May 31st came and I was both excited to have finished Project 333 and confused about what to do next. Spending 3 months wearing only 33 items including shoes, jewelry, purses and clothes made it very hard when the day came that I had to think more about what I was going to wear again. If you aren't familiar with Project 333, you can read more here: You can read more about how it works here. I also highly recommend watching Minimalist on Netflix (it's how I first heard about Project 333).
Here are some lessons learned from my Project 333 experience:
1. Having a separate section of my closet where I kept my 33 items included in the challenge made getting ready in the morning a breeze and much less stressful. I should add the importance of regularly doing laundry does became more imperative or you literally have nothing to wear. Since I had to do laundry more often I didn't have as much to fold and put away each time I did which made the task smaller and more manageable each time.
2. The official 'rules' say to pack up all of your clothes that aren't in Project 333, but I found that it was much better for me to separate them instead since I had plenty of space in my closet. Throughout the 3 months I would look over at the other section of the closet occasionally and toss things into a Goodwill pile. Distance from the items made me further realize I didn't really like them.
3. Looking back at the 3 months, I probably wore about 15 items 85% of the time and the rest much less often. This made me realize even when I only picked 33 things, it was still easy to include things I theoretically liked since it made my selections look more balanced but they either weren't very comfortable, didn't quite fit right or weren't very practical (1 scarf in Texas March-May doesn't come into use too often). There were several items in my closet that looked like they would be good for business attire when in reality I prefer dresses for occasions where I have to dress up rather than dress pants (of which I had about 10-15 pairs and only wore about 1-2 prior to Project 333).
4. I did find myself getting sick of some of the clothes and wishing I had more items I loved especially towards the end because some of the clothes I included in the tiny wardrobe were not of the highest quality. This made me realize that when I do buy clothes moving forward, it's well worth investing in higher quality items that I really love. I'm going to slowly work towards having only items I love but right now I still have a lot of 'fast fashion' clothes that are cheap and look and feel cheap.
5. I decided to take this month off as I get rid of more clothes (including about 5-10 things I included in my wardrobe) and then I'm going to try updating the 33 items once a month instead of in 3 month increments. I will also try doing it without shoes since the shoes I included wore down rapidly and also started to smell because they didn't have enough time to dry between wears...maybe a little gross but that was my biggest issue with the whole thing :)
6. Overall I loved this challenge and believe everyone should try some version of it in their own lives. You might think you wear mostly the same things but if you actually separate them out and have them ready in one section it makes an enormous difference in the process of getting ready and picking out your clothes to not have to dig past all the others to get to what you want. Also when you are including jewelry, shoes, shirts, shorts, pants, skirts and dresses all as different items it adds up very fast!
I wouldn't say that I've now mastered simplicity or minimalist lifestyle by any means, but this was a great step in the right direction! Have you done Project 333 or anything else that made your life markedly more simple and less stressful? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!