“Handbags are an investment” – is something we often tell ourselves when we splurge on one. So, let’s not forget that the condition of your bag is what will determine its future value. Read: 10 Tips for Reselling Your Bag Online
Let’s face it, as much as we want and need to carry our beloved handbags, that use causes wear and tear. Pristine condition bags typically are that way because they are unused. Assuming your purses are not simply closet ornaments but rather functional accessories, attention to care can go a long way.
Here are some tips to ensure that your portfolio of bags stands the test of time:
Keep it Clean
Be careful with your precious bag the way you would anything of high value. We have come across many a horrific tale on things that can go wrong. Read: PurseBop Storytime: Worst Thing That’s Ever Happened to Your Bag
As you pack your bag, consider the contents and how they would affect the interior. What kind of damage, if any, could a spill of water, sanitizer, lotion or the like cause? Might your pens, lip gloss/stick, make up smear the fabric? What about the snacks you carry around for you and the kids. It is real life…and planning might help.
We’ve written about bag inserts protecting the interior and allowing a quick bag change. But you don’t need to even invest in that. Find zip-top bags or pouches to stow these potentially “threatening” items.
And then there’s the bag exterior. Ponder before setting your bag down on dirty floors, table tops or even your lap for that matter. A quick check on the weather report won’t hurt. A rainy day may call for protection, so carrying a purse raincoat (like the ones included with Hermès Birkins and Kellys), plastic bag or dust bag might help.
Once done using your bag, make sure to empty all its contents and clean both the inner and outer surfaces well. It is useful to ask your SA at the time of purchase for the best way to clean the particular leather and lining. Calf leather, suede and exotics each come with their own sets of dos and don’ts.
Maintain It's Shape
No one likes an out-of-shape bag. Whether smushed, stretched, saggy or scrunched, changes to the original design are disappointing and (often) preventable. A filler in your bag when storing will help keep its original shape. This can easily be done by filling the bag with bubble wrap or non-perfumed white tissue paper. Again, a bag insert when using the bag also works wonders.
For bags with straps, be sure to tuck the strap into the bag so as to not leave imprints on the leather. Layering a chain strap with tissue would make the packaging just perfect.
Your handbag likely came with or in its own dust bag when you brought it home from the store. Once cleaned and stuffed, make sure to pack the bag back in its dust bag for ideal storage. This will keep dust and mold at bay until used next. If you can’t find a dust bag, a pillow case will also work perfectly. Just make sure that the cloth you use is white or cream so as to not risk any color transfer.
If space isn’t a constraint, go ahead and put the bags back in their boxes and pile them up in your closet. Assuming that space is scarce, then storing them in dust bags will work just fine. It is best to line up your purses in an upright position. Clutches however should be kept lying flat. This again will help your purses retain their original shape. If you want to hang up the bags from hooks then make sure you hang them from the drawstring of the dust bag and not from the strap of the purse as it can result in your handbag getting stretched out of shape. If the bag has handles, then make sure that the shelf you are keeping it in is wide enough so as to not squeeze the handle out of shape.
The idea is to ensure that no two bags are in direct contact with each other or getting exposed to dust or mold while staying in shape!
This system would ofcourse result in some confusion when it comes to locating the bag you need quickly. Try labelling each box/dust bag. You can even consider clicking polaroid pictures of each bag and using those as labels!
Additional Tips for Humid Climate
Bags in humid weather conditions require more care and attention. Just following the above tips will not suffice. You will need to invest a little more of your time and energy towards ensuring that humidity doesn’t get the better of them.
Air Them Out Regularly
Months and sometimes even years can go by before some of your purses come out of storage. While keeping them tucked away in your closet in dust bags can work fine for most, bags in humid weather conditions should be aired out for a 24 hour period in an air-conditioned room in order to prevent mold.
Invest in a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier will help protect not just your handbags but clothes, jackets and shoes from the humidity. It’s supposed to be good for you too, so well worth the investment!
What tips do you follow for handbag storage? Share your tips and advice with us here.