Organizing bags, from the tiniest clutch to the roomiest suitcase, can be a real challenge. With the help of some experts, we’ve rounded up the best products not only for organizing and storing bags, but also for ensuring they don’t sustain damage while not in use — all under $25.
Christopher Moore, a leathersmith and the owner of Artbag, a handbag cleaning and repair concern based in New York City, offered some general guidance for storing bags, including why investing in storage solutions is a smart thing to do. “Properly stored bags will last longer,” he says.
“You should not hang your bags while storing them,” Moore says, because it can cause undue stress on the straps. “Bags that are hanging when stored can develop stress points from the hanging.” He emphasizes that hanging bags on door knobs or on clothes hangers should be avoided — he says he often sees bags in need of repair with the telltale signs of knob or hanger damage.
And finally, when it comes to medium- to long-term storage for bags, especially leather and suede, Moore recommends avoiding plastic storage bags and bins. “Over time, bags can stick to the plastic or overheat in storage, which can ruin the lining of the bag.”
Artliving Purse Hanger, 4-Pack ($13.99; amazon.com)
If you are a person who likes to hang their bags, but wants to avoid the damage that Moore warns of, this set of four purse hangers provides an easy way to store bags in the way that’s most natural for you, without leaving the kind of damage that clothes hangers can cause.
Longteam Hanging Purse Organizer ($19.85, originally $29.99; amazon.com)
This hanging purse organizer borrows from those hanging shoe organizers that are so ubiquitous. We like this style because it doesn’t have any plastic detailing, so it’s more breathable than other similar fabrications.
Andgoo Display Risers, 6-Pack ($21.88; amazon.com)
Display risers are a great way to house bags that you also enjoy looking at! If you’ve invested time and money into your handbag collection, risers allow you to show off your goods — and a happy side effect of display-style storage is that you’re more likely to rotate bags when you see them every day.
The Linen Lady Acid-Free Tissue Paper ($19.98; amazon.com)
Bags that are stored display-style will look much better if they’re stuffed, but regardless of the manner of storage, stuffing bags is a good idea to help them retain their shape and prevent creasing and other damage. “Bags should be stuffed with old T-shirts, pillowcases or acid-free paper while not in use,” Moore says. “The stuffing used should not make the sides of the bag protrude. It should retain its natural shape.”
Innies Quilted Purse Shapers (starting at $14.99; containerstore.com)
Moore often sees damaged bags that need structural repairs due to improper storage. “Clients that do not stuff their bags while stored may find that the structure of the bag will become compromised over time,” he says. These purse shapers are easy to slip in and out of a bag to help retain its shape while not being used.
Cotton Breathable Drawstring Dust Covers, 3-Pack ($12.99; amazon.com)
Open storage presents another issue for bags that are less frequently used: dust and other environmental debris. “I suggest storing bags in the original dust bag or a pillow case,” Moore says. If you don’t have the original dust bag, inexpensive cotton dust bags are a very smart investment — and they can double as shoe bags for travel as well.
storageLAB Under Bed Shoe Storage Organizer with Adjustable Dividers ($23.99, originally $29.99; amazon.com)
Alex Rush, a professional organizer whose company, Spruce NYC, specializes in small spaces, recommends this under-the-bed shoe organizer for her clients who are short on space, but cannot bear to part with their beloved handbags. “It’s best for clutches and smaller bags,” she says, “and even though they won’t be able to be ‘displayed,’ they still look nice and organized when you pull them out from under the bed and you’re able to see everything you’re working with.”
The Container Store Clear Stackable Large Shoe Drawer (starting at $9.99; containerstore.com)
Products that are marketed for shoe storage are often great choices for bag storage. These clear stackable shoe drawers would be perfect for a bag collection we often forget needs organizing: cosmetics and toiletries bags, which tend to add up to a large, unmanageable pile. Using a clear organizer helps you to see what you have, so you can use what you have and discard anything that you don’t need.
iwill Create Pro Large Closet Storage Box with Lid (starting at $16.99; amazon.com)
If you have a large bag, or a collection of smaller bags that you don’t use often, a large zippered storage box is a good way to house them. This box is linen, so it’s breathable, and it comes with removable dividers to create sections that will keep bags from touching each other while in storage.
mDesign Plastic Purse and Handbag Organizer ($19.99, originally $25.99; amazon.com)
Rush calls this purse, clutch and wallet organizer “one of my favorite handbag organizers.” She says the clear acrylic fabrication “is ideal because handbags are pretty and they like to be seen and adored.”
mDesign Plastic 5 Compartment Hanging Closet Storage Organizer Tray ($19.99, originally $22.99; amazon.com)
If you don’t have the shelf or surface space to devote to a clutch organizer but love the style that Rush recommends, this hanging version is a fantastic alternative. It has five compartments and can be used to hold small bags as well as accessories like balled-up scarves, compact umbrellas, sunglasses and belts.
Bee Neat Clear Acrylic Shelf Dividers, 2-Pack ($20.27; amazon.com)
Long closet shelves are great storage spaces, but they can become a mess very quickly — regardless of what you’re storing up there. Shelf dividers solve that problem by creating cubbyholes of sorts, which are especially helpful for storing bags upright and helping them to retain their shape.
The Container Store Linen Cambridge Purse Storage Bin ($19.99; containerstore.com)
Another way to create cubby-style storage on a shelf or dresser top is to use storage bins. This linen-covered, open-top bin is designed specifically for purses, with a sloped design that allows you to see items that are stored in the back of the unit.
Avera Charcoal Purse Storage Bins (starting at $23; containerstore.com)
This purse storage bin is a slightly different turn on the concept that takes inspiration from magazine holders. If your bag collection includes taller totes, this style with its higher walls will be a better choice than wider, shallower storage bins.
Hardboard Pegboard ($18.99; lowes.com)
“I adore a pegboard,” Rush says of this super-versatile organizer. “Many people use these for hanging utensils in the kitchen, but they work great for handbags as well,” she says, adding that pegboards are “an excellent way to make use of empty vertical space.” However, bear Moore’s advice in mind and use a pegboard for holding bags that you use often and/or that have handles that won’t be damaged by hooks.
Household Essentials Krush Canvas Utility Tote ($10.70, originally $16.99; amazon.com)
Almost every household has a bag of bags — plastic grocery bags, reusable totes, shopping bags — and while they’re useful, they can also quickly turn into a pile of trash. A thing to bear in mind is that there’s a reasonable number of bags you need, and that you are not required to keep a bag just because it’s been given to you. Using a utility tote to store spare bags is a good way to keep a cap on how many you’re squirrelling away.
Suoernuo 4-Tier Storage Organizer ($24.87; amazon.com)
Entryways and mudrooms are dumping grounds for all sorts of things, from shoes to umbrellas to, of course, bags. A tiered organizing shelf can provide a space for all that stuff to go so it doesn’t turn into visual clutter that confronts you every time you walk through the door.
Dust Cover Big Plastic Drawstring Bags for Storage and Luggage, 4-Pack ($19.99; amazon.com)
It can be easy to forget that luggage needs some love too, but it sure does! If you store suitcases and other travel bags in the attic, garage or basement, it’s a good idea to buy a set of protective covers to help keep water, dirt and critters from damaging your luggage while it’s not in use.
Everbilt Heavy Duty Wall-Mounted Steel Double-Arm Padded Hanger ($7.48; homedepot.com)
Garage hooks are among the most versatile and useful storage options out there — right up there with the good old pegboard — and one of the uses we love them for is storing luggage. These inexpensive hooks are a smart way to take advantage of vertical storage space, which we like for bulky luggage that would otherwise take up a lot of floor space.
Explore Land Travel Luggage Cover Suitcase Protector (starting at $10.99; amazon.com)
One drawback of wall-mounted hook storage systems is that items can get a bit banged up when you hoist them up or lift them down. This suitcase protector covers luggage to prevent damage like scratching and staining, and is a good addition if you opt for garage hook storage. It comes in four sizes and a variety of colors, which is also helpful while traveling to distinguish your suitcase among a sea of similar styles.