33 clothes, 3 months.
For the next 3 months, I only have 33 items of clothing/shoes/accessories to choose from and wear.
Here’s my starting inventory… I began September 1st and end November 30th.
I’ve done this project three times before, but only for 3 weeks each time… The original project was intended to be 3 months.
Courtney Carver with Be More With Less (whom I met in June when her Tiny Wardrobe Tour came to Kansas City) invented Project 333, in which she chooses 33 items of clothing, shoes and accessories, and only wears combinations of those items for 3 months. What’s awesome about Courtney is that she didn’t just do it one time… She has done it for years since then. And all she has to store her off-season clothing in is ONE Rubbermaid bin in her garage. That’s it!
I’m borrowing some of Courtney’s rules for this, including:
- A pair of shoes counts as 1 item, not 2.
- The following are not counted at all: undergarments, socks, jammies, work out clothing.
And I am also making some of my own rules, including:
- My Halloween costume won’t count.
- If I want to swap something into the mix, I either need to donate a piece of clothing out, or put it in my “off-season” bin on my closet shelf, where it is not to be touched until the spring. Once it’s out, it’s done for the season, and cannot be brought back in. Unless…
- … Every time (and only if) I cheat and wear something outside of the 33 items, I have to donate $10 to Caring For Cambodia. I chose this organization because I have personally seen it in action while in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and they are doing outstanding work.
Fall in KC starts in the 90’s and ends in the coldies, so I have no choice but to eventually trade out my flip flops for boots, and my short sleeves for long, hence the rule I created about swapping things out to donate or store ’til the spring.
At her talk last June (which my fellow simplicity nerds and I attended with glee), this was my favorite thing that Courtney talked about; she said that in a big name fashion magazine, the editor had labeled Courtney’s minimalist challenge as “severe”. But as Courtney retorts, what is really, actually severe? Being in debt in the name of staying in fashion is severe. Having a closet so full you can’t open it or walk into it is severe. How do you like them apples, big fashion magazine editor? (That last line was my words, not Courtney’s).
So why on earth am I doing this?!
I have plenty of space for clothing in my dresser and closet, so it’s not like I need to pare down… I’m already quite spare with clothing (and furniture): I only own two pairs of pants (both jeans), and own only 3 tank tops, for example. But I want to get rid of even more. I’m not 100% sure why yet… I think it’s because of a few factors:
- I want the ability to pick up my life and go, if and when something exciting comes up. It’s the adventurer in me. Less clothing means I get to launch out the door faster on whatever expedition I go on.
- I don’t want to be wasteful. We Americans wear 20% of our stuff, 80% of the time. I hate to think of my stuff hanging unused in the closet when somebody who could give it a more eventful life is out there. I like KonMari’s advice to thank items as we place them in the donation bag, even if we’re saying “Thanks for teaching me what I don’t realistically wear” instead of “Thanks for giving me my money’s worth!”
- The less I own, the more aware I am of what I do have, and I’m hella grateful for it.
- I just really, really like minimalism challenges! I like how resourceful and clever I have to be to overcome obstacles I bump into along the way. It’s a good way to sharpen any noggin.
So here are the pieces I chose! Do you think I MIGHT like the peacock color palette of blues, greens and purples?!