Purse storage solutions these days are as eclectic as our handbag collections--from bins to hooks there’s plenty of options to find just the right fit for your closet.
It’s also a great time to create the perfect purse storage strategy, so you can be ready for when you are able to dress up and head out on the town.
After all, organized spaces create a sense of calm and make throwing together outfits easier and more fun, says Megan VanSickle, who owns a professional home organizing business based in Fayetteville, Georgia.
“It allows you to see what you have, which helps you to get more use out of your purses since they aren’t getting lost or forgotten about,” she said.
Follow our tips from expert organizers for caring for and storing your purse collection.
How to Downsize Your Purse Collection
There’s a few steps you need to take before you buy any purse storage items, said VanSickle, co-owner of Simply Organized at Home.
First, gather all of your purses together in one area and sort them into categories. VanSickle suggests the following categories: totes, cross-body, clutches, special occasions, or by seasons.
Next, she says you’ll want to edit what you have. One easy way to pare down your collection is to look for stains and signs of wear and discard any that are no longer usable.
“Evaluate if you still like each bag and will realistically use it enough to justify keeping it,” Van Sickle said. “Consider how many bags you have in each of your categories. If you have a few go-to bags that will always be the ones you choose to use, consider letting go of the others.”
Leigh Achenbach also likes to ask her clients how long it’s been since they’ve used their purses. This helps identify any purse that no longer fits their personal style or need.To ease the burden of letting go, she suggests her clients donate bags to local charities and women’s shelters, said Achenbach, professional organizer and owner of Suddenly Simple Organizing.
VanSickle also suggests passing them to friends or family who might get better use out of them or giving them to your kids for their dress-up collection.
How To Store Purses
Not every closet is created equal, and it’s important to take into account the space you have when you are planning your handbag storage strategy.
“Having a specific place for your purses, helps you know how many is too much and how much your closet layout allows,” Achenbach said.Our organizing experts have outlined the various storage options.
For small purses, if possible, Achenbach suggests hanging from a hook for easier access. Small bags are lighter and aren’t likely to strain straps.
Consider adding S-Hooks to your closet if you have the room to preserve their shape, VanSickle said. “We like hooks for your most commonly used purses because you will have a dedicated space for the purse to go back to and it will be easy to grab when you need it,” she said. Organizer Stephanie Jenkins couldn’t agree more. She likes to add command hooks to the backs of closet doors for easy access and efficient use of space. Pro-tip: only hang one bag per hook.
“A lot of times people will just shove their purses on a shelf and then scramble to try get to them and that’s just wasting a lot of time,” said Jenkins, owner of Simplify with Stephanie. “Now, anytime they want to go out they can grab one bag and put one back. Boom, done.”
Acrylic bins, VanSickle said “are a lovely choice if you have a beautiful and interesting collection that you love to see.” But this option will only work as long as you’re committed to putting your bags back nicely to maintain the look.
Meanwhile, fabric baskets can give you a cohesive look in your closet. If you have multiple baskets, add labels to the baskets so it will be easy to find what you are looking for, she said.
Storing purses on a shelf is another great option, VanSickle said. File them sideways to fit more bags and see what you have. For an added touch, use acrylic shelf dividers every few purses to provide support to keep the bags standing upright.
“Purse storage areas that look more like store displays are indeed becoming more popular. For many women, purses can remind them of milestones – a special gift from a loved one, a reward they treated themselves to after a work promotion, a brand that they have always adored, the handbag they used at their wedding, and so on,” she said. “When items carry that much sentimental meaning to you, it is wonderful to display them so you get the joy of seeing them often.”
No matter the storage solution, Jenkins likes to stuff larger bags with tissue or cloth so they don’t lose their shape. She avoids using plastic and newspaper, which can damage purses.
Between uses, put the paper in a dust bag and back in its storage spot.
Before your purses are stored away, Achenbach recommends you do this one thing: empty out any loose items other than the stuffing.
“A lot of people will put their purse up with old gum wrappers. If you’re going to take the time to store your purse, go ahead and completely empty it out first,” she said.
Read our blog on closet organization and design tips fit for the stars. Or learn how to reorganize your closet this season to find all your favorite fashions with ease. lastly, learn the best way to store watches for a timeless collection.