The Seasonal Wardrobe Grid System

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Sarah Fertig of Sundays in the Storage Unit.

When I found the 333 project, I jumped in with both feet. I already had a “uniform” of sorts – I knew which clothes were my favorites and I was confident I could navigate the fluctuations in Michigan’s weather within the confines of the project. My 3 months also included a 10 day trip to Israel, during which I took 2 pairs of shoes and packed everything I needed in a backpack.

When I got home, my 3 months were over and I decided to apply my own system. I figured out along the way that all my clothing needs fit into one of four categories. Those categories were

  1. Hot Weather and Casual
  2. Cold Weather and Casual
  3. Hot Weather and Dressy
  4. Cold Weather and Dressy

I made a grid and started filling it in with the least number of pieces possible that fulfilled every need I could imagine.

I didn’t include underwear or socks, or things that I use as underwear such as tank tops, bike shorts and leggings. I also didn’t include my swim suit/swim skirt, or my pajamas. And at the last-minute, as I was boxing up everything that didn’t make the list, my boyfriend made a compelling argument for a black sundress and a denim jacket. So grid items + sundress and jean jacket = 24 items.

I’ve been working my grid for over a month now with no regrets. I also know that I could probably reduce my 5 t-shirts to 3, and remove one reversible skirt and be no worse off. I’m confidant that I would be properly attired in any setting I’m likely to face in my life, and I’ve already tested this at a recent funeral.

What motivates me to keep simplifying and keep reducing when I hear the siren song of shopping calling to me is the very real experience I’ve had in the last 3 years cleaning out my deceased father’s storage unit. I’ve realized that the promises of security and abundance made by advertisements are false and hollow. Having all of my father’s stuff didn’t make me feel secure, it made me feel burdened. And I’m very motivated to make sure that no one is ever put in that position with my belongings.

Read more from Sarah at her blog, Sundays in the Storage Unit.


In other news from Courtney:

My e-course, The Good Blog Project just got sweeter. I’ve dropped the prices significantly (and temporarily) and added a new feature. I’ll be available in the Private Facebook Group to work with you for an entire year after the course ends. If you have questions, or want to start new projects days and months after the course ends, I’ll be there along with other course members to help. Click here for all of the course details. This is the last week to register.


I’ve been invited to speak with my friends Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist and Joshua Milburn & Ryan Nicodemus from The Minimalists at SXSW next year about how minimalism is changing entrepreneurship. It’s an exciting opportunity and we need your vote to help secure our session. Please vote for us by clicking here. Anyone can vote!

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  1. says

    I like this idea! I’m moving again in a few weeks and have the hardest time downsizing my wardrobe even though I have a small wardrobe compared to an average girl’s. I’m going to try it. Thanks!

  2. Jennifer G says

    I am a sahm and have never been into “couture” so my wardrobe has always been pretty small. Now I am pregnant and have very few items of clothing that actually fit me. I am down to 3 shirts, 2 tank tops (which I am not wearing right now because it is too hot), a pair of shorts, a pair of jeans and a skirt. I also have a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of black flip flops. Add to that my sunglasses, 2 bracelets, 1 pr of earrings and 2 rings. And that pretty much completes my wardrobe for right now. (Jammies, socks & Undies are in rotation, but not listed :))

    When not pregnant, I have about 3 shirts (also tank tops), 2 pr of jeans & tennis shoes that I wear on a regular basis. My goal is to broaden that wardrobe out a bit…maybe a jacket & a cardigan or two, and a couple of scarves to make actual outfits. But I have no desire to have so many clothes that people could shop in my closet.

    Thanks for the grid idea!!

  3. CSI says

    Great idea!

    I cannot do so few categories, will try with 4 (Clothes I wear with the kids, casual, office, dressy) and 3 seasons (hot, cold, mid) as we really have that distinction.

    This will already dramatically reduce my wardrobe so am happy with that.

    It will be a good start :)

  4. says

    I don’t know if I can have so few clothes. The weather changes quite a bit here, but in the winter, it’s COLD!!!! Also the laundy (no dryer) is a problem… How do you go about that?