Well, there does seem to be a good solution to combat this problem in the vacuum sealed storage bags! Sounds familiar Lets find out more about them.
Space bags are made of thin polyethylene and nylon sheets that are airproof and waterproof. They are provided with a single-outlet air valve through which air from them can be evacuated using a household vacuum cleaner. Further, they are also provided with a special airtight zip closure system. The idea is to stack up all items to be stored, flatly into the bag, seal it and then evacuate the air from it with a vacuum cleaner. These bags reduce volume of the things inside by almost 75 % up to even hundred 100 % depending upon the nature of the items stored.
Space bags are ideal for storing soft items like quilts, comforters, pillows blankets, sweaters, jackets, linen etc. Of these things like quilts, comforters and pillows etc will be compressed better than sweaters, blankets etc. Obviously this means that the more air-filled items can be compressed to a greater percentage. Consider that two pillows, two comforters, two blankets and some linen sheets are stacked into a big space bag; once the air is evacuated the bag will perhaps reduce to the size of a single folded blanket! Now imagine the amount of space that can be saved using these! Besides saving space in household storage, space bags are immensely useful during travel. Things that could occupy a whole suitcase can go into a single flat bag. This way, there will be more room for carrying picnic kits, swimming gears and other sport gears etc while going on a vacation within the same available space.
There is another advantage of storing things in the space bags. Since these bags are watertight and airtight because of the polyethylene material used to make them as also the unique vacuum sealing feature, they protect stored items against dirt, water, insects mildew etc. They also prevent oxidation of clothes which lead to discoloration. Besides clothes, bedding accessories, cushions and curtains etc, space bags can also be used to preserve important documents, photos, collectibles and the like.
However there are certain things like eatables, leather and fur items that cannot go into the space bags. It is advisable to get the complete details of what can be stored in these space bags and the effect of vacuum sealing on the items stored from the makers of these products. It is recommended that such bags are stored in areas within a temperature range of 0 degrees F. and 130 degrees F. The vacuum seal is supposed to last for about 12 months. Then the bag can be opened and sealed again.
Space bags are not flawless though. Among some of their demerits are
1) The system does not function correctly all the time. The materials used should be of the highest and durable
quality for it to function efficiently. The product should be without any manufacturing defect and a thorough and patient check has to be performed before buying.
2) The zip lock area needs delicate handling. Careless handling of the space bags especially near the zip closure system can create stress and cause the zip to rip open. Caution is required in handling. It is advisable to carry the space bags vertically with the zip closure upwards. Also it will be safe to store these bags vertically zip upwards or flat on a surface.
3) Since the bags are basically made of plastic there is always the risk of them developing cuts, scratches and holes. Evidently extra care should be taken while stuffing, storing and moving these bags.
4) Since a lot of items are compressed within, the bags turn heavy. Though they save space carrying them by hand or moving luggage filled with many space bags will be a difficult task.
5) Cotton clothes will have to be ironed to remove the creases developed due to compression. Some bedding items like those filled with down cannot be stored in space bags since compression will damage the bouncy quality of the items permanently.
6) The contents inside can smell of plastic due to long time storage.
7) Again if unwashed clothes or clothes with unpleasant odor are stored along with cleaner ones, the smell will spread to other clothes too.
8) For the same reason stated above, it may not be a good idea to use space bags as laundry bags.
Again the foremost complaints about the space bags are that they are unreasonably expensive. Though the manufacturers say that they are providing a unique space saving and protection system; the fact that it is only plastic that is used as the basic material, the cost can be much lesser. Many of the products do not have good finish which retards the efficiency of the system. Like, if the zip lock is not aligned properly, the whole system is a waste. It is important to pick and choose meticulously.
There are many complaints of delayed delivery and poor after sale service too from many users. This may be because the business has proliferated quite a bit because of media advertising hypes and not all manufacturers are sound with the basic know-how of the production. Since the products look alike on a general inspection, it is difficult to tell the right from the wrong. Yet there are many who are quite satisfied with these products and say that if the manufacturer instructions are correctly followed they work wonders.
Space bags are available in many shapes and sizes and there is a wide variety to choose from. ITW and Coleman are among the leading brands. They can be purchased online too. Space bags are indeed a welcome innovation in space management techniques. But then it is always better to do a complete market research on any product before buying them. One should go for the best products with no compromises on quality. Also it is important to check out on the guarantee offered and see if it is satisfactory. Always insist on a live demonstration to understand the functioning and to inspect if the piece to be purchased is perfect in all respects.