A question I frequently come across at our summer markets is what to do with them after the summer is over?  When they no longer are needed as a market, picnic or beach bag, what then? 


Seeing as space both within our homes is often limited, here are a few suggestions for how the bags can be used in your own home.  Admittedly, I can be a bit of a clutter bug, so in an effort to keep it real, I am mostly using examples of the many MisHMasH bags I have accumulated in my own home to not so much combat clutter, but more to corral it.

    1. Towel Storage:  Free up cupboard space for things that needs to be hidden away, such as the newly acquired commercial sized vat of hand sanitizer or the panic toilet paper purchase and instead neatly roll the hand, bath and face towels and store them in a basket.  This is a classic French Market bag handmade in Morocco with a turquoise leather handle.                                                                                                                                    
    2. Blanket Storage:  Those who know me can attest to the fact that I am terminally cold, and as such, I always find the need to have at least a few throw blankets hanging around various different spots in the house.  These lovely round Avarolo style Bag from Madagascar are available in three different sizes; the ones shown are large.                                      
    3. Laundry Basket:  Even if you are lucky enough to have a dedicated laundry room, laundry baskets are still an essential item whether being used to hold and transport laundry from separate rooms, or to sort it within your laundry room, at least one is essential for any home.  Shown here in my far from fancy laundry space in progress with wrinkled MisHMasH tea towels drying in the background, is another classic French Market bag handmade of palm leaf from Morocco with a long leather handle in natural.                                                                                                       
    4. Toy Box:  The proud owner of these toys lives in an older Kits home with an amazing view, but not a great deal of storage, so the colourful Malagasy Avarolo style bag does a great job holding his precious cargo.  Wile we are pretty sure his mom is not allowed to used his toy basket as a market bag in the summer time, we do know that this basket can grow with him and continue to hold his keepsakes for years to come.  Thanks to my favourite little 2 year old, Cole, #coleznotes, for allowing me to showcase his awesome toy storage solution.  
    5. Magazines/Books:  That space in your living room to hold everything from books and magazines through to knitting and remote controls, or to toss random items when friends come over in an effort to look more organized than you are.  The beauty of this, and most of our Malagasy bags, is it has a draw string fabric closure that can be left tucked in, or closed up to protect/hide contents.  The shape of this Bato bag allows for it to fit well into narrow spaces, and it is available in a variety of colours and patterns.                                                                                                                                           
    6.   Out of season hat/scarf/glove storage:  This gorgeous large Malagasy raffia bag sits inside my sister's front door and is a perfect spot for her to store her winter scarves and hats in a bag that adds a stylish element to the room, yet allows for easy access for that unseasonably cold Junuary day. Shown Bato S3 lg.                                        
    7. Gym Equipment:  As a Pilates Instructor, I am lucky enough to have a dedicated workout space in my suite, but it is without storage space, so I keep smaller items such as weights, balls, straps and blocks in a lovely Malagasy Avarolo style bag, which is small but mighty and perfectly suited to hold items such as weights.                             
    8.   Handbag Storage:  Whether trying to hide away a secret handbag obsession, or simply looking for a place to store the out of season ones, the bags fit nicely into a bag.  This Malagasy Bic-Rab bag is available in 3 different colour combinations, with thin colour coordinated straps and a drawstring closure.                              
    9. Closet Shelf Storage: Most tops shelves in closets are kind of useless, and without a plan, tend to get cluttered and out of order quickly.  So, why not take that bag full of bags from tip 8, and other bags full of out of season clothes and store them neatly side x side on the top shelf.  The fact that they are all different can alleviate the need for labels if you can remember what you put in all of them, and if not, they can easily be removed and replaced with little fuss.  Malagasy bags from left: Bagt, Zama Lg, Bic-Rab, Zama Lg.  
    10. Not clean but not dirty clothes:  You know those days when it starts out cold, but gets hot, then rains, hails and freezes?  For those days when you change clothes 17 times and the clothes are not technically clean, but are from from dirty, a short term storage bag works like a charm.  Sure, you could throw your favourite pandemic leisure pants onto the chair in the corner, but isn't it so much better to toss them into the bag beside the chair?  I have used a Moroccan palm leaf bag with a red leather handle as an example, however our Malagasy bags work just as well, and the fabric drawstring closure means you can hide them away.                                                                                                                                                  
While we could suggest countless more uses for our bags, we hope this list of 10 useful de-clutter tips will convince you that a summer bag can be so much more than a summer bag.                                                                                                       All bags featured are between $25 and $45 and are available through MisHMasH.com, but as each bag is individual, we sometimes have only one of certain colours.  If you can't find what you are looking for on the website, feel free to reach out, as we may have it in stock.  We offer curbside pick up in North Vancouver, or will deliver for free in Vancouver, North and West Vancouver.