old lady's accessories image by Inger Anne Hulbækdal from Fotolia.com

Women enjoy carrying a sturdy, well-made leather handbag. The time will come, however, when it’s time to put the bag away to give it a break, whether it is a seasonal bag waiting to rotate back into your wardrobe or a vintage purse needing to be stored until the next special occasion. By correctly preparing your bag, you can be assured that the next time you pull it out it will look every bit as good, if not better, than you remember it.

Wipe down your bag with a clean damp cloth to remove dust and dirt.

Apply a thin layer of leather conditioner to your purse. After 30 minutes, buff the conditioner off with a dry rag. You should recondition leather bags as needed; usually about once a year.

Fill your bag loosely with bubble wrap to help it keep its shape. Don’t use newspaper as the ink can rub off onto the fabrics.

Put your bag into a dust cover or a pillow case. Don’t wrap it in a plastic bag as the leather can’t breathe and the smallest amount of moisture can cause mildew and mold.

Store your leather bag in a dark, cool space out of direct sunlight to keep the leather from drying out and cracking. A good place is in a large drawer or on a shelf in your closet. Don’t hang your purse as the stress can stretch out the handles.