You just made the giant leap and purchased the designer bag of your dreams. The next step is to care for your precious piece and the rest of your collection so that they will always be in pristine condition. 

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All in the bag

Don’t throw away the dust cloths your bags came in. When it comes to bags that you do not use often, their original storage bags are your best bet for storing them properly. Another option would be to wrap them in cotton pillowcases. A standard 20 x 30 pillowcase is a good average size storage for most bags.

NO to plastic

Never store your bags in plastic as this will not allow it to breathe. This will dry out your leather or suede bags.

Metal works

When storing your bags, especially those you will not use for a long time, wrap all metal accessories: chains, rings, and studs so they don’t leave markings on other bags. You may use a piece of cloth or tissue for this. Chain handles should be tucked inside the bag as these may scratch leather surfaces around it. Fastenings and buckles must be undone too so they don’t leave impressions on the bag.

The right stuff

To keep your bags in good shape, you may use tissue as stuffing material; or any alternative, acid-free filing. Never use old newspapers as the ink and chemicals may cause a reaction and damage your bags. Over tissue paper though, bubble wrap or wrapping bags even do better as they don’t attract moths as much as tissue paper. 

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Moisture be gone

Place a container of baking soda at the back of your closet to help absorb odors and moisture that may build up in time and cause damage to your prized items.

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Bag organizer

Finding a particular bag in a whole shelf of nicely wrapped ones may take a while though. Organize your bags and make them easier to find with pictures. Take a photo of each of your bags, laminate it and attach it with a safety pin on or stick it to its container.

Easy access

Store the handbags you use regularly in an easily accessible area like on the side or top shelf in your closet. You may organize them by size or by color. Never place your bags on the floor unless they are inside storage boxes or openly hung on hooks.

It’s a shoe-in

If you have ample space, a better way to store them is as you would your shoes in boxes. This allows them to breathe, protects them from the elements and makes them easy to stock. The boxes should be big enough though so you don’t fold over the handles.

In too deep

If your closets are of standard depth chances are they are two feet deep. It may be a bit of a challenge to reach the items placed in the back of the shelf. Create your own drawer type/pullout storage with plastic bins or baskets.

Quick clean

An easy and simple way to clean your bag is to empty it out completely first. Check every pocket or slot, vacuum if you must. Using a barely damp cloth. Wipe the outside of your bag completely. Wait until your bag is completely dry then store it. This is enough for your nylon plastic or oil cloth bags but others need more care:

Leather

Leather bags may benefit with a little extra care from a leather protectant. Be sure to make a patch test on a small area first as some may be too strong and may discolor your bag. This will give your bags extra protection against rain or spills. Most name brands sell their own in their stores.

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Suede

A Suede Care Kit or a suede protectant is a big help in caring for your suede bags.  They usually come with a suede brush and an eraser to help you remove stains or dirt build-up. Use the brush gently though as too much pressure might remove some of the material.

Canvas

3m’s Scotch Guard is your best friend when it comes to caring for your canvas bags. This will protect your canvas bag from stains. Be sure not to spray leather or suede trimmings on your canvas bags if there are any.

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Read the original article ("It's in the Bag!") in the January 2011 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to summitnewsstand.com.ph/real-living for more details. 

This story originally appeared on Realliving.com.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.

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