Put an End to Closet Chaos {Project 333}

The following guest post is from Courtney of Be More with Less and Project 333:

project 333
source: sophie + cie

If any of the following statements ring a bell, you may be suffering from closet chaos:

  • Looking through your closet you think, “I have nothing to wear”.
  • You bought the same shirt in 3 different colors.
  • There is clothing in your closet with the tags still on.
  • You keep clothes that don’t fit you, just in case.
  • You donate clothing every season and organize your closet.

All of those statements have had a place in my life and in my closet at one time or another. I had jeans from high school stuffed in my closet in my thirties, just in case. Just in case of what? That I might miraculously revert to my 16 year old body? That the jeans I wore in 1987 might fit my style today?

Last summer, when I got ready to do my seasonal closet cleaning, I decided that I had enough of too much. My closet was stuffed and I knew I was only wearing about 20% of what I had on a regular basis. Something had to change.

Enter minimalist fashion Project 333. By setting boundaries on what I would wear, I thought I could learn what was enough. I made a plan to dress with only 33 items for 3 months. Those 33 items included shoes, clothing and accessories. Not included were workout clothing or sleepwear.

Lessons from Project 333

I knew I would learn what was enough, but I didn’t know I would learn that…

  • Thousands of people from around the world would apply Project 333 to their closets.
  • I would develop a personal style.
  • Project 333 would become forgettable.
  • I wouldn’t use all 33 pieces in 3 months.
  • A fashion project would become a lifestyle.

Some say that dressing with less than 33 items is extreme, but I can assure you that it is not. In fact, the response I hear from most people is that their lives have become easier because of Project 333, especially mornings. If you’d like to try living with less, start with the basics.

The Basics

  • When: Every three months (It’s never too late to start so join in anytime!)
  • What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
  • What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear,  and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout)
  • How: Choose your 33 items, box up the remainder of your fashion statement, seal it with tape and put it out of site.
  • What else: consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months. Remember that this is not a project in suffering. If your clothes don’t fit or are in poor condition, replace them.

Other Helpful Information

  • Project 333 is designed for men and women of all ages and lifestyles.
  • I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. During Phase 1, I had temperatures ranging from 95 degrees to 15 degrees. This can be done with extreme weather variations.
  • This is not a project in suffering. If you need to create a version of Project 333 that works better for you, do it.
  • People will not notice that you are dressing with the same 33 items for 3 months, although they may notice there is something different about how you present yourself.  You will likely get more compliments. That has been my experience and that of others on this journey.

Mandi put together this Project 333 printable checklist that will help you organize each phase of Project 333.

If you have questions about Project 333 and living with less, I’d be happy to answer them in the comment section below.

Do you live with closet chaos? Have you ever tried a minimalist wardrobe?

This is a guest post by Courtney Carver. Courtney writes about simplifying and living life on purpose at Be More with Less and started Minimalist Fashion Project 333. She is the author of Simple Ways to Be More with Less. You can also follow her on Twitter.

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