Newest Review: ... where the minimalist people keep all their stuff?!). Anyways, I recall I bought them in Argos for about £8 for two quite large bags... more
I'M A SUCKER FOR THESE
Vacuum Bags in General
Member Name: lak11
Vacuum Bags in General
Date: 22/01/12, updated on 10/07/12 (603 review reads)
Advantages: Helps to de clutter, keeps clothes fresh
Disadvantages: Fastening could be better designed
~~A NEED TO DE-CLUTTER~~
When my son and his girlfriend finished their student days and came to live with us in the family home, they found they had accumulated lots of belongings in their studio flat. My home couldn't possibly store everything whilst they lived at home.
My son's girlfriend's parents agreed to store much of their belongings. In the lead up to the move my son assured me that they had greatly reduced their possessions by buying and using vacuum storage bags. I hadn't heard of these until this time and didn't really see how they could minimise things that much. But my son told me they had used vacuum bags (his girlfriend calls them 'sucky bags') to store out of season clothes in which they would bring to my house and cuddly toys which his girlfriend is fond of, to her parents' home.
When we move them back home I was surprised that the clothing contents from their flat had been condensed so
~~I'M A SUCKER FOR THESE BAGS~~
In September my youngest child left home to live in her university accommodation and it seemed to make sense now to move the young couple into my daughter's larger room as she wouldn't be in it very much. But this proved to be a gargantuan task. You wouldn't believe the clothes she has accumulated not to mention cuddly toys, make up, jewellery, books...and for a girl who hates to shop! Well, to be fair a lot of her stuff is stage costumes and dressy clothes which she has needed for shows and singing competitions. And she also has a beautiful golden Belle dress (Beauty and the Beast) which was a gift from a relative when she was about eight years old and a Cinderella dress and a Flamenco costume. My husband said I should get rid of them as she is now eighteen years old and of course they won't fit her. This talk sets me off into a panic...Yes, it isn't her...it's me! I admit to being a bit of a hoarder and far too sentimental. I cannot possibly part with certain items.
And so I let my son and his girlfriend convince me to start buying vacuum storage bags in preparation for the big changeover. I purchased vacuum bags from various places and of assorted sizes and makes. Some were fragranced and some were not.
The changeover is not yet complete although the hardest part seems to be done, which I think was sorting through my daughter's clothes. And when I think she has almost as many in her university room-lying on the floor no doubt!
Well, she isn't so sentimental and gave me permission to throw away, re-cycle or give to charity anything that I thought wasn't needed. I did this but couldn't bear to dispose of the costumes and stage outfits. I used a large vacuum bag (60x80cm) to store the fuller type dresses such as her Hairspray outfit along with other costumes. In a smaller bag (60x50cm) I placed the childhood dressing up outfits.
~~A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE~~
It's surprising what can be fitted into these bags. It's recommended that items be placed carefully and to use all space. Items with buttons and zips should be folded so that the zips and sharp, hard items kept to the inside so as not to puncture the bags. I am very careful when placing items in these bags but they do seem to be quite strong. Clothes can be tightly packed but only a little common sense is needed so as not to over pack the bag; you can tell when placing items in if you are overloading. Really, if the bags plastic zip type fastenings will meet easily enough then you haven't over packed it.
Once the bag is sealed it's the time for the fun part (yes I know I need to get out more!) which is sucking the air out of the bag. Any vacuum with a nozzle will do for this. I usually use my small very portable stair cleaning vac for this. There is a hole in the bag fitted with a plastic screw on/off cap. Once this is undone the vacuum hose can be held over this, the vacuum switched on and hey presto...as if by magic everything will shrink before your eyes, and in a matter of seconds. I was very surprised the first time I used a bag to see how much it did actually condense the contents when the air was taken out of it.
Once the bag stops shrinking and air has been extracted then the lid needs to be replaced quickly and screwed back on.
After using bags for clothes I then went on to soft toys. My daughter was always more fond of these type of toy than she was of dolls and she has accumulated many throughout her childhood and teenage years. It isn't as easy to pack these in as it is with clothes due to their inconsistency of shapes but it still doesn't take long to get the hang of it.
When the bags have been vacuumed they aren't uniform in shape as the plastic shrinks and wraps around the shape of its air free contents.
I fear I have become addicted to filling these bags. Strange, I know but when you empty a cupboard of clothes and find a heap full becomes perhaps one bag it feels as if you have done a great job in de-cluttering. I decided to vacuum pack spare bed linen and sleeping bags. I have found storing of spare duvets, summer duvets, (and at the appropriate time winter duvets) pillows and blankets ideal to store in this way.
Not only does this way of storing items condense, therefore freeing up space, but it also keeps all items clean as they are airtight and so free from dust, damp, moths etc.
~~LETTING IN THE AIR~~
When the items are once again needed then the plastic lid on the bag needs to be unscrewed to allow air to seep back into the bag. The clothes, linen or toys will spring back up into their former shape.
Different makes of bags will vary in quality. I have found that some are made of a thicker plastic than others and are less likely to make holes.
I have used so many of these bags in the last few months and have only had one let in air after it had been vacuumed. This bag was one purchased from a pound shop, but that could just be by chance. I will say though that I have been pleased with the bags that I have purchased from Pound stretcher as they seem to be of a strong and of a decent quality plastic.
Sometimes a noise can be heard after vacuuming, sounding as if he bag has a puncture but will probably turn out to be that the bag hasn't been sealed perfectly. This was the case with the bags I used.
Of course the main advantage to using these bags is to condense items so that less space is needed for storage, but these bags also keep items mould free as no moisture can penetrate the bags if they are sealed properly and they then keep contents clean and dust free. Therefore they are ideal to store flat in wardrobes, cupboards, garages, perhaps sheds and as I often do, in under bed storage drawers.
I have used these vacuum storage bags to store spare bed linen, out of season clothes -swimwear, vest tops and shorts etc. which I won't need until my summer holiday.
As they are transparent this makes them ideal to store certain items as it is easy to see what is stored inside.
The thing about these bags which I feel should be improved is the plastic pull along tab which acts as the zip pull. On all the bags I have used I've found this almost useless and it is so fiddly that it seems to work better to push the two sides together and seal manually. This is easy enough if you work slowly and carefully.
Vacuum storage bags can be bought in a variety of scents such as lemon, lavender and rose to name but a few. I don't really mind whether they are perfumed or not as the scent seems to me to be rather faint. It notices more on the removal of items from the bags. If I have stored items such as clothing for a season then when removed I will put them through a quick wash cycle to freshen them up so the perfume will not be necessary but I suppose it may be beneficial in the case of duvets and soft toys.
I have bought most of my vacuum bags from Poundstretcher but have also purchased some from various pound stores. I think that those bought from poundstretcher are of a decent quality for the price paid.
These storage bags seem popular and are on sale at many outlets.
Most pound type shops sell these.
Poundstretcher have a good variety on sale:
*£2.99 for a pack containing two 60x50cm bags
*£6.99 for a pack of 5 bags which Includes 2 Jumbo 100 x 80cm Bags & 3 Small 60 x 50cm Bags
*£3.99 for a jumbo bag 100x 80cm
*£0.99 for one floral fragranced bag 60x80cm
Wilkinsons also sell vacuum storage bags
Vacuum storage bags provide a simple but great and effective idea for creating more room for home storage. I wish I had thought of these first!
Summary: A great idea. Now, what else can I vacuum pack?