Can you survive on just 33 items of clothing? Courtney Carver did, and managed to sustain this kind of sartorial lifestyle for six years. If you’re impressed, wait till you hear similar testimonies from other people who took her lead and also launched a similar endeavor. That being said, if she and her followers can do it, you can too! Plus, you’ll save a lot of money, headache, and time in the process.
“A few years ago, I used to dream about a big, beautiful walk in closet to hold more stuff,” Carver said in a post marking the start of her Project 333 in 2010. “Today, I could easily store my clothing and accessories without a closet (and I am so much happier).”
The basic premise of the project is paring down your wardrobe down to 33 items or less and use that for 3 months, typically from October 1 to December 31, hence the moniker Project 333. According to Carver, the 33 items do not include “wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout).” What are covered are jewelry, clothing, outerwear, accessories, and shoes.
What to do with the extra items? She recommends putting them in a box, sealing it up, and putting it away so you don’t see them again in the next 3 months. She advises the ones who have pulled off the project successfully to consider donating the items in the current collection that haven’t been used.
“Please only include clothing that fits and is in good repair,” she counsels. “If you lose (or gain) 20 pounds during the next three months, replace or mend the items. Again, this is not a project in suffering. I want Project 333 to bring you joy not frustration!”
Spreading the Habit
Since that fateful autumn in 2010, Carver has become an advocate for minimalist wardrobes. Her project has since been featured in various shows and media outlets, including The Oprah Magazine and Today.com. The photographer and mother-of-one also has built an online community where those wanting to adopt the “less is more” habit can join and support each other through their minimalist challenges. She has also become a motivational speaker focusing on the “less is more” way of life and has written microcourses and books on the subject.
One woman who has caught the decluttering bug is Taylor Peters, who admitted it took her years before she could muster enough willpower to give Carver’s advocacy a shot.
“I picked out my items and boxed up the rest of my wardrobe,” she said. “And here’s the best part: then I forgot.”
“A couple of weeks into my new capsule wardrobe I felt so comfortable and normal that I didn’t even think about the clothes that I had stored away — until two months later I spotted a P333 Facebook post announcing it was time to rotate out items for the next set of 3 months.”
She further revealed the benefits she got from doing Project 333 – dressing has become a very easy task as “everything goes with everything.” She also noticed she looked and felt better and that she can put the extra money she saved to better use by choosing to buy better-quality items and having them tailored so they fit right. She also noticed there’s less clutter in her life, plus there’s less laundry time. Surprisingly, she observed, nobody really noticed that she wore the items repeatedly, which was something that she thought would make her self-conscious.
Does her story want you to try out Project 333 yourself so you save money and reach your financial goals better? Let us know!