Why Moving Is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to My Closet

If you’ve ever moved—even if just across town or without crossing state lines—then you know how big of a challenge it can be. Save for a precious minority of people who seem to really, really love moving, most people would lump it together with paying taxes, looking for a new job, and meeting the in-laws on the happiness scale.

I’m not here to disagree—I think moving sucks. But I also very much see the upsides. At this point in my life, I may as well put “Semi-Professional Drifter” on my résumé—I relocated from Alabama to Mississippi for college, then from Mississippi to New York for most of my 20s, and then last year from New York to Los Angeles. While moving from the Deep South to New York was definitely the toughest move for me emotionally (culture shock, anyone?), moving from NYC to L.A. was by far the most difficult—you try moving a closet full of clothes across the nation!

It also taught me a lot about myself—and was the best thing that ever happened to my wardrobe. Working in fashion and editorial for so many years in New York, I had accumulatedit’s fair to say, a lot of unnecessary stuff. When you’re faced with the task of moving all your stuff from the East Coast to the West, you’re by proxy faced with one choice: purge. The climate change also played a major factor: Do I really need all these faux furs in Los Angeles? No. No, I do not.

Preparing for a move across the country forced me to do something I may not have otherwise undertaken: actually curating my closet. When you have so many things you love—much of which you don’t wear, honestly—going through it all and donating to a good cause is a looming task that’s easy to procrastinate. But when you are packing your life into boxes—which is exactly what I did—you no longer have an alternative.

So I went through it all. Every winter coat, glove, and hat was picked through—and nothing was safe. I posed myself questions and forced myself to answer them honestly: When was the last time I actually wore these jeans? Oh man, I love this dress, I remember the chic little boutique where I bought it… but when am I going to wear it again? And to be completely truthful, there were certain items I just couldn’t bear to part with, despite the fact that I had no intention of wearing them in L.A. The vintage leather biker jacket I bought from the secondhand store on West 8th Street still hangs in my closet here, yet to be worn in the year I’ve lived in the City of Angels.

I ended up packing my life into 15 boxes when I moved, including clothing, books, kitchen utensils, and the like. That means I ended up donating a lot of my possessions, and today my closet is a more accurate expression of who I truly am than it was a just more than a year ago. Every item is accounted for and has its assigned place in my wardrobe and in my life. And for that alone, I’m thankful for every single move I’ve made to date—but especially this most recent one.

Keep scrolling to shop some of my favourite items from my closet!

Stuart Weitzman Nouveau Suede Pumps ($355) in Bordeaux

Have you ever moved a long distance? Share your story below!