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Baby Steps to Simplicity: Project 333

One of the ways I want to live out my word, Shine, in 2014 is to simplify....everything. It's an overwhelming goal, but one that I know is so crucial to my happiness going forward. But where to begin?

I've made several attempts over time, primarily through challenges or projects since that is my thing. Typically they are huge scale efforts that require daily or weekly commitment. I'd like to say I've simplified that approach, but the fact of the matter is that this is how I (start to) work best.

I have a lot of resources and ideas and places I want to go with this, but when I came across Project 333, it struck me as a perfect place to start. Our new house has plenty of space, but is lacking in closets. I also still have clothes that are old enough to buy drinks for themselves (and importantly, would not be qualified as favorites).

The rules of Project 333 are:

  • 33 items, 3 months
  • Outerwear, underwear, pajamas and workout gear don't count (but you're also not supposed to wear pajamas to the store; I beg to differ on yoga pants).
  • Be realistic. If you have something that you need a lot of (uniforms, shoes, etc.), then don't count them.
  • Don't keep things that are ill-fitting, in disrepair or aren't loved.

My exceptions are:

  • Shoes, for now. I am not crazy about shoes, but I do feel like certain outfits call for certain shoes. I am applying the "Do I Love This?" test, but not limiting myself to a number. I also am acknowledging that I probably only need one or two pairs of silver strappy heels.
  • Tank tops, for always. I live in tank tops all year round. I layer them frequently and will not give them up. I will think about fit and Love as I curate the rest of my clothes.
  • Accessories, for now. I'd love to apply this to all the junky jewelry I've amassed but don't wear. Now is not the time, but soon.
  • Formal wear, for now. I have a nice collection of special occasion dresses that I foresee needing for just a bit longer. We're out of the crazy wedding time, but have a few events. Soon, I will cull those down too, since how many maternity bridesmaid dresses does a girl need after a certain point?

Since the bedroom and my clothing are high on my project list for the house, I wanted to jump right in. I did a massive sort of my drawers and packed away off-season 333 potentials. I also made a pile of things I could easily give away. Two pairs of leggings that really don't fit me right. An old sweatshirt from a college I didn't attend. But that's a start!

For now, I'm starting with what I wear all the time and adding things to my list as I put them in my drawers. I'm up to 29 items, although I haven't gone through drawers and haven't addressed formal wear. As a rough guide, here is what I am definitely keeping:

  • 7 pairs of pants (2 jeans, 2 cords, 2 leggings and 1 black dress pant)
  • 11 tops, counting sweaters (7 light sweaters or cotton shirts, 2 sweaters, 2 button downs, 1 cardigan)
  • 1 black suit (I am considering not counting this since I don't wear it, but may need it one day)
  • 7 dresses and skirts (some work, some play, some fancy)
  • 1 fuzzy vest
  • 1 cheater item for accessory scarves (I am thinking this one through still)

That is a lot of clothing. And I haven't come close to addressing everything, but it already feels like plenty for my needs. My drawers are manageable and I don't have to stress about what I'm wearing every day. I've even started dressing up a bit for work to make use of the dresses and skirts I deemed worthy of keeping. I am still going to do some work on really curating a wardrobe out of these random items, but I totally think it can be done.

If this peaks your curiosity, participants are sharing their outfits and wardrobes on Instagram using #Project333. I haven't decided if I am going to take that route, but if I do, you'll find them there. 

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