Mornings can be hectic. By the time we are done with showering, dressing, coffee-ing and getting everyone out the door, we’re exhausted. There are many things we can do to slowly shift our mindset to reduce stress, but this one thing will lead to stress free (or lower stress) mornings immediately.
Simplify your closet.
You might not think of your closet as stressful. I didn’t think mine was either … until it wasn’t.
Closets can add stress to your mornings if …
- They are messy or cluttered.
- You have too many options when deciding what to wear. Decision fatigue is real.
- You feel bad about things you’ve purchased, spending too much money, items that don’t fit, or stuff you never wear (maybe the tags are still attached).
I struggled with all of those things until October 1, 2010 when I opened my closet door and had only 33 things to choose from including clothing, jewelry, shoes and accessories. I created minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 and promised myself and the internet that those were the only items I’d wear and use for 3 months. It was a little scary, but it was also completely freeing. For the first time in years, when I opened my closet each morning, instead of feeling dread, I felt light.
I still remember my very first day of minimalist fashion challenge Project 333. Instead of feeling overwhelmed or anxious when I opened my closet, I felt light.
So I just kept going.
You might be wondering …
Is 33 items enough?
It is for me and for thousands of people around the world who have tried the challenge. It really surprised me when someone (who is way better at math than I) discovered that with 33 items, you have 25,176 possible outfit combinations. You can see how they figured that out here.
That said, you’ll still wear your favorite outfits over and over again once you discover how good it feels.
Where does all the other stuff go?
Into hiding. Seriously. Don’t give everything away, just get all of the non-33 items out of sight so you can have a little peace over the next 3 months. As a bonus, the separation you create will lessen your emotional attachment to some of your clothes and make it easier to let go when you are ready.
Why 33 items?
It’s a number I picked because it sounded challenging enough but also like something I thought would work. It was a guess, and there is no magic in the number. Maybe your number is 23 (if you live in the tropics) or 43 (if you live in the Arctic).
How do I get started?
A new season of Project 333 begins on January 1 (but you can start anytime). Check out the rules below.
The simple Project 333 rules:
Choose 33 items including clothes, accessories, jewelry and accessories. Don’t include underwear, sleepwear, at-home lounge wear, or workout clothes (but your workout clothes have to workout)
Box up everything else and hide it for 3 months.
Find your Project 333 community by following me on Instagram and/or searching hashtag #project333. When you post images, use the same hashtag so I can cheer you on!
If you want more help, information, community …
- See the full set of rules and all things Project 333 here, or watch this video.
- Try the Dress with Less course if you want help cleaning out your closet and choosing your 33 items.
- For more accountability, Invite a friend to join you.
I used to dread opening my closet door in the morning. I didn’t know why exactly, but I always felt like I had way too much and not enough at the same time. As the saying goes, “I’d been shopping my whole life and I still had nothing to wear.”
You can remove a significant amount of stress from your life simply by reducing the number of items in your closet. Create a closet you actually look forward to visiting every day.
Life is complicated and some mornings are stressful, but your closet doesn’t have to be.
P.S. A few things to share …
Join me in January for an Instagram Live session. It’s a live video call where you can chat in questions. Check out the dates and topics below, follow me here and we can hang out live or you can watch a recording.
- January 7th 5pm Eastern: New Year’s Resolutions (and the first one I’ve made in years)
- January 14th 6pm Eastern: Project 333: Come into my closet and see what items I’m swapping out from fall to winter and what’s included in my current capsule collection.
- January 21st 5pm EST: Why the New Year, New You Approach isn’t Working
These books were released this week by dear friends:
If you want step-by-step instructions to declutter your entire home, check out The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life by Joshua Becker.
If you’ve lost someone close to you, you may be interested in reading Where Did You Go?: A Life-Changing Journey to Connect with Those We’ve Lost by Christina Rasmussen.