Friday, December 1, 2006

Space Cadette on Space Bags

A client asked me an organizing question recently and I thought I'd share my response with you.

She asked: You know those bags that they have that you can put your clothes in and then vacuum out the air - do you think those are really useful or not so much? We have so many old random t-shirts that my husband refuses to get rid of, and I was thinking that maybe this would be a useful way to store them.

I replied: Space bags are great for some purposes and not for others. For storing old t-shirts that are sort of memorabilia, it is a good idea. Should you ever open the bag, the shirts will be somewhat wrinkled so if this matters, take it into account. Also, make sure the shirts are washed or not dusty before you pack them up.

Space bags are also good for bulky linens or pillows that are used only occasionally, like when guests come. I don't recommend them for storing seasonal clothing because that means twice a year when you open the bags everything will have to be pressed or washed and dried to get the wrinkles out. Bulky sweaters would probably be OK because the fibers will sort of re-puff on their own.

When you vacuum out the air, press down on the puffy spots in the bag as you vacuum so it will end up in a flat, uniform shape. Keep in mind where you will store it when choosing whether to use a few small bags vs. one big one. They have space bags that hang so you could hang it in the corner of the closet (I've also thought about using a regular space bag with a strong clip hanger to do this).

It is possible that your vacuum nozzle won't fit the vacuum port exactly. I've had one case where the person's attachments were a little too wide in diameter because you have to have a good seal between the nozzle and the rubber gasket on the one-way valve. If this happens to you it's likely that your neighbor's vacuum will fit. You'd think vacuum nozzle sizes would be standardized, wouldn't you?

Finally, the cheapest price right now is at Costco, a 14-pack for $25--but you may only need 2 or 3--split a box with a friend who has a Costco membership? Everywhere else they seem to be $5 - $10 each. The second best bet seems to be using a coupon at Linens'N'Things or Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Are you on their mailing lists? They send out 20% off coupons all the time and they don't actually expire and can be used interchangeably at the two stores.

No comments: