This is my favorite closet edit post so far — much to inspire me, so thank you! Your analysis is really helpful. And...look at all that lovely empty space! I don’t have that even though our closet is a decent size.

Suz, I’m intrigued by your comment about some things “coming into their own” in their second or even later season with you, because I’ve had the same experience several times. I’ve even planned to edit something out and only then started wearing and enjoying it a lot. I wonder why that is?

And I also keep track of when things were purchased (thank you, Angie and YLF!) and find that information is extremely helpful for editing decisions.

Windchime, I think there are a couple of reasons this can happen for me. Sometimes if it's a newer style I don't have the right support act for the item in the first season, try as I may to find it. Then all of a sudden I find the complements it needs and I start to wear it. Sometimes, the item is a "style stretcher" and it just makes me a bit uncomfortable at first -- I felt like that about my first pair of white jeans, for example, and I had to force myself to wear them the first few times... but now I wear them constantly! Sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate or expected occasions don't materialize so I just don't get as many opportunities as expected to wear it in the first year.

Also, if I'm tempted to get rid of something that I still like a lot, I sometimes look at Angie's "how to wear it" type posts and get enough inspiration to create some new outfits.

Janet, I know, right? These closets are HUGE!! But weirdly, no drawers, and hardly any "full length" space for dresses, etc. I'm not complaining, though. A trip to Ikea solved those issues. I also have a TON of mirrors in this house! An entire wall in our bedroom, plus big bathroom mirrors, a mirror in the front entrance, and a big mirror in the hallway. I see myself coming and going. It's weird living with someone else's decor and "stuff" but also really interesting!

I wanted to comment the exact thing like Windchime, and agree with all you answered her, Suz! This is fashion's magic indeed!
Thanx for the post Suz, it's very inspiring!

Great post and discussion here, Suz. Thank you for taking the time to write it out and to add further thoughts as the thread evolved. I am inspired by your tracking of how long things have been in your closet when you pass them along. I think that is very useful and I will aim to start doing that (will have to estimate for some things but I can start recording the dates of new purchases going forward).

I think that a lot of my "not me/mistakes" tend to be essentials, too. I wonder if it's partly because we don't know precisely what we're looking for. For a statement piece, it's that heart-stopping effect -- if the love is there, I'm likely to wear a piece even if some detail is a little off. For essentials, the details have to be exactly right -- but it's harder to develop a sense of what those details are. And then, even when we know exactly what we're looking for in an essential, it can be hard to wait and not settle precisely because they are essentials! It's easier to live without a statement piece while waiting for the right one to show up.

Thanks so much for this post, Suz. I'll likely be coming back to it when I'm prepping for my own move next year.

I think culling 20-30% of your wardrobe per year makes absolute sense. If you expect items to last between 3 and 5 years, that's how the math works out. It was a big, eye-opening moment for me to realize that, in fact, clothes don't last forever, and you can plan for that.

I'd expect the cull to be on the higher end when you're moving, too! I always feel like a move is a chance to critically evaluate all my possessions. Not that you can't do that without moving, but moving makes it more relevant.

Jenn, yes -- I definitely erred on the side of "eject it" if I had doubts, prior to the move! Moving really is an opportunity to re-evaluate.

I'm grateful to you for both the "30 wear" guideline and also for your 3-5 years idea...when you mentioned it, I looked at my own closet and made estimates and realized, that yes, on the average, that is how long I want to own most items. Some things wear out faster (footwear for me, because I'm such a heavy user of it and it also is a style definer) but even there, I rarely have a shoe for less than 3 years unless I completely wore it out with daily wear (which happens...).

If you edit regularly and want a current wardrobe, the 3-5 year standard is a really good one. Apart from occasion wear, most things will have had 30 wears by then, and if not, there's probably a good reason (and good reason to let them go).

I forgot to add that your new closet looks great! I think I’d probably have quite a few more pairs of shoes if I had racks like those.

Interesting post. Great advice.

Sorry if I have missed some info you might have given earlier, but I just wonder: Where have you moved to? The info in your profile says "Ontario, Canada," but wasn' that where you were moving from?

This is awesome Suz, thank you for putting it together. Although my move is only from old front house into new back house it is from over-cluttered to hopefully streamlined! So many donations and I also sold some books to 2 second-hand booksellers- only made $135 all told but better than nothing!
I have donated 33 items of clothing since March, and that is more than usual and still a struggle. It includes some holding zone/sentimental. Will refer back to your post.