Find: Holiday Survival Helper – Collapsible Mesh Laundry Bag

If you don’t already have one of these babies, put the collapsible mesh laundry bag on your list of things to grab while you’re out running errands this month. It will be the best seven bucks you’ll can spend to take it easy on Christmas Day.

You know how it gets:  Presents are distributed, paper starts flying, and an hour later everyone is asked to stop and help search for the small but critical toy pieces that the diagram indicates were included in the package.  Now it’s time to sort through the shredded papers and dangling ribbons to look for what must have fallen out.

However, if you’ve popped up a mesh laundry bag, you’ve kept the damage at bay already by having an easy spot to collect the paper trash. Placed at the perimeter of the paper-tearing frenzy, you’ll find most of the family enjoys making a “basket” with their wadded papers as they go through each layer of wrapping.

And don’t underestimate how much those neat toy packages swell in volume once they’re undone. Anything composed of more than one piece is probably going to be packaged in shrink-wrap and wired to a cardboard back with a sensor-tag, multi-security system to delay the enjoyment of the actual product. You’ll be amazed at how many pieces of plastic it takes to properly display a toy in a hermetically sealed packaging window.

Keep the good mood flowing once all gifts are opened and everyone is ready to play with the toys and model the new clothes. It’s a sure signal the party’s over when you have to announce it’s time to pick up all the mess and carry out the trash. With your mesh bag you’ll have been collecting the paper all along and you can immediately shake to see if there are any toy pieces that were inadvertently tossed without excavating the entire trash bin. You can relax and watch the toy brigade without being the party-pooper who’s just trying to eliminate a fire hazard.

Pick up one of these bins at Target, Wal-Mart, or any corner pharmacy chain like CVS or Walgreens (however, the latter carry smaller versions and you can probably use the biggest you can find). Tuck the collapsed bag in a corner of your great room on Christmas Eve and you’ll be ready to pop it open on a moment’s notice. Use it all year with a liner to collect paper plates after the barbeque, leaves from the yard, or corral balloons to transport to a birthday party.  It might be good for laundry too, but mine stays busy doing everything else.