Last night I went through my wardrobe and chest of drawers, packed up two thirds of their contents into two suitcases and put them in the loft.
Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere. It’s an experiment in the minimalist lifestyle.
For the last couple of months I have been harping on at people about the benefits of clearing out the junk and clutter which make up our lives. I haven’t done anything entirely foolish, I’ve stuck to an ethos to help me work out what to keep, and what to discard.
It’s in part thanks to reading about The Minimalists. I haven’t reached the zen levels they continue to aspire to, but I do feel better without quite so much junk around.
I have noticed it helps if I keep my work space free of items when I’m writing. They serve not only to distract me from what I should be doing but as a reminder that there are other things going on beside the world I am typing out.
There are some things I still can’t let go of. My shelves are full of books and DVDS, despite having made several attempts to clear out stuff I don’t read or watch.
My rule is, if I use it or I derive enjoyment from it, it can stay.
So what is Project 333 and what has it got to do with the fresh luggage in the loft?
The best description can be found on their website. As I said, it is an experiment. From my own point of view I have noticed there are items I don’t wear but don’t seem capable of throwing away like I have with everything else which adds nothing to my life.
I read about Project 333 on Wednesday and knew straight away it was something I needed to do.
The idea is you reduce your clothing (including shoes, jewellery and outerwear but not including sleepwear/loungewear or gym clothes) down to just 33 items, and use only those for 3 months.
When I first read about it, I wasn’t sure how 33 items of clothing would look, and whether people would notice I always seemed to be in the same thing but having spoken to my brother about it last night he described it as being ‘ten outfits’ which makes sense, and is probably essentially what I wear anyway. Within that there are a number of combinations. The point is to take the things you like wearing, and only wear those items.
It has the potential to be beneficial.
If you buy any new clothes during the period you have to wait until the time is up to wear them so you weigh up whether it is worth the money and the wait. If anything gets damaged you can replace it but the aim is to be imaginative and work with what you have got.
I mentioned the concept to my Sahara buddy Terri and she didn’t seem keen on the idea of limiting things off in such a way although she concluded she probably only wore 33 items in her wardrobe (not including jewellery, shoes or outerwear).
To be honest I can appreciate the whole idea may be easier for men than it would be for woman. There isn’t quite as much focus on men’s fashion, or it doesn’t seem to hit me anyway. I think it is entirely doable for anyone if you think through your choices.
This is Terri’s wardrobe:
I had to think about what would be happening in the next three months and what needs I would have, clothing wise, between now and then. I am fortunate in that I can wear what I like to ‘the office’ so I don’t have to worry about Burton suits and comedy ties and smart shoes and fake Barbour jackets and whatever else people who work in offices seem to wear.
The only thing I have extensively planned for the next three months is when I go to Glastonbury in June. I will probably be wearing t-shirts and jeans, and surprise, surprise, that’s what my 33 are composed of.
So here’s what I have to work with for the next 91 days.
2 pairs of jeans
1 pair of shorts (because I’m hoping for a summer at some point this year)
2 pairs of shoes
Unless I have made a massive oversight I think this is all I ever wear, and all I should need for the time being.
If the combination doesn’t work after a month I may jiggle a couple of items, but try to keep on the magic 33.
I’ll keep you updated on my progress and if you are interested I recommend you visit Project 333 for more information and support.