A month ago I published this post (read here) about Project 333 and minimizing. Now that I’m more than a month into this I wanted to update you all on my thoughts and progress and lessons learned. I’m writing it Q&A style with all the questions I had when going into this.
How is Project 333 working out?
(For newbies, Project 333 is picking out 33 items to wear over a three month period, including shoes, accessories, but excluding workout gear, pajamas and lounge)
I love, love, love having a capsule wardrobe. Its easy to pick out clothes, I like everything and it totally simplifies my closet. I never feel like I don’t have enough to wear, in fact I probably could narrow it down further. There are still things I haven’t worn in my 33 items.
I did swap out some things that I thought I would wear and didn’t. Originally, I included a romper that’s cute, but for some reason I never want to wear. I replaced the item with a pair of black shorts I wear all the time.
Do you stick to the 33 items strictly?
Yes. and No. I am in a weird position to live in San Diego where the temps in August, Sept. and Oct. are at their warmest. So my closet and 33 items are primarily tanks, shorts, and lightweight dresses. The problem is that in the next two months I’ll be doing work travel to London, DC, Portland and other places where I have to dress up for meetings AND have warm fall clothing. So, I’ve set aside some work clothing for those trips that I don’t include in my capsule. Also, I’m not a huge accessories person and barely ever wear them, so I don’t include belts and jewelry in my 33. But I did go through and purge at least half of what I had, if not more, of accessory items.
Has minimizing helped you tone down spending and shopping habits?
Again, its yes and no. I am definitely more mindful of what I buy. Its easier to differentiate between a “need” vs. a “want” and I don’t spend any time in the Target dollar bins area anymore. (I would insert the high-five emoji here if I could).
One thing I’ve noticed is that some of the clothes in my capsule that are not high quality aren’t holding up that well to the additional washing. So I’ve actually replaced a few shirts. Through this process I now realize that I don’t tend to wear things that are “trendy” vs. the classic items I have. I’m getting better at understanding my personal style. I like a soft chambray shirt and comfy black denim. I tend to wear simple black and white T shirts and jeans with sandals and I feel great. If I buy anything now its to replace something so in that way, yes, I’m changing the way I look at shopping.
Are you continuing to minimize? How did minimizing your home go?
When I started minimizing over a month ago I jumped in with enthusiasm and immediately took three full car loads to stuff to the Goodwill. I went through closets, under beds, through toy bins and even purged the kitchen. IT. WAS. AWESOME. I will say that after the core minimizing, I got tired. I haven’t tackled the garage yet, and that’s ok. It can be kind of overwhelming and I now understand its more of a lifestyle and long term process.
What are the benefits minimizing?
There are so many. One thing that always bothered me was that even though my house appeared clean to the visitor, lurking behind every closet door, and in every drawer there was STUFF packed to the brim. Art supplies, clothes, toys, extra blankets, towels, sporting goods, kitchen supplies, candles, party supplies, beach gear, and I could go on. The best way to describe it is that my house felt heavy. It was laden with things that didn’t get used or have a purpose. Since getting rid of so much stuff, I feel a new sense of lightness. The hall closet only has things we use in it. Things are organized. My Tupperware/glass container area in the kitchen is now a useful area instead of a giant non-matching-lid-pile. Its organized and stacked and I smile every time I pack some leftovers.
My kids make less of a mess. Their room still gets crazy, but even then, now all their toys have a place and its fairly easy to get in order. I honestly think they like it too. Having less toys makes it easier to find what they want to play with, and to be more creative with what they have.
Are there areas you want to improve? What’s next?
Yes. There’s always room to improve right? Even though I’ve minimized, my habits of shopping when I’m stressed or anxious are still there. I still found myself buying some unnecessary things and overbuying food items, for example. But hey, its just a process and I’m not going to be hard on myself. I think with time it will get easier and easier.
The next big step is the garage. I’ve cleared out some stuff, but its a MAJOR job and one I’m going to need some help with from my husband. I think maybe after all our crazy travels we’ll tackle it.
I really encourage minimizing. Its changing my life and my family’s life for the better. I see a change, even when shopping with my son the other day, he wanted some Star Wars stuff and he looked at it and said, “its just a want, not a need” – and he walked away. I thought that was pretty mature for a 7 year old. We’ve had a lot of talks about what we buy and why we buy it and its been great to talk about what’s important, and what we value.