These 5 tricks for organizing purses are how the professionals create beautiful, well-ordered closets

Knowing how to properly organize your purses as well as your clothes is the key to a clutter-free closet

A collection of handbags arranged on a shelf
(Image credit: Alamy)

Organizing purses in a closet might sound simple, but anyone with a large collection of them will tell you it's more difficult than you'd think (especially when paired with a small wardrobe). And yet, the notion of a clutter-free closet where all your purses, clutches and wristlets are clearly visible needn't be just a pipe dream, and we're here to tell you why. 

Over the years we tend to accumulate a lot of clothes, as well as a host of accessories to go with them. While we all need a purse to match every outfit, when it comes to closet organization we're way less likely to declutter our purse collection than we are our clothing. Before long you might have found yourself running out of space for them, which is why organizing them properly is so important.  

'Whilst we prioritize organizing our clothes and ensuring they’re put away neatly, a lot of us don’t realize the importance of storing our purses properly as well,' explains Megan Watkins, head stylist and organizing expert at SilkFred. 'Bags should be organized and stored in order to keep their shape and protect fabrics from marks to ensure they stand the test of time.' 

If you're looking for some tips on how to do just that, then we've got you covered. We've asked some professional organizers for their best advice on how to store your purses for the satisfying closet that will give your favorite Instagrammers a run for their money. 

Lilith headshot for bio
Lilith Hudson

Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. A firm believer that a tidy home is a happy one, she's committed to helping readers organize and declutter their spaces through sharing practical tips and guides. For this piece, she spoke with professional organizers to find out how we should be storing our purses in our closets for ultimate satisfaction.

How to organize purses in a closet

1. Start with an inventory 

A walk in closet in a bedroom

(Image credit: Sharps)

As with every organizing task, you should start by taking an inventory. Lay all the purses and bags you own out on your bed so you can see what you're working with, and commit to donating, selling, or throwing some away. 

'The review should always be the first step, especially if you have limited space,' says Ben Soreff, a professional organizer at h2h organizing. 'Instead of being negative about the things you don't use, focus on why you haven't used them. Maybe it's a keepsake like the clutch you used for your wedding, or perhaps you bought it on sale and don't actually like it.'

If space is at a premium and you're looking to declutter, try to part with at least three purses. Even those you do decide to keep don't necessarily have to go back into your closet. Ben advises putting purses or clutches you don't use other than for very formal occasions in the closet in your guest room so they don't take up space in your own space. You could also find suitable under bed storage if a guest bedroom isn't an option. 

2. Make sure your purses are stuffed to help keep their shape 

A large walk in closet with shelving for bags and purses

(Image credit: Alamy)

Purses are often investment items, which means you'll want to avoid damaging them. Before you begin arranging them, it's a good idea to stuff them to help keep their shape. 

You can do this with specially designed purse fillers, or you can use tissue paper or shopping bags. 'I like the Fabrinique brand of purse fillers because they come in a wide range of sizes and colors to help your purses look great in your closet,' explains organizing expert Lucy Milligan Wahl, founder of LMW Edits. 'If you’d prefer a DIY route, I would stuff a cloth bag (like a shoe bag or old pillow case) with whatever soft stuff you have lying around.'

Fabrinique purse shaper inserts, Amazon
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Fabrinique purse shaper inserts, Amazon

To keep your purses in good shape and make it easier to stand them on your closet shelves, shaper inserts are a good idea. These options from Fabrinique come in a range of different sizes and colors, and the silky exterior of each pillow helps to protect your purse.

3. If space permits, using shelving

clothes hanging neatly in a white closet

(Image credit: Maison Haven)

If you're fortunate enough to have a generous walk-in closet, the simplest way to organize your purses is by lining them side by side on your closet shelves. The top shelf is usually the most practical since you won't be switching up your purse as often as your clothes. 

'Make sure each bag has enough breathing space and is filled with packing paper or inserts to help the bag keep its shape,' says Megan from SilkFred. 'You can also use clear dividers to create a cubby hole effect for each bag, ensuring plenty of space and something sturdy for bags to lean on.'

If you don't want to spend money on your organizing efforts, there are some household items you might be able to repurpose which will have the same effect. 'To keep clutches and other small purses standing upright, you can also use a letter sorter or magazine rack,' says Lucy. 'Open top is best so that it will fit a variety of purse sizes.' 

Acrylic shelf dividers, Amazon
Editor's pick

Acrylic shelf dividers, Amazon

To prevent your purses falling over or getting lost at the back of your closet, these shelf dividers are a great idea. They securely clasp to your shelf to organize shelves and keep items vertically in place. We love how the clear design keeps everything easily visible, too. 

4. Use purse hanger hooks on your railings

A large walk-in closet

(Image credit: Alamy)

If you don't have shelving space, fear not - there are plenty of other ways to store your bags for a more organized closet. If you have room on your railings professional organizer Mary Jo Contello, owner of Organized by MJ, suggests buying nifty rod hooks to hang your purses on. These are the perfect solution for larger bags and they won't risk ruining their shape (as long as they're lightweight enough).

Metal purse hangers, The Container Store
Editor's pick

Metal purse hangers, The Container Store

If you're shelving is already overwhelmed, these purse hooks are a great alternative. These ones from The Container Store, which come in a pack of six, are designed to hang over your railing to easily organize your purses for a clutter-free closet. 

5. Make use of over-the-door organizers 

Even if you think you've exhausted all your options for organizing your purses, there are some clever storage ideas that you probably haven't thought of that you might want to consider first. 

'If you have less storage and wardrobe space to play with, make use of what you have,' says Megan. 'You can attach small baskets to the inside door of your wardrobe and slot smaller clutches and coin purses in these.' As long as your closet doors pull outwards, these kinds of space-saving solutions are perfect if you have a small closet as they free up all your shelving and railing space. 

You can also purchase specially designed over-the-door organizers with pockets to slide your smaller purses in. 'If your door does not pull out or you haven't got the space to close it, try hanging the organizer from a hook on the closet wall or from the closet rod,' suggest expert organizer Jamie Novak, author of the organizing self-help book Keep This, Toss That, available at Amazon.

Over-the-door organizer, Amazon
Editor's choice

Over-the-door organizer, Amazon

Make the most of every square inch of space with this over-the-door organizer from Amazon. The clear pockets make it easy to exactly what's within them, while the canvas material is available in three different colors to suit your style. 

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.