Reflections on a year of few clothes

6 July 2017


On July 1, 2016, I embarked on what I thought would be a year-long experiment with Project 333 the minimalist clothing project created by Courtney Carver and followed by people all over the world. I’d heard Courtney speak in St. Louis on her Tiny Wardrobe Tour and was inspired to give it a try.

At the beginning of each quarter this past year, I switched out my 33-item collection for a total of four collections. (I blogged about it every step of the way.) The clothes I own but aren’t included in the collection reside in three bins in my basement.

It’s been a year (already!) and I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on the experiment. I absolutely loved having fewer clothes to choose from. I have come to recognize that I benefit greatly from limiting my choices. It makes decision-making easier. It saves me time. This is true in many aspects of my life, but probably most when it comes to getting dressed.

Here are the benefits I recognize from having a tiny wardrobe from which to dress every day:

  • It’s so easy to decide what to wear.
  • I love all the clothes in my closet.
  • I felt less concerned about what I wore, since I discovered that nobody really notices what you’re wearing.
  • Pretty much everything goes together.
  • I have less laundry to do.
  • I spend less time managing my clothes.
  • I can easily put my hands on whatever I want to wear.
  • It’s incredibly easy to pack for trips.

The list goes on.

So what are the down sides to having only 33 articles of clothing from which to choose?

  • I did get sick of my clothes selection by the end of the quarter.
  • Clothes don’t last as long because they’re worn and laundered more frequently.
  • When I added a few items (I went shopping at my favorite resale shop) I felt guilty because I didn’t take the time to remove clothes from the collection to compensate.

As I said, when I started I thought I’d do this for a year. And guess what? I’m sticking with it. I was thrilled to switch out my collection again on July 1. (I figured you guys are probably sick of looking at my collection of 33 of pretty much the same clothes, so I didn’t bother taking pictures this time.)

One thing I found interesting was there were quite a few clothes I didn’t wear the whole year. Before I started Project 333, I did a thorough decluttering of my clothes, keeping only the gems (or so I thought). On July 1, I went through the bins in the basement and easily removed about a dozen articles of clothing. It felt good to free myself of those clothes.

So I’m sticking with the simplicity of living with fewer clothes in my closet (and basement). I’ve worked with quite a few clients this year with huge wardrobes that are causing their closets to burst at the seams. It’s been interesting to share with them how easy it is to get dressed when you have fewer, rather than more, clothes. I hope to keep walking the walk as well as talking the talk!

Thank you, Courtney Carver!

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About Janine

Janine Adams

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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