I’ve been thinking about handbag life cycles lately, and it occurred to me that most of you likely do not have the space constraints that those of us who live in New York City have. Even in a particularly spacious apartment, storage is at a premium, and that means I can’t keep all the things I might have kept if I still lived in Georgia and had a walk-in closet.

I don’t consider myself a collector of bags; instead, I’m just someone who likes them. I buy things I think I’ll use regularly or that I want to fill a specific gap in my arsenal, and when I get sick of something or it gets too worn out, I’ll either eBay it, give it to a friend or send it to a charity store like Housing Works.

In my old apartment, I was a little spoiled; I had both a real closet and an overhead storage bulkhead in my bedroom, which is the mid-20s New York City apartment storage jackpot. After years in that place, I moved to Brooklyn over the summer. My bedroom is twice as big as it was in my old place, and the apartment has two gorgeous skylights, but there are downsides to living in a brownstone built in the 1800s. Namely, I don’t have a closet. I have a beautiful, heavily detailed, original-to-the-structure fireplace, but no closet. There is always a “but” in NYC apartments.

All of my bags live in roll-under storage under my bed, and it’s perpetually almost full. That’s as many bags as I allow myself to have; when I can’t snap the lid shut anymore, it’s time to edit. My bags (or anything else I own, really) are not doing me any good sitting under my bed forever, and they might as well be out there in the world with people who will cherish their great find on eBay or at a charity store.

There are a few bags that I won’t get rid of, though. The Marc Jacobs Stam I bought for a steal in college is a keeper no matter what, even though I haven’t used it in years. The same goes for my purple Balenciaga Day Bag, which was the star of my very own What’s In Her Bag. I bought it with money earned at my first job out of college, full price, at the Neiman Marcus in Atlanta. I’ll also be holding on to my Proenza Schouler PS1, which I still use with some regularity. It was a Net-a-Porter sale find, and I was so elated to snag it after three months of pining that I paid the extra $25 for same-day Manhattan delivery. A very courteous man in a wool pea coat brought it to my door in a shopping bag.

Pretty much everything else, though, is in the chopping block in one way or another. What’s the rule in your closet?


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