Storage Tips for Large Utility Totes
I’m an incredibly organized person by nature, and I once went through a phase in my adult life where I was known to have a bag for everything.
A purse, a church bag, a work bag, a gym bag, a homeschool field trip bag, a bag for this, and a bag for that.
That said, over the years I’ve become slightly more minimalistic when it comes to the bags I keep.
No matter what stage of life I’m in, however, I find that large utility totes always, always come in handy.
These amazing totes are slightly bigger and sturdier than most standard totes and they collapse when not in use!
Plus, the more rigid frame and bottom give it some added stability while the outside pockets allow for extra storage.
That said, utility totes will always be my go-to bag for several different storage and organization methods.
Before diving straight into my tote storage tips for at home, I have to touch on my favorite way to use large storage totes on the go!
Honestly, when I was given my first utility tote I didn’t use it much.
I would store it for months at a time on a hook in the garage with little thought about finding a particular use for it.
It wasn’t until I was at a regional consignment sale that I finally figured out just how awesome these bad boys were.
I saw mom after mom filling utility totes with bulky toy items and clothing — making the task of taking their haul to the checkout lane even easier.
This is when my grocery shopping tote (shown below) was born.
If you shop at a small grocery store that doesn’t use plastic bags, as I do — then you will absolutely love this setup!
While I will never love grocery shopping (it’s one of my least favorite things, you guys!), this bag makes it slightly more tolerable.
All that said, I do tend to use this setup alongside a larger thermal, because let’s be serious, my kids eat all the things, and one grocery bag simply wouldn’t cut it.
Creating Your DIY Shopping Bag
One thing that completely blew my mind about this product was the fact that you can customize your storage experience by utilizing other storage items inside.
A bag within a bag, if you will.
If you like super simple, yet somewhat complex storage tips this one is totally for you!
Utilizing other bags and sorters inside your tote can be a huge lifesaver when it comes to on-the-go storage and organization.
For example, I use 2 of these collapsible file holders and a small thermal lunch box (no longer sold) for sorting and storing my grocery items
This simply helps me keep things more organized and protected while bagging my groceries.
I place all our non-perishable items in the side areas, while all my cold items go straight into the thermal bag.
This setup has been a huge game-changer for my grocery shopping trips.
Other on-the-go Storage Tips
While utilizing these totes for grocery shopping is my favorite use, there are so many other awesome ways you can use these handy tools!
Check them out below.
- Consignment or garage sales
- Library trips
- Trunk organization
- Trips to the pool or park
- Day trip supplies
- Picnic goodies for large families
- RV travel organization
These are just a handful of the ways we have used our tote while on the go!
Easy Toy Storage
While on-the-go storage tips are great, sometimes all a mom needs is a good method for sorting and storing all the toys.
That said, this is definitely one of my favorite go-to options for the bulky and the awkward, you guys!!
While keeping a tidy and decluttered home is how I function best, constantly sorting and organizing toys can be totally exhausting.
There are seasons in my life where I feel like I sort and organize, sort and organize, sort and organize day after day.
Yet somehow the mess remains.
That said, I still do my best to keep things organized and tidy as much as I possibly can (without losing my mind).
Those larger, multi-piece, awkwardly shaped toys, however, are the ones I will always struggle with.
For example, my boys have a large number of cars with roads/tracks and while they are fun to play with, clean-up tends to become a chore for everyone in the house.
After spending way too much time helping my boys put these suckers away, I quickly decided this fit the bill of large and awkward.
So, I bought a new tote and filled it with all their roads, cars, and accessories.
Then, I chucked it in a closet where it could be kept out of sight.
The best part? My boys can easily throw this over their shoulders, make their way to the room they want to play in, and play for hours.
Then, they simply toss it all back in the bag and put it in the toy closet.
My multi-piece, awkwardly shaped, annoying to-put-away toy problem was officially solved!
Other at-home Storage Tips
While this bag works amazing for toy storage, there are also so many other great ways to use these utility totes in your home!
Check them out below.
- Swimming gear/towels
- Extra blankets
- Out-of-season clothing
- Christmas present hiding
- Bulk paper good storage
I have a number of these totes in my home and almost all of them are for seasonal reasons (as mentioned above).
For example, we keep a swimming gear bag in our laundry room all year round to make it easier for backyard pool days in the summer.
This makes hauling all our gear up the stairs and out to the back patio a breeze, you guys!
More Organization & Storage Tips
If you love these tote organization and storage tips, check out some of our other popular organization ideas here on Life + Homeschool!
I just thrive in an organized space, you guys!