house.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 9:08AM
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Towards the middle of March I will seal my husband's long johns in the clear bags and store them in a closet away from our master bedroom. He needs several long undies and flannels for work, I prefer them out of the way once spring comes. They're easy to find all together in the clear bags when it gets cold the following year.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 4:24PM
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I LOVE the clear bags with zippers for kiddo crafting supplies!

Any and all of their "treasures" can be added to the bag, along with odd amounts of leftover crafting supplies, bits of paper, fabric, and those crayons from the restaurant they just HAVE to take home with them. Toss in a roll of tape or bottle of glue, and you have a fun rainy day project for hours.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 3:04PM
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