Since the kids went back to school I have been on a big de-clutter session. Over the six week summer holidays we have had three birthdays and a lot of stuff has ended up in our small house which we do not have room for. So far over the past three weeks I have donated one bag of books, five bags of clothes and two bag of toys – plus recycled and,ahem, sent a few bags to landfill.
I have been reading a lot about minimalism this past year and although I’m not quite ready to fully embrace the lifestyle there are elements to it that appeal. Namely:
1) I like the environmental aspect: only buy things you really need so you’re not sending unwanted stuff to landfill
2) economically speaking the less you buy the more you save your hard earned pennies
3) space – we are a family of five living in a small cottage with very little room to store things. Minimalism advocates clutter- free spaces (easier to clean and maintain) by only having things you really need and use every day
For some people who follow minimalism they have been able to pare their possessions down to just 100 items. I’m certainly not ready to do but I’ve become intrigued by Project 333.
This is a clothes-based project aimed at simplifying your wardrobe. The idea is that every 3 months (every season) you allocate yourself 33 items to wear. This includes clothing, coats, shoes, hats, scarves, sunglasses, jewellery but not underwear, sleepwear or working out clothes.
One of the aims of Project 333 is to get people to keep only clothes that they love and look and feel good in. Although I can be a second-hand junkie when it comes to clothes shopping I also pick up outfits that I’m not quite happy with it.I have struggled over the past few months to find anything in my wardrobe to wear and, although I do de-clutter I still have a lot of stuff that doesn’t match, or I can only wear one thing with.
So last week, I took a deep breath and turned out my closet. As you can see living in a house with small rooms means we already have limited wardrobe space. The hanging storage for all five of us is this double and single wardrobe.
I also store folded clothes in this narrow cupboard:
Plus I have two longer dresses hanging on the back of the bedroom door (not pictured).
Not a great system I know for getting ready in the mornings, which probably fuels my clothing crises.
While I thought I had a fairly small collection, a quick count of all my clothing (not shoes, jewellery and accessories) came to over 70 – pictured here:
Following the 333 hints and tips I got rid of clothes that were:
– beyond repair
– no longer fitted (I had to be brutally honest about this one)
– or just looked bad on me
I also made a pile of all my summer clothes, while keeping what is called ‘transitional’ clothing (a short dress, thin jacket and two t-shirts) as the weather has become warm again. I also tried very hard to work out what ‘base’ colour would look best on me (ie black, grey, brown, navy) and tried very hard to pick out those items of clothing that would go with these shades. In the end I chose brown, beige and some grey clothing and added green, plum and blue as ‘accent’ colours. The idea is that by paring down your wardrobe to essential items and colours means that everything will match because the colours all work together.
At the end of the day I managed to whittle my clothing down to 37 items, including shoes and fabric scarves but not jewellery (I rarely wear it) or hats or woollen scarves. Ironically when I had laid my new ‘capsule wardrobe’ out I realised there were a few gaps. So I will need to go shopping for a couple of new tops/jumpers. Apparently this is quite common among serious followers of Project 333. They will work out what the gaps are in their wardrobe, buy (second-hand) appropriate clothing and, if after a short while, these items don’t work out then they will re-donate.
So, part two of Project 333 is to go clothes shopping (second-hand, of course!). Watch this space and if you are interested in reducing your own wardrobe I’d really recommend following the Project 333 style stories here; Minimalist Beauty blog for food tips on creating a capsule wardrobe; or the inspirational Bea from Zero Waste Home. I’ve also started a small pinterest board (of course!).