How to Store and Protect Your Favorite Purses

Jon Fesmire |

A purse, handbag, or mini-backpack is more than just something to carry your stuff in. It’s an expression of your tastes and style. While men tend to think of backpacks and carrying sacks in a more utilitarian way (though we do have some style when it comes to them), women tend to want something that can hold various necessities and look amazing.

Plus, a good purse can be expensive, and most women have more than one. Naturally, you’ll want to keep each of your purses in good shape and looking nice, whether hanging from your shoulder or safe in storage.

Let’s use the word “purse” to cover all these sorts of bags, and we’ll cover general purse care in and out of storage.

Keeping it Clean

When you’re out and about, be conscious of where you set your purse. Do not set it on the floor. At a restaurant, you may want to set it on the seat beside yourself, or the table if there’s enough room. Avoid touching the bag portion unless you need to, and handle it by the straps. Oil from the skin can cause damage over time.

Also, avoid cleaning it with common household cleaners. Most of the time, you can spot clean it with a damp cloth, using water only.

For a more thorough cleaning, such as you should do before you put a purse in storage, read the instructions that came with it. If you don’t have them, you can generally find instructions online. If no specific steps are given, check what material your purse is made of, and look up how to clean a handbag made from it. For example, there may be a leather cleaner ideal for your purse.

Handling Repairs

Get repairs done to your purse as soon as you can after they happen. We encourage you to get this done by professionals, such as a seamstress or a leather repair shop. Tears, cracks, and so on just tend to get worse once they get started. You want to be able to use your purse and have it remain in good shape.

If you’re preparing a purse for storage and it has any damage, get it fixed after you’ve cleaned it.

Storing Your Purses

Whether you plan to store one purse or many purses, and whether you plan to do this in your closet or a storage unit, you’ll want to do it right.

To protect your purse from gathering dust, use the dust bag cover that came with it. Most do come with a dust cover, but if yours didn’t, or if you lost it, you can use a clean pillowcase. To make sure it keeps its shape, use tissue paper or acid-free packing paper inside.

Also, make sure zippers are zipped, clips are fastened, and the handles are on top. If these measures aren’t taken, strange as it sounds, that can cause your purse to bend out of shape and cause damage over time.

If you choose to store it in a box, use a cardboard box and make sure it isn’t packed too tightly, which can cause the purse to lose its shape. Keeping it on a shelf in your closet or storage unit is a good option.

Finally, if you live in an area where the weather ranges from cold and dry in the winter to hot and humid in the summer, you’ll want to store your purses in your cool closet, or a climate-controlled storage unit. Climate control keeps the temperature in your unit between about 50 and 80 degrees, and the humidity between 30% and 50%, safe ranges for your stuff.

If you need help finding a great storage unit near you, check out our listings.