I think we can all agree that 2020 has been quite the year so far. We’ve all had to turn our lives drastically upside down, getting used to a different way of life and building new habits to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. In the UK at the time of writing, it’s currently mandatory to wear a form of face covering in numerous public places unless you are exempt from wearing one. This has, understandably, led to a boom in the sale of both disposable and reusable face masks across the country.
As we’re probably all starting to see, the increase in the use of disposable surgical masks by the general public is generating far more litter and waste than that of their reusable counterparts. The best way to counteract this upwards trend is to invest in some reusable fabric face masks, either by purchasing some or (if you’re handy with a sewing machine) by making your own. Not only will the amount of waste that you’re producing decrease, but you’ll potentially also save money in the long run. You can now buy reusable masks and face coverings from many different retailers, but if you want to support independent creators check out these listings on Etsy or pick up some quilting cotton and have a go yourselves with this DIY pattern from Tilly and the Buttons.
Solely using reusable masks does require you to have a fair stash of them – at present my boyfriend and I have three each (with the fabric for a couple more on its way!) but if you go out more regularly or commute on public transport it’s worth having a few extra just in case. But how do you remember to pick one up before you head out of the door? That’s where I’ve come up with a little trick to both store your clean face masks and make sure that you never leave home without one!
You will need:
- An empty tissue box
- Some glue or tape (strong enough to hold cardboard down)
- A pair of scissors
- Some funky face masks!
To create a storage box for your face masks, simply take the empty tissue box and remove the plastic film that partly covers the opening of the box (check to see whether this can be recycled with carrier bags and similar materials at your local supermarket).
Cut diagonally from the hole to each corner of the box, then stick down the “flaps” to the inside of the box with tape or glue. Alternatively you can simply remove the top of the box, but folding down the “flaps” gives a nicer edge.
And that’s it! You can now fill your box with your clean masks as soon as they’re dry from the wash so that they don’t wander or end up in someone’s underwear drawer by mistake. Place your box of masks in a prominent place by the front door, or where you leave your house keys, so that you’ll see them as you’re leaving and pick one up automatically. Make sure not to place dirty masks in the same box as clean masks; these should be stored somewhere separate until they’re washed or thrown straight into the washing machine after use. Try to avoid putting them in the washing basket – by storing them separately or in the washing machine itself they’re guaranteed to be in the next load of laundry and back into circulation in no time!
Let me know in the comments if you try this out and find it useful – do you have any further thoughts on how to store reusable face masks?