Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Courtney Johnston at The Rule Breaker’s Club
When I was living in Paris for two years, I learned the most important lesson of my life:
I want to be free.
- It’s because I want freedom that I started an online business.
- It’s because I value freedom that I teach other, spunky ladies how to be free.
- And it’s because I need freedom that I decided to participate in Project 333 in October 2012.
Can I take you back to that October?
I had a classic case of workaholic-ism that comes from starting a business that you love. I was working non stop because I was so darn excited to be earning money doing my own thing. By the end of each day, I felt so tired that I did the only thing I knew how to make myself feel better: I went to Target.
You know that vicious cycle of running to Target every time you get bored?
You have no intention of purchasing anything but you wind up walking out with a pair of colorful skinny jeans, a picture frame that was on sale, and a pair of earrings that you just could not say no to.
The stuff was how I treated myself when I needed a break from working on my computer or if I’d just completed a client’s project. I’m too ashamed to admit the number of coral lipsticks I bought because I could never find just the right one. And you know, Target doesn’t exactly let you try makeup out before you buy it.
At midnight one night in October, I realized I’d had enough.
I wanted my life to be able to fit in a suitcase again, like it did when I moved to France. So I pulled out a giant black trash bag and ruthlessly foraged through my closet, throwing anything that I wasn’t in absolute love with into the bag.
This isn’t the first time that I’d weed whacked my closet. The difference this time, though, was that I told myself that I didn’t have to get rid of the clothes just yet. Instead, I put the bag in the very back of my closet (which is like, almost impossible to get to unless you’re under 4 feet tall). This time around, I was willing to throw items in the bag that I liked… things that I’d actually worn in the past few months.
It was the fact that Project 333 was just that– a project, that made me more daring with my closet clean-out.
Some benefits that I experienced during my first three months of Project 333 (that I continue to enjoy today) include…
Less laundry. As a sometimes frazzled business owner and creative, I was feeling overwhelmed by domestic tasks like doing laundry. Every week, I’d throw two or three loads into the extra-large washing machine. But by the time it was dry, I couldn’t bring myself to face the mountain of clothes that sat on my bed waiting to be folded. At this point, some people hire someone to help them with housework. Not me. I had Project 333.
Hands down the greatest thing about Project 333 was that it made laundry day bearable. I’m no longer intimidated by a 50lb bag of dirty clothes. Instead, I do two small loads of laundry every week or two, and it takes ten minutes max to put it all away.
I have more to wear. Courtney is probably laughing at this point because she knows its true. Isn’t it amazing how, when you minimize your wardrobe down to only simple, versatile things you absolutely love, you actually have more to wear?! You spend less time trying on outfits because there are fewer choices. And you love all of them.
Somehow, I totally eliminated that whole full-closet-with-nothing-to-wear problem.
My clothes are high quality and stress-free (and I love them!). I don’t have time to fret over clothes, but I like to look good! One of the first things I did after cleaning out my closet was to invest in a new pair of jeans. (Shockingly, I’d eliminated ALL of my jeans from my closet because I didn’t really love any of them). I bought a pair of super dark wash Jeggings at Banana Republic. For non Project 333-ers, I’m sure that sounds like a silly and perhaps even an extravagant purchase.
But for the past year I’ve worn those jeggings at least 3 times per week. I wear them on airplanes, to walk the dog, and to go out at night.
And they’re still in great shape! Woo hoo!
The best part? It all fits in a suitcase!
I started my online business so that I could travel and live anywhere I wanted, but I never thought about the practicalities of picking up and moving all the time.
Now that I’m a seasoned Project 333 participant, I’m able to live between Montréal and Michigan. And get this– I rarely bring more than a carry-on bag with me when I “move” locations.
I’m location independent now, which is important to me because I’m passionate about living a life according to your own rules and teach others to do the same. I get to travel, live in multiple places at once, work and play when I want, and I get to inspire others to do the same.
I honestly don’t think I could have done the physical “getting up and moving” part of becoming location independent if I hadn’t dived head first into Project 333 last October.
For more of Courtney’s rule-breaking philosophy, visit The Rule Breaker’s Club.