Wednesday, June 12, 2013

simple tool - mesh lingerie bags

Allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite household organizing tools, the mesh lingerie bag.
I prefer the Room Essentials brand from Target (pictured above) because the holes are much smaller than the ones you'll find at Container Store or Walmart, which helps to keep items with hook-and-eye clasps from getting stuck.  Last I stocked up, they were less than $2 a bag.
These bags have some great uses in addition to keeping your delicates from snagging in the wash.  Here are some of my favorites:

Stray Sock Wrangler

When I polled Facebook friends in search for the perfect business name, "The Missing Sock" was one of the front runners.  This is probably because most of us, whether single and washing only the socks off your own feet (like me) or living in a household full of kids and spouses with all their varied colors and sizes of socks, have found ourselves at the end of the laundry pile with one sock left and NO CLUE where to find it's match.  When I wash my clothes, I put all of my socks in one of these handy little bags.  That way, they get washed, dried, and folded together and there's less chance of losing one in the process.  This idea works even better for large families who battle the weekly "whose sock is this?" conundrum.  Socks can be color coded with a small bit of colored thread through the toe, then each family member can be assigned their own mesh sock bag with a corresponding ribbon loop.  My friend Angela over at has a whole blog post on "sock wrangling" with her family of four.  These colored ribbon loops were her brilliant idea:

Travel Outfit Organizer

When I travel, I use mesh lingerie bags to hold all the components of each day's outfit - shirt, pants or skirt, bra, underwear, belt, etc.  The bags stack neatly on top of each other in my suitcase and make it easy to grab what I need without digging and rummaging for each article of clothing.  This method also ensures that I won't forget any important pieces of an outfit, since I review each "outfit bag" before I place it in my suitcase.  Grouping outfits in mesh lingerie bags would be a great strategy for traveling (or even at home!) with young children so that they can grab their clothing and dress themselves.  It also helps to cut down on confusion when family members share a suitcase.  The "outfit bag" strategy works great for me in the summertime, but has to be amended in the winter when clothing is bulkier and may not fit inside the mesh bag.  For winter travel, I still use the mesh bags to group like things together ~ all the socks in one bag, underwear and bras in another, belts and scarves in a third, and so on.  Below, you can see a few sets of workout wear, packed and ready for a trip:

Other Ideas

  • Produce rinser ~ Use a clean mesh bag to rinse produce such as grapes, apples, berries,  brussel sprouts, lettuce, etc.  The large surface area of the bag allows you to spread the produce out and make sure it all gets rinsed, then you can shake the excess water out of the bag before transferring the produce to another container.
  • Dog toy tote ~  I love to take my golden retriever, Murphy, to the dog park.  His favorite parks are those where he can swim and retrieve tennis balls, frisbees, and other floating toys from the water.  I plan to sew a rope loop handle onto the corner of a mesh bag and use it to tote his park toys.  That way, when we get home I can throw the whole dirty bag, toys and all, into the dish washer to be sterilized.
  • Toy sterilizer ~ Sanitize small plastic toys in the dish washer by placing them in a mesh bag and laying it across the top rack of your dishwasher.


What other uses can you think of for mesh lingerie bags?

Product note:: If you use mesh lingerie bags for their intended function, check out this Tide Bra Bag from Target.  It has two compartments and is designed to maintain the shape of your bras in the wash.  I have one and love it!

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