Unboxing a brand-new bag is one of the most exciting feelings – especially if you’re purse-obsessed like me. Bags typically come meticulously wrapped, packed away inside a sturdy and protective dust bag.

Speaking of, dust bags are meant to be used to store your bag when not in use, though I’ve seen people use them for all sorts of other things, like packing shoes for travel or grocery shopping. (Weird, I know.)

If you asks the specialists at Christie’s, they’ll tell you the absolute best way to store a handbag is in its original box. “Otherwise, line your bags up on a shelf in your closet. If the shelf is not tall enough, do not allow the handles of the bag to be pressed down — in this event, the bag should lie flat. You can keep track of your bags by including a note with the name of the bag on the box or dustbag, so that you don’t have to rifle through ten boxes before you find your Etoupe 35,” according to a previous article.

There’s one problem with this method (in my opinion, at least): You can’t see them! To me, my handbag collection is a work of art. It’s no different than someone’s love for collecting art or antique cars. Though there are some bags I don’t use often, displaying them brings me just as much joy as wearing them – and I know I’m not alone with this sentiment.

So here it goes (don’t judge me!): I’ve actually never stored my handbags inside their respective dust bags, unless I’m traveling. As I mentioned earlier, I’d rather display them. Quick glimpses at my black Prada Galleria or baby blue Fendi 2Jours bring me back to a specific moment in time, never failing to put a smile on my face. (It’s also pretty motivating, too.) Not only that, displaying them helps me remember what I have and encourages me to swap out my bags more often. So far (and it’s been quite a few years), I’ve noticed no damage to any of them. Sure, there’s a little dust here and there, but I’m pretty good at remembering to clean each one with a light cloth every few weeks. I also make sure they’re not displayed in direct sunlight, ensuring the leather stays intact.

I understand why handbag experts recommend storing purses inside dust bags. It’s far less likely something damning will happen (accidental water, sunlight exposure, increased dust, and so on and so forth) if your prized handbag is safely stored inside a branded canvas or cloth tote. (Psst. The recent Chanel ones are really cute.)

Given I live alone, I’m still willing to take the risk and have my bags displayed. Maybe I’ll have to learn the hard way, but for now, this method works for me.

Where and how do you store your handbags and why? I’d love to know!

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