As a stylist, I physically move thousands of dollars of wardrobe and props from stores, to studio, to location, and back again. I am responsible for keeping merchandise un-damaged, organized, and easily accessible during the production.  I use Ikea bags on every production to help move and organize wardrobe and props.  The ‘FRAKTA’  is Ikea’s iconic blue shopping bag.  It is lightweight, water-resistant, woven polypropylene. These bags are washable, recyclable, and practically indestructible.  Did I mention they only cost 59₵   – FIFTY NINE (59) AMERICAN CENTS!   

FOR WARDROBE,  I use Ikea bags for accessories and shoes. Depending on the production, I pack shoes either by size, style, or talent.  The Ikea bag has a flat bottom and wide, open top which is perfect for stacking shoe boxes vertically with shoe information facing upwards making finding shoes very easy (image below).  Accessibility and space savings is very important when set-up in a motor home or in a small room on-location.  For example, I could be at a residential location where I must set up $15,000 of merchandise in a tee-tiny, 9′ x 10′ furnished  bedroom that must also double as my changing room for talent.  THAT’S A TIGHT FIT!   With space at a premium, I will only open the top three to five footwear selects per look and keep the rest boxed and bagged – ALWAYS WITHIN ARMS REACH – in case clients request to see more options. When the decision makers are physically inside the wardrobe department and I have their undivided attention, I want to have everything available for final approval or feedback. It is best to have all footwear options out of the boxes and viewable; but, if you are setting up in a small space, using Ikea bags to organize shoe boxes keeps footwear easily accessible and tidy.  Also, keeping footwear boxed and bagged makes for a faster load-out at the end of the day or project.

FOR PROPS,  Ikea bags are great for carrying bulky, rugged materials and non-breakable, non-stainable items.  I have carried river rocks using these surprisingly strong bags without the woven polypropylene ripping. However, for easily damaged props, I prefer clear, stackable bins over the Ikea bags for three reasons:

  • The bags do not close securely. Tying the handles together helps, but contents can still fall out of the bag potentially damaging the item.
  • I prefer transparent bags and bins that I can see the contents without having to physically open and dig inside.  Labeling helps, but clear containers are a huge time saver!
  • Bags do not stack neatly.  Bins are stackable making the best use of limited floor space.

ON LOCATION, Ikea bags are quite handy!   At 59 cents a bag, I give any spare bags away to clients or crew without any reservations.  The most notable ways I have used Ikea bags on location:

  • as emergency rain gear
  • as a tarp to cover damp ground for talent to sit
  • a set bag for stand-by wardrobe and props
  • a give-away bag to put leftover shoot schwagg for client, producer, or charity.

FOR WRAP,  I use Ikea bags for organizing my returns.  Most shopping bags are not made to last; the handles break and the bags tear. I divide returns into Ikea bags by store, shopping center, credit card, or assistant.  I can easily fit four to five regular size shopping bags inside one large Ikea bag (image below) which helps moving multiple bags of merchandise from studio to car for returns.  Ikea bags keep returns organized inside the car and keep merchandise safely inside avoiding potential damage from breaking department store bags.

photo stylist tips

Frakta at Ikea Product Description:

Length: 21 ¾ “
Depth: 14 ½ “
Height: 13 ¾ “
Max. load: 55 lb
Volume: 19 gallon

more packing and organizing tips to come!