What to Do with Old Purses?

Woman holding boxes, illustration

Old purses can be difficult to part with. They may hold sentimental value or have a unique style that is no longer in fashion. However, holding onto old purses can take up valuable space and clutter closets. Fortunately, there are several options for repurposing or donating old purses.

One option is to repurpose old purses into new items. For example, a small purse can be turned into a wallet or a clutch. A larger purse can be transformed into a stylish tote bag. With a little creativity and some basic sewing skills, old purses can be given new life.

Another option is to donate old purses to charity. Many organizations, such as Dress for Success and Goodwill, accept gently used purses to give to women in need. Donating old purses not only helps others, but it also helps to declutter and simplify one’s own life. By giving old purses a new purpose, they can continue to bring joy and usefulness to others.

Understanding the Value of Old Purses

Old purses can hold sentimental value and memories, but they can also have monetary value. Understanding the value of old purses can help you decide whether to keep them or sell them.


The material of an old purse can greatly affect its value. Leather, for example, is a durable and high-quality material that can increase the value of a purse. Other materials, such as vinyl or fabric, may not hold their value as well.


Fashion trends can greatly impact the value of old purses. A vintage purse from a popular designer or era can be worth more than a newer purse from a less popular brand. It’s important to research the history and popularity of a purse before deciding its value.


Old purses that showcase unique and creative designs can also hold value. Handmade purses or purses with intricate details can be considered works of art and may hold more value than a plain, mass-produced purse.


The condition of the handles on an old purse can also affect its value. If the handles are in good condition, the purse may be worth more. However, if the handles are worn or damaged, the value may decrease.

In summary, understanding the value of old purses can help you make informed decisions about what to do with them. Factors such as material, fashion, creativity, and handles can all impact the value of an old purse.

Ways to Repurpose Old Purses

If you have old purses lying around in your closet that you no longer use, don’t throw them away just yet. There are many ways to repurpose old purses and give them a new lease of life. Here are some ideas:

Transforming Into New Accessories

One way to repurpose old purses is to turn them into new accessories. You can dye them in a different color, add patches or embroider them to give them a new look. You can also add tassels, fringe or other embellishments to make them more trendy. Old purses can be transformed into backpacks, camera bags or even diaper bags.

Upcycling into Home Decor

Another way to repurpose old purses is to upcycle them into home decor items. You can turn them into pillow covers or even wall hangings. If your old purse is bulky, you can use it as a shopping bag or an organizer for your closet.

Creating Emergency Kits

Old purses can also be used to create emergency kits. You can fill them with snacks, flares, tape or any other items you might need in case of an emergency. By repurposing old purses, you can not only declutter your closet but also help the environment by reducing waste.

Overall, there are many creative ways to repurpose old purses. Whether you transform them into new accessories, upcycle them into home decor or create emergency kits, you can give your old purses a new purpose and extend their lifespan.

Maintaining and Restoring Old Purses

Old purses can be a treasure trove of memories and style, but they can also be prone to wear and tear. Maintaining and restoring old purses can be a great way to keep them looking their best and extend their lifespan.

Cleaning and Moisturizing Leather Purses

Leather purses are a classic choice, but they can be susceptible to water damage and dirt. To clean a leather purse, use a soft cloth or brush to remove any dirt or debris. Avoid using water or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the leather. Instead, use a leather cleaner or conditioner to moisturize and protect the leather. Apply the cleaner or conditioner with a cloth, and then buff the purse with a clean, dry cloth.

Removing Stains from Purses

Stains can be a common issue with old purses, especially if they have been used frequently. To remove stains, start by identifying the type of stain and the material of the purse. For example, a grease stain on a leather purse may require a different treatment than a coffee stain on a fabric purse. Once you have identified the stain and material, research the best method for removing it. In some cases, it may be best to take the purse to a professional cleaner.

Soaking and Cleaning Fabric Purses

Fabric purses can be more prone to soaking up dirt and moisture, which can lead to stains and damage. To clean a fabric purse, start by removing any dirt or debris with a soft brush or cloth. If the purse is particularly dirty, you may need to soak it in warm water with a gentle detergent. Avoid using hot water or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the fabric. Once the purse has soaked, rinse it thoroughly with cool water and let it air dry.

Overall, maintaining and restoring old purses can be a rewarding and enjoyable process. By taking care of your old purses, you can keep them looking their best and enjoy them for years to come.

Sustainable Disposal of Old Purses

When it comes to old purses, throwing them away in the landfill should be the last resort. There are various sustainable ways to dispose of them, such as donating, selling, or contributing to recycling programs.

Donating to Thrift Stores

One of the easiest and most sustainable ways to dispose of old purses is by donating them to thrift stores. Many thrift stores accept gently used purses, which can then be sold to someone who might need them. Donating to thrift stores not only helps reduce waste but also supports local communities. It is recommended to call ahead to confirm if the thrift store accepts purses.

Selling on Online Platforms

Selling old purses on online platforms like eBay or Etsy is another sustainable option. This way, the purse can be reused by someone else, and the seller can earn some extra cash. It is important to ensure that the purse is in good condition before selling it. Adding clear and detailed photos can help attract potential buyers.

Contributing to Recycling Programs

Some recycling programs accept old purses made of specific materials, such as leather or fabric. These programs then recycle the materials to create new products. It is recommended to check with local recycling centers or programs to see if they accept purses.

In conclusion, there are various sustainable ways to dispose of old purses, such as donating, selling, or contributing to recycling programs. By choosing one of these options, individuals can help reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable future.

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