Project 333: What I Learned

When I set out to wear only 33 items of clothing, shoes, or accessories for three months, I thought it would be challenging, maybe even restrictive. I wanted to see if I was up for the challenge. Three months later, the project has been over for a few days, giving me some time to reflect on what I learned. I’m rather suprised to discover that…

I’m still wearing my Project 333 clothes! I thought I would be excited to get back to my closet full of clothes, my spring skirts and cardigan sweaters. Yet today I’m wearing the corduroy pants and the brown clogs from the project. I am pleased to be able to wear a short sleeved t-shirt and a spring cardigan, and I sure was happy to be reunited with my old flip flops. In spite of the fact that I finally can, I haven’t bought a single new item of clothing in the days since the project ended.

I have to confess, I had some reservations leading into the project:

I was afraid that my things would wear out, if I wore them constantly for 3 months. They didn’t.

I was afraid that I’d get bored with my clothing options. 33 turned out to be plenty.

I was afraid that I’d get invited somewhere fancy and not have anything to wear.I did get invited somewhere fancy -a legislative breakfast – but I was able to put together an appropriate getup from a few of my 33 items, with a little creativity.

I was afraid that I would go out and buy all the new clothes in the world when it was over, on some sort of binge shopping spree, but I haven’t wanted to. This project taught me to appreciate and carefully consider the things I own, instead of aspiring to acquire more.

If I learned anything from the project, it’s that novelty and choice turn out not to be as valuable as extra time to get ready in the mornings, extra money, and some empty, rather Zen space in my closet.

I don’t have any plans to do the project again this spring, although many bloggers are, if you’re interested in joining their ranks! I highly recommend it. But this spring, I’m going to pack up about half of my remaining clothes and drop them off at the thrift store.  It’s a more permanent solution to the tyranny of choice and of stuff. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while – thanks to Project 333, I feel ready – and I’ve got a whole Honda trunk full of donations ready to go!


4 thoughts on “Project 333: What I Learned

  1. I’m just going through my closet at the moment. Don’t think I’ll get down to 33 items…I have serious scarf issues…but am enjoying getting rid of the bits and pieces I don’t need any more. Intend to do the same in our springtime, when I’ve shed the few baby pounds that still need to go…Now to get my DH to do the same!

    • sure! my end goal is to own a very minimal wardrobe, and to donate the rest to charity – sounds like you’re already ahead of the game!

  2. I am at it too at the moment (in the 7th week I post my outfit every day, you can follow me at ) and I do feel like you ! I am so glad to get an outfit ready within minutes, have cleared out my wardrobe and several bags went to a thrift store. I have also read and discovered several blogs about minimalism which helped me to get a clear idea of how I want to dress and even furnish my house from now on. I can only recommend this project, even for a month or two !

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