I know personally that simplifying my life has lead to some amazing changes in how my home functions and feels. The physical aspect of this change has been life changing as it makes cleaning easier, but the mental aspect has been even better. When I started simplifying & decluttering, I knew that I wanted to get stuff out so that things could look nicer and be easier to maintain. But I underestimated the mental impact it would have.
I found that as my home simplified, my brain was more relaxed. It was then that I truly realized how much visual clutter affected my mind and my ability to focus and feel relaxed in my home. This is even more apparent now because I can sense the stress level difference when I’m in a messy space vs. a simplified one. This was something I didn’t notice earlier.
My closet was one area that I really noticed this – first through basic decluttering but then again when I really reduced items and took more out to create a capsule wardrobe.
In February I decided to whittle down my wardrobe further and see how things worked dressing with less. I had been following Courtney Carver from Be More With Less for a while and I’d seen a lot about her Project 333 capsule wardrobe. Using that as inspiration I did take out a lot and I have been living with much less in my closet for almost 3 months now.
Around the time I did this, I also pre-ordered her Project 333 book that was released in mid-March. I was excited to get this book and dive into this topic more deeply.
What is Project 333?
The basis of Project 333 is that you are creating a 3 month capsule wardrobe with 33 items. These items include tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, outerwear, & accessories (belts, hats, scarves, jewelry, etc). Not included are socks, underwear, sleepwear/loungewear, and workout clothes (as long as they are only worn for working out).
The number 33 may sound very limiting, especially if you have an extensive wardrobe. But don’t fear – first of all, if you are new to this, it’s always good to just try something new. But also know, that this is a flexible thing. If you decide on 40 things instead, that’s ok. As Courtney says, “This is not a project in suffering.”
But the idea of picking out just 33 items can be a challenge! I did end up with more than 33 when I did my first one in February. With working 2 days per week out of the home and spending the rest of my time working from home I needed to see how to balance my wardrobe variety. But I did greatly reduce the clothing in my closet. In the end, I had about 25 tops that I rotated through…and that number was only that high because I dressed in layers of shirts + cardigans a lot due to workplace temperature fluctuations. You can watch the video I made about my capsule wardrobe below.
Challenging Your Never
One thing I loved about the Project 333 book was the section called Crazy on challenging your never. There are so many things in life that you might catch yourself saying “I could NEVER…” She says to take these things and say “Wouldn’t it be crazy if…” and then really think about making them happen. You might be thinking…
Wouldn’t it be crazy if I simplified my closet?
Wouldn’t it be crazy if I could actually dress with only 33 items for 3 months?
Those were some thoughts I had along the way, but here were some more I’ve had…
Wouldn’t it be crazy if we downsized our home from 2700 ft to 1600 ft? It’s kind of crazy to move out of a great old farmhouse and downsize to save money. We’d definitely give up space (both in house and in our yard), but it would allow us to pursue our dream of buying wooded land and building a modest size home.
Wouldn’t it be crazy if we could both work jobs that we loved and brought us joy? What if we could both be working jobs that weren’t stressful, that we loved doing, and that we felt properly rewarded for what we did? What if we could pursue dreams to try new things?
Wouldn’t it be crazy if we could spend more time doing the things we love? What if we could get rid of some of the things that were consuming so much time (and that we didn’t love doing) so that we could spend more time on new hobbies we wanted to try or to travel to places we had always wanted see?
I encourage you to think about what your crazy or never statements might be. And then think of how you could take those on and make them happen.
It starts with a closet…
I truly think the closet is a great place to start if you’re looking for somewhere to simplify your life. The beauty of the capsule wardrobe is that you don’t have to get rid of everything. It simply gets boxed up and put away somewhere for a while. There’s no permanent commitment to get rid of those things. But you may very well find that after 3 months you will be ready to let some or all of those things go.
Dressing with less can free your mind … choosing what to wear is SO much more simple when you have just a few things to choose from. If you choose things that mix and match well, the outfit combos are endless, and it’s so fast to just pick something out and be on your way to starting your day. One less major decision to think over in the morning.
Courtney’s book was a great inspiration for me to keep my closet simplified. It goes through the whole process to help you create your capsule wardrobe, but it also offers so much more insight and encouragement about why you should try it and how it will benefit you. You can find the book on Amazon or in your favorite bookstore.