Project 333 – Nearly Three Years Later

I began my first round of Project 333 in February 2014, after taking Courtney Carver’s A Simple Year course. It required me to separate out 33 of my favorite clothing items to wear for three months. Then, I went on to do three rounds of the project, until counting no longer seemed necessary.

I spent approximately one year doing Project 333 and about one and a half years not counting clothing items. Here is quick update.

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My 2016 Summer closet prior to edits

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Shelves where I keep bras, socks, tanks, pants

TIME FOR A LITTLE EDITING

There were a few items in my closet that I have worn once or not at all in the last six months. So, a quick edit and donation of 12 items occurred.

MY PRESENT NUMBERS

  • 37 Current Summer closet items
  • 27 Winter items in second closet
  • 40 Rarely worn items in second closet

I’ve got 20 items hanging in my closet and 11 items on my shelf that I use for my daily summer clothes wardrobe. In summer I wear my Birkenstocks 95% of the time, with a couple of back-up shoes for other occasions.  When I add up clothes, shoes, jewelry and accessories for summer my total is 37 items. Not bad, for someone who hasn’t been counting. If anything, I still need more tops that fit and express me, and some shorts to round out my wardrobe.

My Summer Items include:

  • 1 jacket
  • 4 sweaters
  • 3 dresses
  • 1 skirt
  • 11 tops
  • 5 tanks
  • 3 leggings
  • 1 pair of shoes
  • 2 necklaces
  • 2 earrings
  • 1 purse
  • 1 bag
  • 1 belt
  • 1 hat
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Some accessories and rarely used items

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My necklaces prior to editing

I added up 27 winter specific items that I rotate in as it gets cold. To be honest, in Portland, we have 2 seasons, but there is a little “blending” time where they overlap in spring and fall.

A surprise was that I have 40 rarely worn items. This is made up of:

  • Items that are too small for me right now, but that were special ordered and have fabric content I love. Being 6 feet tall, I usually have to order pants online, so those are harder to replace or buy second-hand. I lost 20 pounds when I walked the Camino in 2013 and I have another Camino planned for next year, so I am reluctant to let go of these smaller items.
  • A bulky coat for snow which I almost never visit.
  • T-shirts with vegan logos which I like to look at, but feel self conscious wearing. Guess I’m a more subtle kind of gal.
  • Much of my less worn jewelry is also something I am not yet willing to part with. We will see how things go the next time I do a declutter round in December.

WHY I’VE KEPT PROJECT 333 GOING

  • More focus – less unused stuff in my way.
  • More peace and calm when I go in my closet and get dressed.
  • More generosity – I feel good letting others use items I’m not using. I’ve used Buy Nothing to give away the nicer pieces.
  • More clarity – I can now see where I have plenty and what my style is, as well as missing pieces or gaps. With everything in there before, that wasn’t the case!
  • Laundry for my entire wardrobe can go in one load. This leads to less big piles of laundry.
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Me taking my entire wardrobe to a talk on Project 333 in 2015

WHY I STOPPED COUNTING

There is no magic in the number 33. It is merely the number that Courtney picked to stretch herself and experiment with. I feel pretty good having 37 summer items and 27 winter items. I will be exploring the rarely used items with my next declutter round. I feel a new layer of honesty and learning coming up.

The process of culling unused items and packing them up to experience life with less is something I’ve now done in other areas of my life, such as my bathroom. I love the simplicity and the huge difference that Project 333 has given me and I can’t wait to see Courtney Carver on her Tiny Wardrobe Tour in a couple of weeks. She’s coming to Portland and Seattle, so swing by and find out more!

 

 

3 Comments

  1. miriamcarl says:

    As always, so inspiring!!

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  2. The only time I have really done a capsule wardrobe or 30×30 which is similar to project 333 but for only a month was when we moved to Hawaii. I brought about 30 articles of clothing and lived out of it forvabout 42 days. I made sure I had clothes I loved and went together and had no problems (although I was a bit happy to see my other clothes when I arrived in Hawaii!) I think it’s getting close forme totry something like this again. My closet is bursting at the seams and I feel like I don’t like any of it.

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