Project 333: The Beginning

A few months ago while researching the idea of minimalism, I came across Project 333. I was intrigued, but not all that interested in trying to pare down my closet that much. I thought I was pretty good about keeping things cleaned out, after all. This month, though, I decided to go for it. It’s an experiment in minimalism, yes, but also an experiment in style.

I started by gathering a bunch of items to be donated.

All of this stuff was in my closet, or dresser drawers, or hidden away, waiting for me to decide what to do with it. I decided. It is all leaving my house. (So much for the idea that I was already pretty good at keeping my closet cleaned out. I suck!)

Next, I pared down my closet to the “I Love” items. That’s not to say I got rid of all the stuff I didn’t love– I ended up with one box full of stuff that doesn’t fit, but that I can’t quite part with. But at least I had a starting point.

92 items total (including 9 dresses and a staggering 42 pairs of shoes). Still miles to go to get to 33.

I piled and debated and considered for hours. I deliberated on my shoes for what seemed like an eternity.

But, finally, thankfully, I was down to a mere 33 items total, including shoes, outerwear, and accessories.

I’m a little worried about this, to be honest. This is a massive change from yesterday’s closet, and it makes me a little panicky to look at it. But, I considered carefully, and I think I can do this.

My 33 items:

cowboy boots
tall black boots
high-heeled sandals
mustard yellow flats
pink sling-backs
plaid heels
brown shorts
brown corduroys
dark-wash jeans
[as yet to be purchased black slacks]
black dress
brown corduroy skirt
gray pencil skirt
teal & black blouse
pink & gray blouse
green tank top
yellow 3/4 sleeve top
black sleeveless blouse
purple blouse
butterfly blouse
purple v-neck sweater
teal cardigan
purple corduroy blazer
mustard yellow blazer
jean jacket
brown leather jacket
purple purse
rock necklace
purple bead necklace
diamond anniversary necklace
purple bracelet
hoop earrings
blue dangly earrings

Some interesting observations: I ended up with 3 corduroy items. I’m a little worried about that– but at least I know I’ll have some texture in my wardrobe. Also, I didn’t end up necessarily keeping my newest, nicest, or most expensive things. A lot of what I kept is older, and has proven itself a favorite through the test of time.

As for the rest of the stuff that didn’t make the cut, it’s packed away in 3 big boxes, sealed and waiting for me to open them on December 1 to chose my next 33 items.

A 33-item wardrobe for 3 months? It may seem impossible, but what’s life for if not to at least attempt the impossible, right?

Are you interested in starting your own Project 333 but need a little help? Try Courtney’s Dress with Less Microcourse. It’s the perfect way to jumpstart your project and it’s less than $20– a bargain!

  • Invisible Betty

    Wow!  Big job to tackle all at once.  I’m paring down my closet, but differently.  I have two closets – one empty, one full.  As I wear things, they move into the empty closet.  I figure, by the end of the month, I’ll have a good idea of what I really wear and what’s just taking up space.  So far, I appear to wear the same half-dozen outfits over and over.  Amazing how many “favorite” things I own but never wear.

    • I like that idea! I tried to do something like that with my husband’s closet– Everything I washed of his got put in a different section of his closet so he could see what stuff he was wearing and what stuff he wasn’t. He got confused and reorganized it though, so failed experiment. 😉

  • Aimee Laine

    Good for you! Good luck on Dec. 1, too when you switch it up. 🙂

    • Thanks Aimee, and thanks for your RTs! I really appreciate the support!

  • Andrisbear

    Omg, you’re crazy! Just the thought of whittling down my closet sets my pulse racing. And not in a good way! But it would certainly save on laundry, wouldn’t it? 🙂

    • I think I’m actually going to have to do laundry MORE OFTEN to make sure I always have an outfit or two to wear. Sigh. But this is supposed to be an experiment in personal style, not necessarily deprivation. So, we’ll see. (I had a few moments of pulse-racing myself.)

  • Mari

    You’re insane. That’s all I have to say about it.

    • Hahaha, yes. I admit it. But what’s the fun of an impossible list if it’s not at least a little insane?

  • This is amazing. I swear I only currently use about 33 things in all the stuff I have.
    And yet, I’m always boxing things up and giving them to a local charity. Where does it all come from? I’m going to try this…um, I think.

    • That’s what I thought, too, Robena. I was REALLY surprised about how much stuff ended up in the “Love It” pile. WAY more than 33 things. If you try it, let me know! I’d love to see your list!

  • Your new not-full closet looks pretty good to me.
    I’m having the opposite problem really. I gained a few kilos and so now some of my clothes don’t fit. I work from home, dyeing textiles so most of the time I wear ancient jogging pants and T shirts which are all the colours of the rainbow.
    When I emptied my clothes onto the bed I realised that for months I’ve been wearing about ten items without realising it, so my wardrobe/closet is now full of empty hangers and not much else!

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  • Your corduroy comment made me laugh as one day my mother and I were looking at my baby book and some of the gifts I got for different birthdays. Most of the entries said, “Donna got corduroy’s”.  I must have been hard on clothes as a child.

    • Ha, Donna, corduroy was a staple of my childhood wardrobe, too. 😉

  • Christina

    Project 333 is amazing.  I’ve been doing it since last year and I can’t believe how much stuff you end up with and then don’t wear that often.  I can’t wait to read your updates on how it goes.  I found I had to swap some things in and out as I went.  As if I didn’t plan well or things came up.

    • I’ll certainly keep things updated, Christina. Thanks for stopping by! (I’ve already had to swap a pair of shoes because a pair that I chose broke.)

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