Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Make-do Monday - T-shirt Tote Bags

For a change, a project I didn't knit or crochet.

I love my chest freezer.  It's awesomesauce.  I can go to Sam's and the commissary once a month (with varying side trips to the grocery in between for the stuff that is just bound and determined to run out at off times), stick everything in my freezer and pantry, then crawl back under my rock for another month.  I actually like living under a rock.  Too much interaction with too many people makes me very cranky.  I get cranky enough all on my own without having the additional help.

Maybe some of you out there are more disciplined than I am, but when I get home from a shopping trip and am divvying up goodies for the freezer, fridge, and pantry, the goal is to get it done and get on with something else. I usually try to at least keep plant matter on one side of the freezer and protein on the other, but it doesn't always work out that way.  Then, when I am rummaging through looking for something in particular for a meal, or hunting for that leftover baggie of spaghetti sauce that I just *know* is in there, stuff gets all shuffled around, jumbled up, and becomes a right mess of frozen edibles all piled haphazardly with no semblance of order.   No, there are no pictures.  I didn't want a record of my slovenly freezer floating around.

I was over reading Dee's blog post about organizing her freezer, and it looked like a no-brainer.  Duh... I'm supposed to be pretty intelligent, so why didn't I think to do this before?  But, all of my baskets are wicker.  I have too many baskets according to some, but I just keep finding things to use them for.  I have a few smaller cardboard boxes floating around from packages and moving, but I could see that becoming a problem eventually, because none of them are that waxed cardboard.

Reading through the comments, I saw that one person uses those cloth shopping totes.  I have fabric.  I can do that!

But, I'm also not feeling motivated to make half a dozen tote bags.

But I have t-shirts and tank tops!

No... I really don't throw out nearly as much as I should.  And this is a perfect example of WHY!

I have a pile of plain white and black t-shirts from my time at the sheriff's office.  I still wear them, occasionally.  I mean, who doesn't ever have a really scrungy job to do and they don't want to mess up any of their good t-shirts by accident, or when I dye my hair, or sometimes as a cleaning rag.  But in all honesty I have too many.  I don't need a dozen white t-shirts.  And the tank tops... well, they haven't fit in quite some time.  I keep saying one day I am going to drop enough weight to finally get into them, but the truth is, I was the smallest I've ever been (high school size) the month I moved to TX.  If they didn't fit then, they're just never going to fit.  And, what's a tank top but a tote bag with an unfinished bottom?

All I did for the tanks was sew the bottom hem together, and the straps became instant handles.  Fabulous!  Took all of a minute, and that included threading the sewing machine.

The t-shirts took a little more time.  I cut the sleeves off, and then enlarged the neck to make a wider mouth for the bag.

Yes, I used black thread on the white t-shirts.  It's ok, my frozen foods won't care.

All the bags wad up nice and small, so I can cram them inside each other when (LOL as if) they're not in use in the freezer.  They can become shopping bags at Sam's, or wherever, and I can chuck them in the washing machine if something happens to leak, bust, or otherwise get messy.  It's not quite as orderly as nice stackable baskets, but this was no additional cost to me.  I had everything I needed right here at the house, and the only thing that I actually paid for at one time or another was the t-shirt itself.  Since said t-shirt is five years old, and had holes worn in it, I'd say that I've already gotten more than my money's worth of wear out of it.  :-)

While it may not *look* all neat and pretty, I can reach in and grab my chicken, veggies, leftovers, pork, fruit, boiling meat, etc. in one grab.  The smaller odds and ends are still just in the baskets that came with the freezer, but they don't ever get any more plentiful than that.  There's also a handy shelf in there that holds my beef, since I try not to cook with too much red meat for B.  My freezer is so much easier to navigate now, and I didn't have to go shopping to get it that way :-)  Happy day!

Now.... how long will this last?


  1. I will SO be making some of these real soon. My freezer is a MESS!!!

  2. Ha! Clever Recycling Homemaker You!


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