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Picture this: Every article of clothing and outerwear you own is strewn across the living room, waiting to be neatly packed into boxes before a cross-country move. You own way more than you thought was possible and you’re kind of a pack rat, so you probably won’t get rid of any of it—but you somehow need to fit all your stuff into one mid-size sedan before you hightail it out of New York and head west.
Is there any situation more stressful, more daunting?
When I found myself staring down at the contents of my closet a year ago before moving from Queens, NY, to Denver, I certainly didn’t think so. I was spiraling downwards and close to tears when I turned to Wirecutter for advice and found my saving grace: SpaceSaver vacuum storage bags, conveniently on sale for $29 at the time (which is the same deal we’re seeing today for a variety 12-pack).
Primarily recommended as a seasonal storage option (more on that in a sec), SpaceSaver bags work just as well if you’re prepping for a move and need to stuff a lot into a space not designed to hold much. The day my SpaceSaver bags arrived was the day I efficiently packed my dread away. I couldn’t have fit standard cardboard boxes in my tiny Honda Civic—but a few vacuum-sealed plastic bags that shrank to nearly 60% of their original size might work.
The variety 12-pack comes with three bags in four sizes: small, medium, large, and jumbo. Filling the biggest bag with the bulkiest items, I stacked blankets, pillows and spare sheets one on top of the other. Once filled, I used my Shark vacuum (also a Wirecutter pick!) to suck the air out of the bags—it was easier to do than I expected. The SpaceSavers also come with a handheld pump, a much slower option but helpful if you don’t own a vac. Watching the bag compress was mesmerizing and oddly soothing; for the first time in weeks, I unclenched my jaw and pulled my shoulders down from my ears as I watched it shrink. It was like magic: Out went the air in the bag and, with it, my agita.
I did this over and over again, with chunky sweaters, stacks of towels, my entire sock drawer, and every jacket I own (which, I learned that day, was a few too many). I was giddy with relief as I slotted the bags into my suitcase, stacking them one on top of another until I was able to zip closed the luggage holding my entire closet.
These bags aren’t single-use, either. After I twisted open the valve and pulled open the bag to unpack my things into my new home, I was able to put them to work as seasonal storage. The apartment I moved into was small, with limited closet space, but that wasn’t an issue. I tossed anything off-season, like sundresses, shorts, and light blankets, into one of the mid-sized SpaceSavers and shrank it down until I was able to slip it under my bed.
Since then, I’ve reused those same bags a handful of times. Each time the weather shifts, I empty the bags and swap the contents, and I put them to work when I moved again—this time across town. Even though I have more storage space now, I still like using the bags to stash away the apparel I’m not wearing to keep my closet neat and organized.
Though I’m sure my SpaceSaver bags still have a few seasons left in them, I’m considering buying more now that they’re back down to a solid discounted price. This time around, the deal is even better—one box of 12 is on sale for $29, but if you buy two, you’ll get an additional 10 percent off. That’s 24 bags for $52, a good deal on a set of vacuum-seal bags that’ll compress to find you the space you need when (or where) you need it most.
Source: The NY Times
Keyword: Suck It Up and Pack It Away: A SpaceSaver Bags Love Story