For the past few years, I've seen vacuum storage bags for everything from food to comforters. I've considered buying them because like most people, I have way more stuff than I have room for. However, the cost and doubt as to how well they worked always stopped me.
Last year, I bought a book about money saving ideas and this subject was addressed. It had such a simple suggestion that it seemed unlikely to work. After telling my husband about it, we decided to give it a try. It involved regular trash bags and a vacuum cleaner attachment.
We have wicker furniture on our deck with large cushions that need to be stored away in the fall. Two of the cushions are loveseat size, much bigger than the largest trash bags we could find. When we couldn't get the large cushion inside the trash bag, we folded it in half and it fit easily. We had plenty of room to add a chair cushion. After putting the items inside, the instructions were simple. Insert the vacuum attachment hose inside the mouth of the bag, gather the top of the bag tightly around the nozzle and turn on the vacuum. We were amazed at what happened. The vacuum quickly sucked the air out of the large bag and right before our eyes, the bag closed tightly around the cushions. Not only did the bag shrink, but so did the cushions. They kept getting flatter as each second passed until the items in the bag were unrecognizable from the outside.
The trick to making this work is keeping a tight grip around the trash bag opening. Once you've finished the suction, pull the vacuum hose from the opening, then twist the bag and tie it tightly shut. If there are no air leaks, it will remain compressed until you open it again. We tried this a year ago and all 4 cushions were easily stored on one of the chairs in storage. When we brought the furniture out last spring, we were curious to see how the cushions looked. As soon as the bag was opened, the cushions immediately expanded back up to their normal size and shape. It was fun to watch.
This process can be easily used with blankets, pillows or heavy clothing such as sweaters. There is no need to purchase expensive bags to do this. Any brand and size bag will work. If you have a lot of bags to store, I recommend that you mark the outside of each one so you will know what is inside without having to open it and undo the compression.
With the economy as it is, we are all looking for ways to cut back on expenses. This is just one simple way to save money and space at the same time.