Shrink Your Luggage with Vacuum Storage Bags and Save Space

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Did you know you can store your stuff in vacuum storage bags and save space like that? Let’s see how that’s done. The world is slowly resuming traveling, and despite the prevalent airport chaos, it’s not going to slow down any time soon. That’s why it’s good to remind ourselves how easy it is to go overboard with packing and how it’s always a good idea to be as efficient as possible.

I’ve recently moved house, taking about 50 kilos’ worth of stuff with me to my new place. Whilst I’m in the process of unpacking and refolding, I’ve decided to share with you how I managed to pack four seasons’ worth of clothing into just two suitcases – one hold luggage case and one cabin baggage. My solution of choice was to use vacuum storage bags.

Fold before hold

The first thing I’ve learned about vacuum storage bags is that despite how space-saving they are, they can get very bulky if you overdo it. I made the mistake of simply chucking all my bulky winter coats and sweaters into the biggest bag available, without folding them beforehand.

Spoiler alert – don’t do that.

I have a lot of winter clothes, and because I didn’t fold them, the end result was a very large misshapen mass of wool and plastic that I could barely lift by myself. It took up much more suitcase space than it should’ve, and there was no room to rearrange its shape since all the air’s been sucked out.

Here’s an example of a video about how to fold bulky clothes like jackets. I’m happy to report that once I’ve followed this and similar recommendations, the rest of the packing process went much smoother and the other vacuum storage bags took up much less space.

Pump & dump

The vacuum storage bags I ordered had a hand pump included within. I was very pleased with that – despite the clue in the same, I had no idea that vacuum storage bags can be sealed with your regular old vacuum cleaner. A regular set with about eight vacuum storage bags and a hand pump costs about 20 bucks and can help you significantly shrink your stuff for temporary or permanent storage purposes.

The pump is very convenient to use, even if you’ve never done it before. It’s up to you how much air you want to squeeze out of the airbags. My personal tip – be careful with things like yoga mats! I packed it a little too tight and it’s looking a bit sorry for itself. But if you do want to save the space it takes up, wrap little things like your collectibles and Funko Pops in them, and then place them into the vacuum storage bag.

How to use an air pump to deflate air from a vacuum bag
You can also use a pump if you have no vacuum cleaner around (Image: Rui Yang / Pixabay)

If your vacuum storage bag kit doesn’t have a pump included, you can use your vacuum cleaner to suck out the air. Here’s how:

  1. After you’ve filled the bag, seal it at the top.
  2. Unscrew the cap and place the vacuum cleaner nozzle at the orifice.
  3. Switch on your vacuum cleaner and watch your clothes shrink and the bag getting tighter until it’s compact enough for you.
  4. Once you’re satisfied with the results, switch off the device and quickly screw the cap back on.

We wish you all the best for your travels and have fun!

Photo credit: The images shown (1, 2) have been taken by Rui Yang.
Source: IATA

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Kate Sukhanova
Kate Sukhanova
I’m a writer with a keen interest in digital technology and traveling. If I get to write about those two things at the same time, I’m the happiest person in the room. When I’m not scrolling through newsfeeds, traveling, or writing about it, I enjoy reading mystery novels, hanging out with my cat, and running my charity shop.
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