Still Going Strong with Project 333

Last spring I wrote a short post detailing how I was committing to dressing myself using the principles in Project 333. I wrote one post about it and never did a follow up to show my progress, reflect back on the experience or to show what items I’ve added or taken away as the seasons have changed (oops!). I’ve been doing Project 333 for so long, I really don’t even think about it anymore. It’s kind of ceased being a novelty and is just a part of my life.

So what is Project 333?

The concept was created by minimalist/simple living blogger Courtney Carver three years ago. The rules are pretty easy: take 33 of your favorite pieces from your closet–dresses, skirts, jeans, tops, jackets, shoes and accessories–and build a wardrobe from only those items. The remainder of your stuff gets boxed up and put away for three months. When the three months are up, unpack the rest of your clothes and pick 33 more items for the next three months.

There are a few exceptions to the project, things like undergarments, workout clothing, lounge-wear or sentimental jewelry you wear every day, such as wedding rings, don’t count toward your 33 items. Also, three “bonus” items are allowed during the three months. Bonus items can be anything you want, perhaps you know you’ll be attending wedding or another event where more formal dress is required during your three months. You can use bonus items to swap or rotate out of your three month collection.

Over the course of my three months, I’ll be rotating out one pair of winter shoes for a pair more suited for warmer weather, a heavy sweater cardigan for a summer hat and a long-sleeved shirt for my Urban Nomad silk wrap skirt, this one item is so versatile it can be worn in numerous ways, as a skirt, a shawl, a top or a dress, so it’s perfect for this experiment.

Rekindled Interest

Two things have happened recently that reminded me how awesome Project 333 is and has made me want to share more about it in the hopes that other women might want to join in.

First, my sister just started Project 333 for the first time and seeing her excitement kind of reminded me how awesome and unique this clothing challenge really is.

Also, Project 333 has been in the press, O Magazine wrote a feature on the clothing challenge! Which is so great. Truly wonderful job to the editorial crew at O. So many magazines tend to push consumerism and usually feature write ups on pricey items-particularly where fashion is concerned-I stopped reading most magazines for that simple fact. Too many times I would flip through the pages and fall in love with an outfit or an article of clothing only to feel shock waves at the price tags on said items.

To learn more about Project 333, visit this Getting Started guide, which outlines the project from A-Z, you can also visit the Project 333 Facebook page or view Courtney’s Project 333 community Pinterest board.

View a complete list of all the items I chose for the experiment by viewing my Project 333 Pinterest board.




The Advantages of Letting Go

 Letting go of stuff becomes so much easier once you let go of the fear of living without it. I can tell you from personal experience, that in the past few years of selling and donating more than 50% of my stuff, I’ve never once missed anything I let go of, or regretted my decision to give something away. In fact, each thing I let go of gave me momentum and confidence to let the next thing go. Courtney Carver, of Be More With Less.

Over the past few days I’ve been going through my things, trying to get rid of excess junk and clutter in my home, and in my digital space.

My clothing and household items seem to multiply and it feels like I have to pare things down every six months or so. I’ve started the process, but I am only about a quarter of the way through my house.

In my digital realm, I have four email accounts, ten social networking accounts, and two blogs, (this is the only one I contribute to, so I’ve decided to stop procrastinating and take down the old one).

I’m pretty sure I am deleting a few social networks. It’s been on my mind for a while now, but  I have yet to do it. I’m still narrowing down which ones will stay and which will go.

I know as a budding author, that move could seem like career suicide, but I can’t stay on top of all those connections and maintain my blog the way I desire and write as much fiction as I want. I was a writer long before I was a social media user, and I’ll be writing long after the social media bubble has burst.

Today I closed an email account I used for my old freelance work, and I’ve spent the better portion of the long weekend going through drawers, shelves and baskets in my house. I honestly don’t know how we accumulate so much random stuff, but I must admit it feels really good to let go.

I feel like holding on to unnecessary things, whether tangible or digital, can bog a person down. I’d like to take that thought one step further and say holding on to stuff can hold us back (I think this is especially true in the case of holding on to old feelings or past wrongs).

Life is hard enough and we all face plenty of challenges without adding to our struggles. I definitely don’t want to be held back. So to the thrift store and garage sale my superfluous things will go.

From this purging I think a lot of other things will fall into place. In fact I know they will. I’ve seen it happen before. When I rid myself of useless items, I seem to get just what my life needs in return. And I’m ready.

My heart is open and my arms are spread wide. I’m letting go.

Starting Over–A Brief Update

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” -Marilyn Monroe

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.” – Joseph Campbell

Given that we’re in the spring season, a time of year that naturally calls to mind renewal, I feel it’s necessary to announce my plans for a new life.

Life is nothing if not full of change, and the past 30 days have proven that to me more than I can say.

My husband and I are moving from the city (St. Louis area) to a small town in a more rural area to be near my mom and sisters since my dad’s recent death.

I’m diving into this change head first, and given the whirlwind my life has been lately, I’m anxious to get settled in a new routine.

After this weekend, we’ll have a new address, new challenges and new joys to come. Stay tuned, I’ll be blogging about how small town living affects and impacts my writing.