Over the last few months, I have been slowly reducing my wardrobe. I am probably down to about 50% or less of the collection I started with. However, I have noticed that downsizing clothing has been a challenge for me. I know that I want a more minimal closet, but I don’t seem to be able to make the necessary choices yet.
This is why I was so excited to learn about Project 333, a fashion challenge created back in 2010 by Courtney Carver, creator of BeMorewithLess.com. The idea of Project 333 is to reduce your wardrobe down to 33 items, including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes, for 3 months. Excluded from the 33 items are your underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing. The rest of your clothing can be boxed up and hidden away. The idea of essentially hiding clothes from myself really is genius. It allows me to keep some of these items while I try out a minimal wardrobe; The best of both worlds for someone like me who is still in minimalism testing mode.
I had actually heard of the project about a year ago, but at the time I considered it to be a bit extreme and didn’t think it would be possible for me. More recently, I was re-inspired by the idea when reading a recent post on BecomingMinimalist.com (brought to my attention by BreaktheTwitch.com). This post explained how just 33 articles of clothing could be mixed and matched to create 25,176 unique outfit combinations. That should be enough for me, right? So, I’m giving it a try.
The first step was to empty out my closet, which was… horrifying. I live in an old New England house with tiny closets and WAY too much stuff. After taking everything out, I began the sorting process, really trying to focus on which items I actually wear on daily basis. Luckily for me, I do not wear many accessories or jewelry and I wear jeans just about every day. This means that I got to focus on shirts and keep a few pairs of shoes around.
I did decide to part with several items. This is my Donate Pile, which includes some really nice suits that I don’t need, about 10 shirts and 8 pairs of shoes. I had been having trouble donating my more expensive items, particularly the suits, but for whatever reason I felt today was the day. I will just be thankful that I don’t have to wear suits anymore and let go.
I stored the items I am NOT keeping in the wardrobe in a bin that slides under my bed. Out of sight, out of mind. Perhaps at the end of the 3 months, I’ll be more comfortable parting with some of these items.
These are the five pairs of shoes I decided to keep. Not very fashionable, but all super comfy. Tried and true.
Two pairs of earrings.
And finally, the clothes. To my eyes, it looks like more than 33 items at first glance, but I can assure you there are 26 items hanging there. 4 pairs of jeans, 1 jacket, 1 dress, 1 skirt, 2 sweatshirts and 17 various shirts. It doesn’t seem nearly as restrictive as I had imagined. I am feeling pretty confident that I can actually do this.
Tomorrow, I am looking forward to waking up and opening my coset door to see a clean and tidy space for the first time, ever!
Please let me know if you have tried Project 333 and if you have any thoughts or advice!