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Does vacuum packing clothes really save storage?

Here are the pros and cons of vacuum sealing your clothes

Woman organizing her summer clothing
Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Regardless of the size of your space, it often feels as if you’ll never have enough room for storage. That’s why it’s crucial to maximize your storage areas with a few space-saving solutions so your garage, attic, or closet can stay tidy and organized. When packing away seasonal items, one of the most popular methods is to vacuum pack clothes. Vacuum sealing your clothing can create additional space in your closet and make it easier to transition your wardrobe for the seasons. That being said, this strategy isn’t without its drawbacks, and it might not be the best way to tackle every organizing project.

Today, we’re answering some vital questions about this storage method. After all, you want to protect and preserve your clothing items. So, before pulling out the heavy-duty storage bags, read through these pros and cons of vacuum packing to determine if this storage hack is a fit for you.

Person using vacuum to seal and store clothes

How does vacuum sealing work?

Vacuum packing is a method of placing items, like linens and clothing, into a durable bag and using a vacuum to suck the air out of it. This creates a vacuum seal, removing all the excess air to make your items as compact as possible. This process is fairly easy, and you don’t need any specialty tools to make it work, just a regular vacuum and durable bags with a zip-tight seal.

Young woman decluttering her clothing

Benefits of vacuum packing clothes

Saves space

Above all, vacuum packing saves space. When the air is sucked out, there is a noticeable difference in size as the bag shrinks to fit only the contents within. Whether you’re packing away baggy sweaters and cozy blankets or bikinis and sundresses, this is one of the best ways to fit all of your items into a much smaller space.

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Vacuum-sealed bags can also be more efficient than bins or totes because they are often slimmer, so you can fit them into tighter, more irregularly shaped spots.

Protects your clothing

Vacuum sealing can also protect your clothing, ensuring they don’t degrade while in storage. When the oxygen is removed from the bag, there is less opportunity for fungi and bacteria to survive. Bacteria require oxygen to grow and thrive, so without it, these microorganisms suffocate.

Additionally, vacuum-packed bags prevent water, mildew, and mold from reaching your items, so you can rest assured that the elements won’t tamper with them. Traditional storage bins just can’t provide this air-tight guarantee.

Makes moving easier

Moving items in and out of storage can be an arduous process, largely due to all the heavy lifting of moving bins and boxes all day. Storage bags eliminate some of this stress. Because vacuum-sealed bags are slim, they’re often easier to carry, especially compared to traditional totes.

Additionally, since the clothes are so compact, there is more opportunity to pack multiple items in a smaller space. This means you can move more items at once instead of making multiple trips to organize various totes and boxes.

Man holding vacuum-sealed clothing

Drawbacks of vacuum sealing clothes

While there are many excellent benefits to vacuum sealing your clothes, there are a few drawbacks you may want to consider before you go all-in on this storage hack.

Causes deep wrinkles

Vacuum sealing packs your items tightly together, often leaving deep wrinkles and creases in your garments. While wrinkles aren’t too harmful to casual wear, they can be stubborn and difficult to remove. Further, this isn’t the best solution for delicate or formal pieces as it can damage the fabric and possibly alter the shape of features like collars, shoulder pads, and other more constructed parts of the clothing item.

Adds an extra step

Storing seasonal items to prepare for the changing temperatures is already a daunting task — adding vacuum sealing to that process may be more trouble than it’s worth. If you need to protect many items from the elements, save space, or put items away for a long time period, vacuum sealing is great. On the other hand, it might not be the most efficient system for short-term storage of just a few pieces.

Requires durable bags

Flimsy bags can tear easily and let air and moisture seep in, so if you don’t own any already, you’ll need to invest in vacuum-safe bags with a sturdy, airtight seal. While considering your options, we recommend this pack of vacuum seal bags, which you can find at Amazon.

Person vacuum-sealing clothing

How long can you keep clothes in vacuum bags?

Typically, it’s best to keep clothing in vacuum-sealed bags for no longer than six months. Anything longer than that increases the chance of damage to the clothing, such as deep creases and wrinkles, potential mold or mildew buildup, or discoloration. This depends on several factors, like the storage location and the quality of the vacuum bags you’re using. Still, it’s better to take clothing out of the vacuum bags about every six months during the turn of the season to ensure your clothing is in its best shape.

Vacuum sealing your clothing can save you a lot of storage space and take some of the stress away from big projects. As long as you invest in high-quality, sealable bags, you can store all of your clothing in just a fraction of the space. Just be sure to have an iron or steamer on hand, and you’ll be left with fresh-pressed, mold and mildew-free clothes ensuring you can take on the new season in confidence.

Amelia Wilson
Amelia Wilson (author pen name Amelia J. Wilson) is a content writer in Greenwood, IN. She often enjoys topics on…
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