How to Get Rid of Handbags: Donate, Sell, or Repurpose Tips

So you’ve got a pile of handbags collecting dust in your closet, huh? We’ve all been there. You’re not alone in wondering what to do with those once-loved accessories that now just take up space.

bag vanity featured image

But don’t worry, there’s a way out of the clutter. Whether you’re looking to declutter, make a bit of cash, or simply find your handbags a new home, you’ve got options.

Assessing your handbags

Determining Value

Before you decide the fate of each handbag, assess their value, both monetary and sentimental. High-end designer bags may fetch a handsome sum while vintage finds could hold both financial and nostalgic worth. Condition is key; bags in pristine shape are worth more than those with wear and tear.

Evaluating Usage

Ask yourself when you last used each bag. A rule of thumb: if it hasn’t seen the light of day in over a year, it’s likely you won’t miss it. Keep in mind that rarity or uniqueness might warrant keeping a bag even without regular use.

Functional Fit

Consider your lifestyle. Does the handbag serve a purpose in your current day-to-day activities? If you cannot visualize a situation where the bag fits your needs, it might be time for it to go. Remember, practicality often trumps sentiment.

Current Trends

Stay informed about fashion. While classic designs rarely go out of style, some bags may have become outdated. However, trends can be cyclical; today’s passé accessory might be tomorrow’s retro must-have.

Emotional Attachments

Lastly, weigh emotional connections. Certain handbags can evoke memories and feelings. Though it’s tough, try to distinguish between a healthy attachment and unnecessary clutter.

Move onto the next step once you’ve evaluated each aspect. Remember, you’re simplifying your life and making room for new treasures.

Cleaning and organizing your handbags

Before you decide to say goodbye to any handbag, give them a thorough clean – it might just revive your love for them. Empty each bag and shake out the debris. For leather purses, use a specialized cleaner and conditioner to maintain their luster. Fabric bags can often endure a gentle hand wash or a careful cycle in the washing machine. Remember to check the care label first to avoid any mishaps.

Once cleaned, sort your handbags by size and function. Clutches for evening events, totes for work, and crossbody bags for casual outings should each have their spot in your closet or storage area.

Storing handbags properly preserves their shape and material integrity. Use bubble wrap or acid-free tissue paper to stuff them. Avoid using newspaper, as it can smudge and degrade the lining over time. For structured bags, consider a shelf or a cubby-style organizer that keeps them upright and visible.

Hooks can be a space-saver for hanging bags, but be cautious. Don’t overload hooks as the constant weight can misshape straps or weaken joins. If you’re tight on space, you can also rotate bag displays depending on the season or your current rotation.

Organize by frequency of use. Keep frequently used bags readily accessible, while special-occasion bags can be stored higher up or in less immediate spaces.

Labeling shelves or storage containers with the type of bag or brand can speed up finding what you need. This is particularly useful if you keep your bags in boxes or dust covers.

In the process of organization, you’ll likely encounter bags that no longer suit your lifestyle. Reevaluate your attachment. If you’ve maintained it well but it’s not fitting in with your needs or style, add it to your ‘to-go’ pile. This decisive action clears clutter and makes way for functional fashion.

Donating your handbags to charity

When you’re ready to bid farewell to your handbags, consider donating to charity. This isn’t just about clearing clutter, it’s about making a positive impact. Your gently used handbags can become treasured items for someone in need.

Find Local Charities that accept handbag donations. Women’s shelters, local thrift stores, and nonprofit organizations often welcome these items. Ensure they’re in good condition—charities can’t use damaged goods.

Check Donation Requirements before you drop off your handbags. Some organizations have specific needs or restrictions, such as size and type of bags. Call ahead or visit their website to avoid any confusion.

When you donate, Remove Personal Items. It’s easy to overlook things tucked in pockets or hidden compartments. Double-check each pocket and compartment to make sure you’re not accidentally donating something personal.

Get a Receipt for your donation. Most charitable donations are tax-deductible. Store the receipt with your important financial documents for when tax season arrives.

Take a moment to Reflect on the Good your donation will do. It’s about more than just a tax write-off—it’s helping someone accessorize for success or carry essentials with dignity.

Finally, Spread the Word among friends and family. Encourage others to donate their unneeded handbags. Your collective effort can make a significant difference in your community.

Remember, charity donations are a great way to extend the lifecycle of your handbags while supporting a worthwhile cause. Keep the cycle of fashion and philanthropy going by choosing to donate.

Selling your handbags online

When you’re ready to part ways with your handbags, selling them online can be a lucrative option. High-quality bags and designer labels often fetch a good price, particularly if they’re well-maintained. Here’s how you get started:

Choose the Right Platform

Different platforms cater to varied audiences. For designer bags, consider luxury consignment sites like The RealReal or Vestiaire Collective. For more general styles, eBay or Poshmark are solid choices. Always check the fees and how they handle shipping costs before listing your bag.

Take Quality Photos

Your bag’s visual appeal is crucial online. Take clear, well-lit photos from multiple angles. Showcase the bag’s condition, including any wear and tear, to avoid disputes later.

Write a Clear Description

A concise description helps potential buyers. Include:

  • Brand and model
  • Dimensions
  • Color
  • Material
  • Condition
  • Original packaging availability

Price It Right

Research what similar handbags are selling for to set a competitive price. If you’re looking for a quick sale, you might price it slightly lower.

Be Prepared for Communication

Respond promptly to queries and be open about your bag’s condition. Good communication builds trust with buyers.

Ship Smart

Once sold, pack the bag carefully to maintain its shape and protect it during transit. Use a reputable courier and consider insurance for high-value items.

Remain Honest

Transparency about authenticity and condition is key. It avoids issues and ensures customer satisfaction.

By following these tips, you’ll have a higher chance of selling your handbags successfully. Remember, online selling is not just about making a profit; it’s about finding someone who’ll cherish your pre-loved bag as much as you once did.

Repurposing your handbags

Tired of your old handbags gathering dust? Let’s breathe new life into them with a few creative twists. Repurposing is not just eco-friendly; it’s a fun way to get more mileage out of your accessories.

First, assess the condition of your bags. Even worn or slightly damaged handbags can be transformed into something new. Creative repurposing options include making a plant holder, crafting a unique camera strap, or turning it into a fashionable clutch by removing broken straps.

Below are smart ideas to repurpose your old handbags:

  • Transform into Pet Accessories: A large, sturdy tote can become a stylish pet bed or a carrier with just a bit of sewing.
  • Create Home Decor: Soft leather handbags can be converted into throw pillows or wall hangings.
  • Organize with Flair: Use smaller bags or clutches as organizers in drawers or closets. They can hold jewelry, makeup, or even tools.

Don’t be afraid to get creative. Handbags can be deconstructed and the materials used for new projects. The quality leather of a designer bag, for example, can be used to make keychains, bookmarks, or even phone cases.

Selling your handbags is not the only option; repurposing allows for personal expression. Take a day to explore your crafting side. Gather your materials, clear a workspace, and let your imagination soar. Your unique creations could even become the envy of your friends or a talking point at get-togethers.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to repurpose a handbag. The goal is to make something that you’ll love and use. Share your process or results on social media; the inspiration you provide could spark a repurposing trend. Embrace this sustainable practice and stand out with one-of-a-kind pieces that hold stories and sentimental value.


You’ve got all the know-how to clear out those handbags that no longer serve you. Whether you’re donating to charity, selling them online, or transforming them into something new, you’re making space and giving your bags a second life. Remember, every bag has a story and by passing it on, you’re not just decluttering, you’re also creating opportunities for new memories. So go ahead, make that difference in your closet and maybe even someone else’s life. Share your journey, inspire others, and enjoy the newfound space and peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I clean my handbags before selling or donating them?

To clean your handbags, empty them completely and use a cleaner suitable for the bag’s material. For leather, use a leather cleaner, and for fabric bags, a gentle detergent will do. Wipe the exterior gently, clean the interior lining, and allow the bag to air dry completely before proceeding with donation or sale.

What’s the best way to organize my handbag collection?

Organize your handbags by size and function. Consider using hooks, shelves, or rotating displays to save space. Arrange them by how frequently you use them, with everyday bags within easy reach and occasional bags stored safely.

How can I store my handbags to maintain their shape?

Stuff your handbags with bubble wrap, tissue paper, or soft cloth to maintain their shape. Avoid hanging bags by their straps for long periods to prevent stretching. For leather bags, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent discoloration and drying out.

What should I do before donating handbags to charity?

Before donating, ensure that the bags are clean and in good condition. Empty all personal items, check the charity’s donation requirements, and get a receipt if you want to claim the donation on your taxes. Reflect on your contribution’s impact and encourage others to donate as well.

What are some tips for selling handbags online?

When selling handbags online, choose a reputable platform, take clear and attractive photos, write a detailed description, price the item fairly, be responsive to potential buyers, package the bag securely for shipping, and maintain honesty throughout the process.

How can I repurpose an old handbag?

Get creative by transforming your old handbags into pet accessories, home decor, or organizers. Utilize compartments for storage, or repurpose materials into new items. Share your DIY projects on social media to inspire others with your innovative ideas.

Scroll to Top