How to Genuinely Care for your Bags

After sharing how I decluttered and organized my clothes in my closet tour, it's now time to tackle handbags! In the Konmari Method, clothing category include bags and shoes. For this blog entry, I'll show you how I transformed my bags cabinet. And as a treat for all the bag lovers out there, I'm also including some tips on how to genuinely care for your bags straight from a professional handbags and shoes care expert!

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How to genuinely care for your bags

I confess, I adore bags and purses and I own quite a few (well, many), each for a different use, and most gifted by loved ones. As a matter of fact, I never leave the house without a handbag. I'm a girl scout kind of girl and my friends think I bring my whole house in my bag!

When it comes to bag choices, I usually purchase mid-range but good quality bags. I used to have several leather bags but I end up getting frustrated because they would easily get damaged from not being used often. You see, I only use ONE handbag for my everyday office work. But I still keep a few others simply because bags are one of the most enjoyable accessories to buy and wear!

Only during my decluttering process that I realized how poorly I've been treating my bags. For one, I've been keeping far more bags than I need and more than I can store. No wonder, my bags used to look so cramped and disorganized!

 
 All my handbags taken out from different storage places

All my handbags taken out from different storage places

 

Just by looking at how I used to store my bags, one can easily tell why some of them get damaged easily. I think I heard them gasp for air when I took them all out of the cabinet!

 
  BEFORE : My poor bags used to be cramped in a tiny shelf of a cabinet

BEFORE: My poor bags used to be cramped in a tiny shelf of a cabinet

 

So after discarding the ones that I don't really use anymore, I organized them into categories (clutches, purses, totes, handbags, etc). Using the Konmari Method, I stored all of them upright. I made use of both shelves to store all my bags and purses and added some trays (Php88 each from Japan Home Center) to keep them organized. Having them all neatly stored in one place made it so much easier to find what I'm looking for. Swapping of bags is now a breeze for me! I also made sure to put my precious leather bags in dust bags to keep them in good condition.

 
  AFTER:  Now, my bags look so much comfortable in this cabinet!

AFTER: Now, my bags look so much comfortable in this cabinet!

 

Now, to help all the bag lovers out there in organizing your collection, here are some tips on how to genuinely care for your bags - straight from the owner of the Leather Care Project, Ann Sales!

She is a friend of mine who turned her love and knowledge for bags and shoes into a professional service helping others care and restore their precious collections. To read her full article on how to care for your bags, you may visit her blog in this link.

How to Care for Your Bags

Written By: Ann Sales (full article can be found here )

1.  Use your bags.  Use them well.  They will age well. 

2.  Air your bags regularly, but do not expose it to direct sunlight.  This is ideally done once a week, but our busy lives could probably allow once a month.    Good ventilation is healthy for your handbag.  

3.  Wipe your handbag clean with a soft cotton cloth.  An old cotton t-shirt can do the trick.  For suede, use a suede brush or soft-bristled toothbrush.   For fabric, a soft-bristled toothbrush or horse hairbrush can prevent dust from settling into the fibers.  

4.  Make sure that your bag is dry before you keep it in a dust bag.  This is to avoid (excessive) moisture build up while in storage.  Excessive moisture is a breeding place for molds or mildew.  Brush the lining using a soft brush to shake off dirt or dust.  

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Storage tip for hardware:

Wrap detachable hardware separately.  In case the hardware tarnishes overtime, its dark color will not transfer to the adjacent fabric or leather. 

5.  Store your bag in a dust bag.  One bag is to one dust bag.  No dust bag, no problem.  A soft pillow case can work as an alternative. Avoid storing leather bags in plastic.  Leather is skin.  Skin must be able to breathe.

6.  To maintain the shape of your bag, use a stuffer when storing.  DIY stuffer:  bundle clean, white bond papers; wrap in white Japanese paper. Tape the ends to hold the paper bundle in place.

7.  Avoid spilling solvent on your bag.  Solvent may cause the bag's color to bleed. 

8.  When leather becomes sticky, refer to Tip #2, and then store your bag in a cooler room.  Do not place it right next to other bags to avoid color transfer.  Observe. If stickiness persists, consult a handbag cleaning expert.  

9.  If you must purchase a cleaning or polishing product, it has to be intended for the type of materials of your bag (example:  smooth leather / patent (shiny layer) / suede or nubuck / fabric).  Read the label before purchasing.  

10.  If you must apply any product to your bag, do a spot test in a hidden section of the bag.  Check the material's reaction to the product before applying it to the entire bag

To know more about handbag cleaning and restoration, please visit the Leather Care Project page in Facebook and Instagram (@leathercareproject).