Simplifying the Closet With Project 333
Getting rid of excess stuff is probably the first step towards minimalism. And perhaps one of the easiest places to start is the closet. Yes, there will be challenges and mini-dramas along the way, but if you are looking to simplify it is completely worth the effort.
Already, I have emptied my closet and drawers of 5 garbage bags of clothing - much of it was recycled via family, friends, the salvation army and I even managed to sell some of it! What did I do with that money? I didn't buy more clothes, I just bought cupcakes. I wish I could say I was joking, but I am not. I considered it a reward for all that hard work.
I have been slowly minimizing my wardrobe for some time, but it was learning about Project 333 that made me dig in really deep. It is all about learning to make due with less, realizing that you need a FRACTION of what you currently have and most importantly, loving it that way!
What is Project 333?
The basics of Project 333 are fairly simple. You create a capsule wardrobe of 33 items and wear only those items for 3 months. The 33 items include outer wear, footwear, accessories and jewelry. What is NOT included in the 33 items is underwear, pajamas, workout clothes and at-home leisure wear. If you want the “official” rules you can check them out HERE. You can follow this as closely as you like, or break a few rules to make it work better for you. The intention and hope is that you get used to working with less and ultimately realize that you do not need even half of what you think you do!
How I Prepared
Be honest with yourself about your clothing.
We hold onto a lot of stuff that we don’t and won’t wear! Clothes that are damaged, stained, duplicate items, don’t fit us or don’t like, and they probably don’t deserve the closet space. Holding onto this stuff we don’t use or wear leaves us feeling guilty. So stop feeling bad about the clothes that don’t fit, the clothes you don’t fix and the clothes with tags still on and get rid of them. This is the easy stuff to part with!
- Love Pile – Keep
- Maybe Pile – Review piece by piece
- Giveaway – Donate/sell
The ‘Love Pile’ is obvious, this is the stuff you love and you wear often. It looks good, feels good and you feel great wearing it. Keep this stuff and we will come back to it later.
The ‘Maybe Pile’ is the tricky stuff. After going through everything come back to this pile and try EVERYTHING on. Feel that connection to the item; does it fit? Is it flattering? Is it STILL your style? Be really honest with yourself about whether this stuff is worth keeping.
Bag or box the ‘Giveaway Pile’ right away. Move it to your front door or right to your car and don’t look back.
By following these steps, as recommended by the original Project 333-er, I initially got rid of 3 garbage bags of clothing. Even after the process was done I still felt like I had too much and that I could have done more – but one step at a time! I want to try out this capsule wardrobe and see if it fits before doing a truly massive overhaul. Also, living in Canada with 4 very different seasons, I didn’t want to go too aggressive on the out of season wardrobe. That being said, since starting Project 333 I have gone back to my closet and gotten rid of even more clothes I knew weren't worth keeping.
Choose Your 33(ish) Items
Come back to your 'Love Pile' and begin choosing your capsule wardrobe. I made a list of the items on my laptop so I could easily count and organize. I started with the no-brainer items like winter coat, hat, gloves, jeans, etc. Then I moved onto the harder stuff where I had more options like footwear, shirts, sweaters, dresses, etc. I finished with jewelry.
To make the project my own I slightly altered the rules. I originally was not going to include jewelry at all in my count, but decided to last minute. I finished with 35 items including jewelry, and I was satisfied with this number. I am not much of a collector when it comes to purses and sunglasses, so I opted not to count these.
I also made the decision that I would allow myself a few ‘swaps’ throughout the 3 months, just in case there was something I overlooked or missed. Slightly changing the rules to make this work, as opposed to following it rigidly, is really what matters.
In addition, I made the decision to not purchase any clothing during the 3 months, even if I have noticed gaps in my capsule wardrobe. The idea was to make do with the things I currently have, and I could evaluate after if any new items were warranted.
I have also already decided that moving forward if or when I need to get something new for my closet, it will either be second-hand or ethically produced. No longer will I buy junkie clothing that is cheap and disposable, only quality items that I can feel good about purchasing.
I began the challenge officially on Monday January 16, and I am approaching week 3 of this project!
My First Impressions of Project 333 at Week 3:
- It is really nice to see ALL of my clothing options in one small spot
- It is quick and easy to pick out my clothes everyday
- I am learning what items I really love and which ones I could live without
- Canadian winters can make a capsule wardrobe a little tricky!
Check back at the end of Project 333 to see how I did, what I learned and if it is a lifestyle that I will maintain!
If you are looking to make life a little easier, perhaps you might consider trying it out too! If nothing else you finish the project with a little less stuff!