Closet Case: How to Organize Your Handbags

Photo: ContainerStore.com

In our weekly Closet Case feature, we post photos of swoon-worthy celebrity closet spaces and link to our fave video clips offering tips on how to better organize your wardrobe. This week, S&P is taking it up a notch by adding occasional Q&As with certified professional organizers (CPO) to the series and getting expert advice on how to maximize your storage space.

This week, we had a chance to chat with Kim Oser, CPO®, owner of  Put It Away! Professional Organizers and member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, about easy ways to store your stylish handbags without creating a cluttered mess in your closet.

What are some big mistakes people make when storing handbags in their closet?

People often forget to empty their bags before putting them away. They’ll hang them up loaded with stuff, which puts stress on the purse straps. If you happen to leave any pens or small containers with liquids in them (for example, hand sanitizer or lotion), they could leak undetected and ruin the bag.

Good to Go bags

Good to Go Bag Organizer, $19.99 (for small insert), g2gbags.com

It’s important to empty your handbag beforehand. There are several handbag organizers with extra storage pockets that you can easily place inside multiple bags, making it easier to transport all of your must-have items from one purse to another. Some examples of these are Good to Go bags and Pouchee.

What are a few simple ways to organize handbags of various sizes — from satchels to totes to clutches?

CoverMates Over the Door Purse Organizer, $9.99, amazon.com

CoverMates Over the Door Purse Organizer, $9.99, amazon.com

There are many tools available. The key is being able to see your handbags. If you can’t actually see them, you’re likely to forget exactly what you own and they’ll just take up space in your closet [and go unused].

My favorite way to organize purses is by storing them on the top shelf of a closet using shelf dividers. This method works for storing bags of varying sizes. The dividers come in various styles, such as a chrome or white finish, to match your preference and are available for both wood and ventilated shelving. If you use cloth bags [to protect your handbags], I recommend using shelf labels, which can clip onto the shelf, to better help you quickly identify each bag that’s covered.

If you’re short on shelf space, there are hanging purse organizers that hang from your closet rod or on the back of your closet door, which  also allow you to see each bag.

How do you know when it’s time for a closet purge to allow for more space? Is there an ideal time of year to do it?

There is no specific season that you should organize — it should be an ongoing process. As you buy new things, you should take the time to evaluate older items you already own, paying special attention to whether something is torn, stained or worn out. Are there items in your closet that you no longer wear or like? Anything that meets this criteria should be removed. You can donate, consign or repurpose the unwanted items.

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