A Bag for Everything

One way to stay more organized is to have designated bags ready to go for every part of your life

Today is Day 22 of our 30-day decluttering challenge! Not only are we going to focus on decluttering bags, we are going to focus on how to use the bags we keep around to work for us.

I can’t help it. I love accessories. And I love bags.

I already got rid of a few purses when I decluttered my closet, but I hadn’t yet addressed all of the BAGS hanging in my office.

I had a bag for church. Okay, so I had TWO bags for church. I used one of them while I was serving in a calling as Primary President (leader of the children’s organization) and it was very full of lots of the kinds of things one would have while working with children at church.

Then I got released from that calling and instead of actually cleaning out the bag, I just abandoned it. I hung it up in my office and started using a different bag for church.

Okay, so back to my bag tally. I had two bags for church, one for work, one for the beach, one for the gym, one for vacations, and about three other empty bags. Those were just the ones hanging in my office.

Have too many bags? Give them a specific assignment and get rid of the rest.

My bag for vacations still had a whole bunch of crap in it from when My husband and I went to NYC several months ago. It was full of ticket stubs, playbills, museum maps, and other ephemera. Also lots of crap. Also four Hershey’s kisses from the Hershey’s store on Times Square. How about that?

There were just too many bags hanging behind my office door.

Gym bag: I no longer go the gym (hangs head in shame). I gave the bag to my oldest daughter to use for church (it’s the cute polka-dotted one that a friend made for me). I’m hoping that it will solve the issue of her using the reusable bags for church every week. Not that I mind her using a reusable bag, it’s just that she used a different one each week and never cleaned out the previous one.

Church bag #1: I cleaned it out completely. I threw stuff out, gave stuff to the current Primary leader, put stuff away in my house. I didn’t get rid of the bag. I think it will be my church bag again, because it’s a good bag for church.

Church bag #2: Emptied it. Also keeping this one. I have used it specifically for music that I am learning in the past. Unfortunately, I am not currently learning any music as I have no performances slated.

Beach bag: Emptied it (dumped plenty of sand out!). Stored it down in the basement with the rest of the beach paraphernalia.

Vacation bag: Emptied it of all the good stuff and put that into the “to-file” bin in my office to be addressed on Friday. Threw the rest out, but I ate the Hershey’s kisses. Stored it in the closet upstairs where suitcases are kept.

Work bag: I cleaned it out, but it was mostly fine as it is the bag I use most often. It carries music, other books, my office keys, some writing utensils, and a few other things I use often at work. I decided to keep it in the entryway, as that makes more sense than my office.

Random bags: Got rid of most of them, but I gave the Jerusalem one to my youngest daughter because she loved it so much. Maybe it can be her church bag.

This was all fine and great, but that was not the end of the bag problem at my house. Because there was also this:

These bags hang at the bottom of the stairs. There were the library bags we made this summer, plus the old library bags that had seen much better days. I had meant to get rid of the old ones, but that never happened. There were a few of my oldest’s reusable bags filled with whatever it was she used them for that day. And many of these bags were just filled with random crap from around the house.

My children have a habit of stuffing things into these bags when they do not want to put them away. I will catch them at it sometimes and make them put the stuff where it goes, but I do not always manage to notice that this happened.

Anyway, we (my friend came over and helped me with some decluttering that day–which is a great way to get it done!) we went through all those bags and threw out a LOT of stuff. For instance, my youngest daughter’s old library bag was FILLED with markers, most of which did not work. I threw out a bunch of the bags, and now the stairwell looks like this:

Do you see that? Only five bags instead of the 12 that were there before!

I do like making sure that I have a bag ready to go for every situation. It’s nice to have a church bag ready with the things I need in it for church, a bag for work, a bag for the beach, etc. I just need to make sure that I am not abandoning bags full of junk when I no longer need them.

And I also make sure I don’t keep too many bags that I don’t need, even if I really like them.

Have too many bags? Give them specific assignments, and get rid of the rest. Don't let them clutter up your home!
My office is one of the rooms in the house that I have not painted or stripped wallpaper in. If you think that paneling is ugly, you should see the wallpaper!

Now I only have two bags hanging up in my office instead of about eight. That is a huge improvement! Even though I didn’t get rid of all of the bags, I did put them in places that are more practical for their use.

Today’s assignment:

  • Gather all the bags in your house.
  • Clean them out.
  • Decide what you use bags for (gym, camera, work, beach, diaper bag, church, etc.)
  • Give each bag a specific assignment.
  • Get rid of the ones that you won’t use.
Looking for a great way to declutter? Try this 31 Day declutter challenge!

Find all of the posts in this 31 Day Challenge here: A Place for Everything: 31 Days to Less Clutter and More Peace.

Want to start the 30-day declutter challenge?

Fill out the form at the very end of this post and you will receive an email each day with a new decluttering assignment.

This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.

Are you ready to declutter your life?

Join the 31 day challenge to get rid of clutter and make room for peace.

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Love it!! I'm a bag lady for sure! Hahaha!


I so have this problem! 🙂


Everyone here has a collection of bags they use for their various activities also. I never realized it was such a clutter problem in itself as the bags were keeping some clutter from accumulating. Thanks for the eye opener. Something we need to work on.

Mandee Racer Pogue

Such great practical advice!

Geri Givens Taylor

I'm way ahead of you!, Sister!

I stick all my bags (not in use) in one big bag with the handles up so that I can grab one when I need it.

When on the road for my job, I use three or four smaller bags for clothes, shoes and necessities because one large bag causes too much stress on my back and neck. I may have to make a couple of trips, but my legs can always use the exercise after hours in car.

My rolling bag is great for airports but it gets too heavy to lift in and out of the back of my car.

A medium bag for my shoes, a small bag for toiletries, a larger bag for clothes and one for snacks, books, etc. and I'm good to go!


This is good stuff! My mom did the one bite rule with me and she definitely wasn't a short order cook. I am now a lover of vegetables and will eat ANYTHING once. Great tips!

Hilda Rodgers

I need to purge a few unused bags… it's crazy how quickly they build up! I like having a bag for each activity or recurring event as well. It just makes it simpler when we're getting ready to leave.

Laura @LivingaBigStory

How is it that I never thought of just having a bag for every event…I mean I "kinda" do this, but not really with a purposeful intent in mind. Great idea–thanks!


My mom was the same. She really made sure we ate them and we didn't get away with NOT eating them. I can't think of a single vegetable I don't like.

Oh, oops. I don't like radishes. But only because I can't handle spicy things at all. 🙂


The power of example is amazing!


It is tough, and I recognize some kids are more difficult than others in the food department. Good luck!


I have to resist the temptation not to buy every cute bag I see…


I think as long as you keep the bags cleaned out and that they are all actually purposeful, it's not clutter. It's the ones that accumulate too much junk inside, or are not used often enough, I've found.


Great way to store them! And I like the idea of several different bags for road trips, too.


They do build up. Partly because I like to buy new cute ones! But I'm working on that problem. 🙂


You're welcome! I think it happens mostly accidentally for me, but I'm trying hard to make it purposeful so that I can get rid of the ones that I don't actually need.

Jamie E

The toughest challenge yet!