How to Vacuum-Seal Bags w/o Using Expensive Storage Bags

Your spare blanket or stored winter clothing takes up much more closet space than necessary. Along with the actual fibers of the fabric, the items are full of extra air that fills them out and gives them bulk. Vacuum-sealing your belongings sucks the air out of them and reduces them to their minimum sizes, without damage. The expensive storage bags marketed for this aren't necessary. You can seal your belongings, protect them from the elements and free up closet or suitcase space using household items you already have.

Step 1

Fold the clothes, blankets other items you plan to store. Put them neatly inside a sturdy trash bag. Settle the folded items flat on the bottom of the bag so the opening at the top faces straight up.

Step 2

Insert the hose attachment of a vacuum cleaner into the bag and hold the bag closed around the nozzle with one hand. Pull the nozzle up slowly until only a few inches of hose remain inside the bag. Pull a rubber band over the outside end of the attachment and secure the bag tightly around the hose.

Step 3

Fit the free end of the hose onto a vacuum cleaner. With one hand, bunch the material of the bag up around the attachment slightly, so the nozzle isn't touching any of the plastic and there's a little space around it.

Step 4

Switch the vacuum on, using its lowest setting. Continue to hold the plastic away from the nozzle as the vacuum sucks all of the air out of the bag. When the bag shrinks as much as possible, release the plastic and allow the vacuum to remove the last bit of air from the top of the bag.

Step 5

Turn the vacuum off and immediately remove the nozzle, keeping the rubber band in place. Add an extra twist or two to the band to tighten it if necessary. Repeat the process with any remaining bags.

Tip

To maximize your storage options, put each item in its own bag. When finished, you'll have several small packages instead of one larger one, and you can stash them in tighter spots.

If the bag doesn't shrink as much as expected, it probably has a hole somewhere. Remove everything and try again with a different bag.

Things You'll Need

  • Clothes, blankets or other items

  • Sturdy trash bags

  • Vacuum cleaner with hose attachment

  • Rubber bands

  • Twist ties, if needed

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