I’ve just discovered this great idea/challenge to bring simplicity into your life by minimalising your wardrobe: Project 333. But first, a confession: I haven’t managed to complete the official 21-Day Journey into Minimalism, yet.
Having said that, I think this wardrobe challenge is an awesome introductory challenge into minimalism. So I decided to give it a try and reduce my wardrobe to 33 essential items for three months. While talking to various people about it, I discovered that most people think it will quite hard. But when you look at the guidelines it’s not actually that hard. And, I suspect we probably have more unworn rather than regularly worn clothes sitting in our wardrobe,
In their words: “Project 333 is the minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months.”
I began the process by taking inventory of my stuff (it actually scared me a little to see how many items I actually own). After the inventory and preliminary cull, I managed to get my clothes, shoes and accessories down to 50 items, excluding undergarments, gym gear and pjs. For the next week I am going to test how things go to see what I actually use and what I need based on the weather etc. I figure this will shed some light on what I put on and decide not to wear (I’m thinking of you red pants that go with nothing), what clothes I don’t feel confident wearing (I’m looking at you, stripy miniskirt), and which garments are my go-to items (you know who you are as you’re always in the weekly wash). I’m pretty confident that after a week I’ll be able to pare down my closet to 33 items.
Culling with caution (to avoid the dreaded task of shopping)
Now, for me this has to be a careful process of culling and recycling. Not because I can’t let go of clothes but because I don’t want to have to do what I dread most…go shopping. Yes, that’s right, I hate shopping. And it’s not just because I am trying to channel my inner minimalist and buy less. For me, almost anything is better than spending time at an unfriendly, badly illuminated mall with crowds of people mindlessly buying shit (after waiting in enormous queues) to make them feel better about themselves and impress complete strangers. Almost anything is better, including depriving me of my daily coffee.
Why living overseas will make Project 333 easier
One thing that has made Project 333 easier for me is that I moved overseas one and a half years ago with one suitcase and one backpack. Now, admittedly, after travelling around for three months, I have now accumulated more things as I had to buy work appropriate attire.
As the weather is improving here in Santiago, and as I prepare for an overseas trip back home in the next few months, I decided now was a good time to give this challenge a crack. Santiago is a bit challenging for this project given the weather can be fickle but all the same I will give it a try. I’m sure other cities are more challenging in this respect.
In addition, I don’t have somewhere to store mountains of stuff for when I return, so I will have to cull and donate a lot of things. I think the process will be cleansing and I’ll donate my clothes to some of the homeless people living here in Santiago. I’m sure they’ll benefit far more from my unworn clothes than my closet will.
I’m sure like many who try this project, I began somewhat skeptical that I can actually do it. However, I’m sure I can get close if not hit the 33 items and unclutter my closet (and simplify my life) in the process.
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Check out more about this project.
If that’s too much for you, try the reverse – eliminate 33 items with some of the suggestions on their list (you’ll giggle at some of these because their true, I promise).
Also see #Project333 on Instagram.
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Have you completed Project 333? Tell me about your experience and your advice for others by leaving a comment.
Have another minimalist challenge that I should try? Leave a comment with your suggestion.