Today’s topic is: Month 1 of the minimized closet challenge!
I mentioned a month or so ago that I have been following Courtney Carver and I was going to try her Project 333 – “the minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months” (For me, Oct 1 - Dec 31) (33 includes everything minus underwear, sleepwear and workout gear (unless you wear that every day)).
I decided to try this challenge as part of my attempt to simplify my life, reduce decision fatigue and be more authentically me.
I heard from some friends and colleagues: “why in the world would you want to do that?”
It all seemed like a great idea when I considered it back in the summer. And to be honest, I thought it would be a snap because…I wasn’t a big shopper, I’d cleaned out my closet twice in the last 18 months and I had this “downsizing” thing in hand.
In preparation, I spent a couple of hours one Saturday in early September going through my things, taking out things I knew I wasn’t going to wear between October 1 and December 31. I took those photos above. As you can see, I might have been deluding myself a bit – I was actually having trouble closing the drawers and being able to see all the things hanging was becoming difficult! The “first round” ended with a laundry basket full of things to go into storage and another bag of things to donate. This still seemed pretty easy.
Round 2 began in earnest as the days of September were drawing to a close. I took everything out of my closet and drawers and piled them on my bed. The pile was so big that I could barely see over it. That was somewhat overwhelming itself! I began to go through items one by one. My first realization was that there were lots of clothes I had lost track of – I hadn’t worn them in ages, and not only because it was summer – more because I couldn’t see them at the bottom of the drawers or stuffed into the closet.
Three piles began to emerge:
I walked away for a while. When I returned, I was motivated to let more go. Round 3 began. This time I decided to give up on the donate pile and instead focus on the keep for now and put away piles. The put away pile began to grow. I got a plastic bag and it began to fill. Round 3 ended with ~160 items remaining on my bed.
Round 4 (another day) ended with about 65 items left. “I’m almost there, I thought”.
Then I realized that this challenge was to include all jewellery, coats, shoes, hats, scarves, and coats. The remaining 65 items now ballooned to at least 150! I have A LOT of necklaces. Those of you who have met me in person know that from Sept – May I almost always wear a scarf or necklace or both. I have a lot of both!
And the weather wasn’t helping – we had a “warm” week and I convinced myself I needed summery clothes too!
Round 5 and 6: accessories. I got scarves down to 4. Necklaces down to 8. Getting closer.
At this point I nearly walked away. What was the point to continue? I’d thinned down a whole lot. Maybe this was enough. Maybe I could be happy with 100 items rather than the 500+ I must have started with.
I shared this with my 14-year-old daughter. She was indignant. What was the point? How could I ask that? Didn’t I have any integrity. How could I not continue to reduce? Why was I not up to the challenge?
The weather got cooler. Made it easier to take out the warm weather stuff.
Round 7. Jewellery – 3 necklaces. Scarves – 3 (including 1 winter scarf). Coats – 2. Clothes – 28. Footwear – 4.
I was down to 40 items.
I decided I had achieved what I wanted. A minimal closet. Fewer decisions. More freedom? That is still to be determined.
The 14-year-old wasn’t happy to hear that I had compromised a bit and was doing a Project 340. But 2 weeks in, it seems to be working for me.
So, what have I learned that might be useful for you?
PS. If you ever actually want to do this yourself, check out Courtney’s website – she has piles of info on how to take this on – or just go with my more haphazard way!
PPS. If you’d hoped you would achieve something before the end of 2018 and it hasn’t happened yet, book a clarity call here. We’ll figure out what is getting in your way. It isn’t too late to get there! I guarantee this is a safe first step!
PPS. Let me know how my blog is working for you! Join our private Facebook group (Life You Love Inspiration Lounge) to share about your experience and insights or just hit reply below!