For the last three months I have worn the same 33 items of clothing. Did you notice? I know nobody called me out over it. That was one of the things that worried me most about it.
If you don’t know what Project 333 is, then I suggest you head over here.
I wanted to give Project 333 a try because I think we put far too much effort into the power of things. The last three months have shown me that being practical is more suitable and fitting to my personality than anything else. Some of the items I chose initially were switched out after a month, when I realised I had chosen them for completely the wrong reasons.
2 pairs of jeans
1 pair of shorts
3 pairs of shoes
Time is precious, especially when you like to roll out of bed with the least amount of time possible before you have to leave for any kind of appointment or meeting. I like to do just that. The joy of only wearing 33 items of clothing is that for the majority of the time you don’t have to make a choice as to what you are going to wear, you have to wear what is in the drawer or wardrobe. There are no options. Options can often be more limiting than you realise. Before, I would spend far too long searching all over for a certain item, now all of the items are a certain item. I picked them because I like wearing them.
On far too many occasions I was tempted to buy clothes, because I am a victim of consumerism, like we all are. What stopping yourself from buying clothes does, is makes you realise is that it is the easy option. I won’t buy anything because I don’t need it. This rule goes beyond clothes now. I am still on a learning curve with it all, but I take my time before I buy anything. I think it through. This has obviously saved me money. I may buy some more things now I have proven to myself that I don’t need to, but I will do so keeping in mind that it has to be better than something I already own and am willing to replace.
Project 333 has taught me I have a series of looks I like to go for. I favour plain v-neck t-shirts over anything else. This may well change in another three months, and I may swap the lot over for something else, but if I could wear a white v-neck t-shirt, and a pair of jeans every day I would. It’s what I feel comfortable in, and I think I look alright in it. It might not be the height of fashion, there are no SuperDry logos, there are no triangle designs, there are no scoop-neck chest hair abominations on display, but it works for me, and I will continue with it. I can then swap in cardigans, shirts and jackets over the top. Project 333 has an excellent article on men who dress with less here.
As I had reduced the amount of clothes in my life, it made me look at the other things I surround myself with. There are so many touches doing this has had on my life, and I am sure I will miss some off even now. I don’t like having a pile of things on my desk. I don’t like clutter. I don’t like items on my desktop background. I don’t like stacks of paperwork sitting idle. I don’t like things overfilling shelves. I don’t like things being out of place. Maybe some of this is OCD. I am slightly obsessive compulsive and I’m the first person to admit that, but, having cleared out a lot of things on a simple two question test, I feel much better in myself. I honestly feel clearer, and more productive as a result of not being so surrounded by things.
The two question test is composed of:
Does it serve a purpose?
Do I get enjoyment out of it?
Anything else can go.
The clothes I have serve a purpose, in that I’m not allowed to wander around naked. I get enjoyment from the neat shelves of books and films I own. My laptop gets two ticks. My guitars get two ticks.
It’s amazing how much you can clear out. I still have a number of items which mean something to me, have some sentimental value. I’m not going to start burning my photo albums or throwing family heirlooms down the stairs but I found as the days ticked by I started to wonder why I hold onto all these things. They sit on shelves, and get moved if they are in the way of something worthwhile. They need dusting at some point. They don’t mean anything. They’re gone.
I don’t think I have minimised as much as most people do. Some people really go for it. I can’t do that yet. I have my own ways of doing things, and that is what I am happy with.
Under the rules of Project 333 I am allowed to unpack everything I put away three months ago. I know exactly where it is, in a huge suitcase in the loft, but I won’t be putting everything back where it was. I don’t need to. I may substitute a few bits, but there are people who could do with those clothes a lot more than my suitcase in the loft or I could, so this weekend I will be taking a trip to a local charity shop or drop off point to get rid of more things I own that I don’t really need.
If there is any part of you that is curious about this, then I recommend it. Choose things you enjoy wearing, things that are comfortable and versatile and just do it. You will be surprised how long you can make 33 items last. I could go for a fortnight without wearing the same top twice if I wanted to. I believe that’s how I started out with the project in fact, just to get everything into the cycle. There’s nothing to say you have to be a particular age or gender to give it a try, and the benefits are beyond those I have written about and are personal to me.
Start today, and don’t look back.