Why I Cut 64% Of My Wardrobe

I’ve done a lot of crazy things on this blog. You all read along when I attempted to do 30 things before my 30th birthday. You humored me when I wrote about my underwear. You even gave me some “poor baby” love when I posted about the snow in my car. But never have so many people stopped me in person to talk about my blog than they have about Project 333.

Everything that ended up in the “Love It” pile, even after I pared down A LOT: 92 items total. Still miles to go to get to 33.

It seems to have touched a nerve, not just with fashionistas, not just with women, but with people in general. Theories as to why? First of all, it’s just a cool concept. (And not my concept, by the way– Courtney came up with it.) Second, I think it’s something everyone can identify with. Who has never looked in their closet and thought, I have too much? Not I. Third, it makes you ask yourself a lot of questions. Why would she do this? Could I do this? Should I do this? What would I keep if I did?

Well, I can answer the one about why I did it, and maybe that will help you with the rest of your questions…

1. I needed more space.

Small(ish) house, too much stuff. First world problem, I know, but it’s true. The closet was full. And now it is distinctly not. (At least my half.) Even before getting down to my 92 “I love” items, I probably purged half of my wardrobe for a giveaway pile. The title of this post says I cut 64% of my wardrobe, but that’s only from the 92 “I love” items. I cut wayย more than that, considering what used to be crammed in my closet, shoved in my dresser drawers, and piled in various tubs.

2. I had a lot of “I wish” clothes.

I recently gained some weight (no, I won’t tell you how much) and I still had a lot of clothes hanging in my closet that I could not possibly wear. You might not realize it, but it’s demoralizing to open your closet every morning and be reminded that you don’t fit in the clothes that you love. It’s hard to feel awesome for the rest of the day if the first thing you do is fail to wear what you want to wear out of your wardrobe. But I was too chicken to get rid of stuff because I’m trying hard to lose the weight and someday I might be able to wear it again. Let me tell you: wishes and goals belong in your brain or on a list– not in your closet.

3. I didn’t have to throw out things I really wanted to keep.

All I had to do was box them up. That’s a lot easier to deal with than a complete purge. My hope is that I will open those boxes at the end of my 3 months and realize I can give away a whole new big pile of stuff because what I thoughtย I wanted to keep, I’m not really that attached to anymore.

4. I need peace.

One of my Big Giant Life Goals is to create peace for myself, and I think one way of doing that is to have less stuff. Stuff stresses me out. I buy all this stuff because I think I need it or I think I deserve it and it will make me feel awesome to have it, but really it just makes me annoyed to have to find a place for it and to maintain it, and it makes me feel guilty if I don’t wear it/use it/like it. Well, screw that. If peace comes in the form of boxing up 64% of my wardrobe, I’m doin’ it.

5. I’m up for a challenge.

Honestly, one reason I’m doing this is because I want to have accomplished something cool and I want you guys to think I’m awesome. Yep, I’m doin’ it for the accolades. So keep stopping me to talk about it. I like it.

So, your turn. Are you thinking about doing it? Do you still think I’m crazy? (That’s totally ok. I don’t mind…)

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!

  • Mari

    I am. But I’m not as ambitious as you. Maybe I’ll attempt it to 100 items. (or so) Jewelry won’t count in my world. I don’t have the storage to keep it. So if I purge– it’s gone. And believe me, that will a major change.

    I totally agree that I need to let go of the skinny clothes that stick their little fabric tongues out at me every day. Being mocked by jeans sucks. It ends now. If I lose weight, I won’t like THOSE jeans anyway. I’ll want new ones.

    And then there is the stuff I bought and hate to get rid of because I haven’t worn it enough or at all. I don’t want to feel as though I wasted that money. It hangs there so, I did. Too late to recover it now. Good riddance.

    So Sunday… I am going to give it a go. Will do the before and after shots and share on my blog.

    ~Mari

    • YES! Can’t wait to see it Mari!

      BTW, even the “official” Project 333 terms state that you need to make this work for you, so if that’s paring down to 100 items not including jewelry, that is AWESOME. It’s not a project in suffering– it’s meant to make you feel BETTER. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I think you’re so amazing to be doing this! It is incredibly cathartic to open a closet that isn’t chock full of just stuff. It’s sort of nice to see only lovely things that love you back.

    • Thanks Claudia! Your Project 333 posts were inspiring to read! And you’re right– I’m wearing all my nicest, awesomest stuff all the time now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lilly Gayle

    The more stuff you have, the more stuff there is to loose. And the more stuff you have, the more crap you need to fix and take care of. Cars, houses, furniture, clothes…nothing lasts forever. I have tons of stuff I never wear and a garage filled with crap I don’t use or need. I keep saying I’m going to sell it or give it away. I’m just not that energetic. lol!

    Sometimes, I wish I could get rid of everything I own except those special things with sentimental value (select antiques, kid’s baby books, some jewelry, pictures, home movies and my pc) and start over from scratch with a new house, new furniture, and newer and fewer clothes.ย  Streamlining sounds like a great idea. But, even if I got rid of more than I replaced, I still couldn’t afford to do it. But I applaud your efforts.

    • Lilly, I get what you mean. I can’t chuck everything and start from scratch either, but it cost me nothing to get my closet down to 33 good items. (I had good stuff– it was just hiding in the midst of a lot of crap.)

  • Kate

    Yes, I am thinking of doing it. Oh, and by the way, I already thought you were awesome. You didn’t have to do a thing…

    • Aw, THANKS Kate! If you do it, keep me posted. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lisa E.

    You inspired me – I went through my closet and purged 3 bags of stuff to donate to Purple Heart (after purging 5 bags of donations in May). I had shoes from the 11th grade. Which was 14 years ago.

    I also trashed two bath robes. They were ancient and my cat had eaten the pockets and belts. Why was I holding on to them? I can buy myself an intact bathrobe.

    I have gained some weight since getting married. Some of the smaller stuff I can’t quite let go of just yet. The suits, the expensive skirts, I put them all into a big Rubbermaid container. I’ll re-examine them next year.ย 

    • AMAZING, Lisa! Great job! Yep, I boxed up a lot of my small stuff, too. It’s easier than letting it go, at least for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And the important part is that it’s not hanging in my closet.

  • sabre3

    I’m working up the nerve to do the same thing. I’m tired of looking at a closet and drawers full of clothes and thinking, “I have nothing to wear.”
    The reality is I only wear the same two pairs of dress pants and a couple of skirts, then change out shirts, jackets…
    I’m gonna need a lot of boxes.

    • Good luck to you!

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