How to store purses and bags without damaging them

Storing purses might sound easy, but what many people don't know is that the way they store their bags while they're not in use can destroy them long-term. Learn how to store purses and bags so you don't damage them.

Keep hardware away from the leather

Hardware can be found many places on a bag. It's the zippers, the d-rings that fasten many handles or the chains you use to carry them with.

Most hardware won't do any permanent damage to your purse if it's stored tightly with the bags for a little while, but if you keep them pushed against the other parts of the handbag for a long time, you can end up with both discolouration and damaged leather.

Some hardware will begin to discolour after a while, and that colour can transfer to the leather of your bag. Another issue if you store many purses or bags close to each other is that any hardware on the back or the front can push into the bag next to it and create a permanent indent in the leather.

To avoid this, keep enough space between two bags that they don't touch, and also make sure not to place the chains onto the bag it's hanging from.

If you have managed to stain your bag while storing them, read about how to remove stains from purses or how to clean the inside and outside of leather handbags.

Maintain their shape

One of the biggest things people do wrong when they store their purses is that they don't put them in a place where they will be forced to hold their position. This means that over time the shape of the bags will change, and you end up with sad and droopy-looking purses.

To do this properly, do not squeeze them into a too tight space or put other things on top of them.

But what's most important is to stuff the bags with something. When we store our bags here at Frost & Forest, we always fill the bags with silk paper that can be curled together to take up space. Another way to do this at home is to put old pillows or clothes inside the bags.

If you're storing your bags in a small space, you can use this to your advantage by putting your summer or winter clothes inside of larger bags while you are not using them. That way, your clothes have storage space, and your bags remain upright.

Don't hang your purses in the closet

Some people hang their bags on purse hooks inside their closets. It can look very decorative, and it can be an easy way to stack multiple bags on top of each other.

But we would not recommend doing this long-term as it can be damaging for the straps to have weight put on them for that long.

If you have space to store your handbags hanging, you could either buy a purse organiser and hang those on a wall or use the original dustbag that your bag came with. You put the handbag inside the dustbag and then hang the dustbag from a hook instead. That way, the straps aren't being stretched by holding the bags up.

purses hanging incorrectly in closet with red crosses over them

Display handbags in an open cabinet or bookshelf

If you display your bags in a cabinet or bookshelf, you need to make sure you dust them regularly. You don't want the dust to become ingrained in the leather, and on an open shelf, there's nothing protecting it.

You can also store the bag inside a dustbag (after all, protecting a bag from dust is what it's for), but make sure that the bags are made in a breathable fabric like cotton. You don't want any moisture to get trapped so mould can develop.

Store purses in the closet the right way

There are many strategies you can use to fit handbags into shelves in your closet in an orderly fashion.

One very popular way to store smaller bags and clutches is to use acrylic dividers on a shelf and put one bag on each. It will keep the bags standing up so they will take less space, and it will look a lot more organised than placing them randomly.

You can also store multiple bags behind each other on a wide shelf, but put the bags in the back on top of a shelf or box so you can still see them. This is similar to the way many spice shelves are set up, so you can still read the labels on the jars in the back. If you see all your bags, you are more likely to remember to use them.

Store by size and then colour

If you put up different sorting systems based on the size of your bags, you would obviously want to sort them like this first. You might have one shelf with acrylic dividers for your smaller purses, while your largest bags are stored on a different one.

To make everything look more put together, it's both easy and helpful to store the bags by colour. If your bags go from white to yellow, to orange to brown, to red to purple, to blue to green and to black, it will look like you're a criminal mastermind in action. Our brains love it when things are sorted in colour and it looks impressive.

Use empty boxes for stacking

If you don't have much space on your regular shelves, you might be able to fit in some storage boxes on top of your closet.

Put bags into boxes and stack them on top of each other. The downside to this is that you won't be able to immediately see your bags. You can label your boxes by, for example, drawing the shape of the type of bags you have in them, or drawing something in the same colour. This works best if you put several bags by type or colour in each storage box.

For more handbag inspiration and tips, follow us on Instagram or sign up to our Women in Business Newsletter.

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