Friday, 29 March 2013

Packmate Storage Solutions Review

My airing cupboard, before
I had something of an epiphany recently.  One of those moments where you realise where you've been going wrong all along.  While our new house is so much better than our old one, in many many ways, I'm still adjusting to the changes in storage space.  I've got less wardrobe space, but I've now got an airing cupboard that I didn't have in the old house (and discovered more towels & bedlinen than one person could reasonably use in a lifetime).  I had to work out a better way to organise them.  So when Packmate offered me the chance to try out some of their storage solutions, I had to give it a go.  (Secretly, I think Squeaky Daddy had been in touch with them first, as he despairs of my inability to keep things tidy.)

I am slightly, just slightly, ashamed to show you these photos.  This is what Packmate had to do battle with.  The organised chaos of my airing cupboard, organised in as much as I knew what shelf things were on, but nothing more than that.  And the complete disaster area of my wardrobe.  This is AFTER I had a massive clear out of clothes that I don't wear any more & took them to the charity shop.  I'm not going to say what you can learn about me from these photos.

Packmate sent me a selection of their products.  I received a set of  vacuum storage bags, a set of travel storage bags, a hanging storage bag for suits, a blanket storage box & underbed storage bags from their Storeasy range.

My wardrobe, before
I have to admit I was sceptical about the vacuum bags.  I've bought vacuum bags before from various places, and then found that because I've got a Dyson, and it has a non-standard nozzle, I couldn't connect it up to the bag to suck the air out, meaning I couldn't get the full shrinking effect.  I'm pleased to say that wasn't the case with Packmate, as the vacuum outlet was small enough for my Dyson's nozzle to fit, so I finally found out what vacuum bags are meant to do!

What I really liked was that thought had gone into the design of the bags.  Rather than just clear, or plain bags, they've got a really attractive leaf design.  I haven't got the patience to get things up into the attic twice a year, so my vacuum bags will be living on the top shelf of my wardrobe, and I'm glad to have something that I don't mind looking at! The travel storage bags had a different, striped design, equally attractive.
The vacuum bag's groovy leaves

Airing Cupboard, after
How did I get on?  That's what you really want to know, right?  Well, see that airing cupboard up there?  I took out the towels & bedding that weren't in current rotation (use, wash, spare, guests) and put them into the blanket box, and look at it now!  You can actually see that it's an airing cupboard, with a hot water tank in it!  The blanket box fits in at the back on the top shelf, you can just about see it in the top left of this shot.  Now I can not only tell which shelf something is on, but I can actually find it without running the risk of falling victim to an avalanche of bathtowels.  Seriously, I think there were more in there than in my local Matalan!

What of the wardrobe?  Well, I originally thought I'd chosen the wrong time of year to do this, moving into springtime, and I decided to vacuum pack away all my summer clothes.  This time last year we had a mini-heatwave.  However, I'm very glad right now that I didn't pack my jumpers away instead.  In tidying my wardrobe I found jumpers, shirts and trousers that I'd completely forgotten, because they'd been pushed to the back never to see the light of day again.  Now the summer clothes are bagged up, as you can see at the top, the winter clothes are hanging up, I can get at my shoes in the box at the bottom, and I've even got space to put my perfumes.  (Keep them in the boxes, in the dark, they retain their scent longer that way).

Wardrobe, after

The vacuum bags were very easy to use, and had space for a massive amount of clothes in them.  There's actually more in those bags than was in the wardrobe, as I also emptied a couple of drawers into the bags at the same time.  The travel bags (the green striped ones on top) were even easier.  These don't need the vacuum hose, you just place items in, zip it up, and roll the air out at the bottom, so they're ideal for travelling, as you can squeeze so much more into your hand luggage, and avoid the excess charges for checking your bags in at the airport.  I wish I'd been thinking a bit more, I could have used these last week to pack our clothes in for the trip to the caravan, I would have saved so much space in the car!

Packmate are available from Lakeland, TK Maxx, Homesense, and various online retailers, with prices from £9.99.

Disclosure: I was provided with a range of Packmate storage bags free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not told what to write and all opinions are my own.  Links are provided for your convenience, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme & will not receive reward for their use.

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