Simplifying my closet was one of the first steps I took to simplify my life. The happier I became with fewer clothes, the less I wanted to live with in other areas of my home and life. I used to shop regularly and spend a good chunk of time watching for sales, admiring outfits in advertisements or thinking about what to wear. I can think back to many days where I tried on several outfits before settling on something that was just right. I also remember the days when nothing felt right so I took a trip to the mall to feel better.
I estimate that I own less than a tenth of what I had for clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories. A little experiment changed everything. Three years ago I started minimalist fashion Project 333 and never looked back.
Instead of getting rid of everything, I experimented with dressing with less by hiding all but 33 items.
My first season (Oct – Dec 2010) included:
- 4 pairs of shoes
- 2 pieces of jewelry
- 6 accessories (purse, sunglasses, hat, gloves, scarves)
- 12 tops (shirts, sweaters, blazers)
- 4 pair of pants
- 1 skirt
- 2 coats
- 2 dresses
These items survived a temperature range of 15-95 degrees, a full-time job, holiday parties and even a weekend getaway. I was nervous at first, but once I enjoyed a few decision-free, peaceful mornings knowing exactly what to wear and realized that no one noticed that I was dressing with less, I saw that this wasn’t a project in sacrifice or suffering but actually a joyful change.
At the end of three months, I decided to keep going. Every three months, I’d reassess for a new season. The more I practiced, the more comfortable I became dressing and living with less. Three years later, my shift from season to season is easier and takes less time. Now, instead of several containers full of clothing to rotate in or out of my closet, I have one. When things wear out, I replace them. When something doesn’t fit my body or my lifestyle, I donate it. Over time, a clutter-free closet inspired a clutter-free life.
3 quick steps to a clutter-free closet
- Start with a Fashion Party. Invite every piece of clothing you own, from every season, box, closet, drawer and hidden storage area. Invite your shoes, accessories and all the jewelry too. Hold the party in a small space that must be cleared out within 24 hours.
- Send the workout clothes home. Remove all of your workout clothes, underwear and sleep wear and put it away. If your yoga pants haven’t been to yoga in a while, this is a great reminder to get back on the mat. Lounge around in your favorite comfy clothes, but by removing sweatpants and pjs from your daily wardrobe you can find clothes that fit and flatter for the real world.
- Choose 33 VIPS. Your fashion party is about to get small and intimate. Choose 33 items for the next 3 months. Box everything else up and set it aside, preferably out of sight.
If you are interested in radical change, try the steps above. If you prefer a gentler method, get started here or try the dress with less course for extra support and motivation.
People of all ages and backgrounds, from more than 33 countries and 42 states in the US are practicing Project 333. Dressing with less is changing closets and lives around the world. Are you ready to give it a try?