Two weeks ago I cleaned out my closet. I was inspired by my friend Kim who told me that on April 1st she was going to participate in Project 333, which is a capsule wardrobe concept in which you choose thirty-three items for your wardrobe and can only wear those thirty-three items for the next three months.
The items include clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories and outerwear. (Outerwear?! Really?!) They do not include underwear, pajamas, loungewear and workout wear. But, workout wear is only for working out and loungewear is only for lounging at home. So if you’re regularly sporting those Lululemons (or like me, those Costcolemons) for your Saturday errands or trips to the soccer field you have to count them too.
I know, it sounds terrible, right?
But still, I considered it. Would it be possible to wear just thirty-three items over the next three months? It shouldn’t be that difficult because I work remotely part of the time and only go into my office about three days a week. And the days I work from home I wear the same yoga pants, tank top and sloppy sweatshirt as if they’re a required uniform.
The philosophy behind Project 333 is to simplify your life. To make it easier, not harder. It’s not about suffering, but rather streamlining your decision-making process in the morning and saving time and money from not continually shopping. And we all know that we only wear about a third of our closet anyway. But my closet is grossly overstuffed and a third of it is way more than 33 items.
Also, since your choices are so limited, you choose the items that you love best and the items that fit now. Those jeans that haven’t fit since you lost ten pounds from the flu two years ago aren’t nagging at you every time you open your closet. Every time you get dressed you feel good in what you’re wearing.
I read the
Nazi-like rules guidelines and decided to see how much I could eliminate from my closet. Rather than pull things from your closet you are supposed to take everything out and put your 33 items back in. I didn’t do that. (So I was already breaking the rules at step one.) But I did pull like I’ve never pulled before. I made four piles – one to donate; one of things that no longer fit, but I plan on fitting into again (someday); one to pack away to see if I needed something so badly I was willing to get it out of the attic (I’m guessing I’ll forget what’s up there); and one to put in Chandler’s closet (he’s away at college) so the items were out-of-sight, but still easily accessible.
I also got rid of all the crap that was shoved in the bottom of my closet.
- 5 (yes, five) gallon-sized Ziploc bags of old make-up, scrunchies, stale cough drops, and hotel shampoos (don’t ask).
- 6 pairs of shoes -in boxes- from the 90’s that I probably haven’t worn since then.
- Various backpacks and gym bags.
- A still-in-the-box off-brand Nerf gun in a Target bag presumably a gift for one of my kids when they were little.
The bottom of my closet was like a clown car – things kept tumbling out of it. I wasn’t sure it was going to end.
Then I rearranged my closet. My clothes have always been color-coded from light-to-dark (actually, the black clothes are on the left side and the white clothes are on the right side, so I guess technically it’s dark to light, but whatever), but work and casual clothes have always been mixed together. So I separated the work clothes from the not-work clothes. I left my dresses kind of a jumbled mess. I’m a dress girl (even though I don’t wear them nearly as often as I used to) and am a tad bit emotionally attached to them. Culling my dresses might require therapy. But they are on the far side of the closet – out of the way.
I put the hangers on backwards and have been flipping them the right way as I wear something. In three months I’ll reassess. If a hanger hasn’t been flipped the right way, that means I haven’t worn that article of clothing and don’t need it anymore. Or maybe don’t need it. We’ll see.
I didn’t get it down to 33 items. Not even close. But I could if I wanted to. Probably. Maybe. But still, my newly pared down closet is like a breath of fresh air. Every time I look inside I feel calm. Happy.
Less is more. I’m working toward being more with less. (Even if my less is more than thirty-three.)