Every spring magazines and blogs come out with content on spring cleaning one’s home. They give tips on de-cluttering closets and organizing what’s left. I can’t help but roll my eyes at their photos. Yeah, if I only owned seven blouses (all in white), three pairs of (khaki) pants and one handbag, my closet would look that great too.
Now I realize they’re styling the photos to be editorial. Pretty sells, not boring. I wouldn’t mind it so much if the tips being given were actually good advice. But then the information would conflict with the photos. Practical and smart don’t always make a pretty picture.
Some of the worst spring cleaning advice magazines and blogs give is how to store handbags. I cringe as I read their tips. Storing handbags isn’t just about making bags fit efficiently in a space. It’s storing them to preserve their shape, color and not cause damage. Let’s get these poor tips cleaned up.
Myth 1: Hooks and rods are excellent for hanging bags
No. No. No. This myth upsets me the most. Yes, it’s a good method for saving space, but one of the worst methods for taking care of the handles of your bags. Over time, the weight of your handbag, even a lightweight one, will pull on the handles and bend them around the hook, as shown at right. I also don’t recommend hanging the bag you’re currently using on a hook at your entryway. Unless the shape of your shoulder looks like a hook, the new shape your handle gets moulded into will not comfortably fit your shoulder.
Myth 2: Stuff the handbag with paper before storing
This one is partially true. Stuffing your handbags is very important. It helps bags keep their shape and prevent them from flopping in or getting smooched. Handbags should be stuffed with plastic, not paper, not yarn, not clothing. These items will attract little creatures. Use bubble-wrap, plastic bags or air pouches used in shipping. Push the plastic into the corners of the bag to get the right shape.
Myth 3: You only need to use the dust cover if the bag is Hermes
Whether a bag cost you $20 or $2,000, it shouldn’t matter. Take care of your things, treat them well and you just might be surprised how long that $20 bag will last. Every single handbag you own should be stored in a dust bag. It’s the very best way to keep it dust-free, protect it and stop it from fading. I hear you. If you bag your bags you won’t know what you have. Keep reading. I have a solution.
Myth 4: Use a kitchen lid rack as a clutch organizer
That’s a great idea…if you want your clutches to have U-shapes indented in them. Clutches should be stored flat in a drawer or box. They shouldn’t be stuffed as described above. Some clutches can be filed upright, but if there is a heavy metal frame that can weigh down on the fabric over time, it’s best to lay it flat.
How to properly store handbags
1. Clean your bag before putting it away. Depending on the material, wipe it with a damp or dry cloth. Remove everything from inside. Brush or vacuum out dirt.
2. Stuff with plastic and form handbag’s shape.
3. Remove any detachable straps, fold and place inside bag.
4. Place handbag in dust bag and tighten drawstring.
5. Store on a shelf or in a cubby, standing upright (unless it’s a flat bag). If you insist on hanging your bags to save space, hang the dust bag on the hook, not the bag handles.
There you have it. The non-pretty, handbag-saving method for storing your bags. Oh, and that problem about not knowing what’s in each bag–pin a photo to the outside of each dust bag. You could even create a collage in your closet using duplicate photos so you can view all the bags you own in one quick look.
Get to work! Are your bags being treated as well as they should be? Do some re-organizing and give priority to making a safe, happy home for your handbag collection.
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