Project 333: Getting started

Let me begin with some back story.

We had a built-in robe at our old house. It was not huge but we’d had it refitted to maximise space. Along with a dresser each and a nightstand with drawers for me and we were fine for storage space.

Our new home has no built-ins so we opted to purchase a pair of side-by-side freestanding wardrobes from the vendor as an interim solution. We do plan on installing some nice built-ins eventually but we want to wait until we have de-wallpapered the walls and ripped out the carpet.

This pair of wardrobes physically takes up a lot more room than our old built-ins, however it has maybe a sixth of the hanging space (one unit is hanging and the other unit is all shelves). Half of my clothes were still in the boxes we moved house in, which made it difficult to find what I was looking for (and when I did, it was all crumpled).

Project 333: Getting started

So I got to thinking about how to make things work with what we had. I remembered something about Project 333 via the creator Courtney Carver’s main blog Be More With Less and started to mull over whether it would work for me.

Why Project 333?

The premise is wearing a ‘capsule’ wardrobe of 33 items (including jewellery, accessories and shoes) for 3 months.

I realise the irony since this time 12 months ago I wrote a post titled The case against a seasonal wardrobe. But with all matters of household organisation, I believe in changing approaches that are no longer working for you.

In addition to the limitations of our new storage space, here are some other factors that influenced my decision:

An uncluttered bedroom

  • I love the spacious feeling of our new home and don’t want to clutter it up simply because we have room for more stuff.
  • Purely decluttering with regular clear-outs of my clothes has only got me so far. To get the streamlined closet of my dreams I need to try doing the reverse: removing everything and only putting back in what I really love and suits my body, life and style.
  • I dislike some of our bedroom furniture and how it’s laid out. Paring down the amount I own will give us more flexibility to create a room we love.
  • Of all the rooms in our home, I want the bedroom to be clutter-free. No, it’s not a public space that guests generally see, or a room that we spend much (waking) time but I want it to be a restful sanctuary.

Making it effortless

  • I find it a daily struggle to keep the bedroom tidy, with piles of clothes on the floor and a mess of shoes under the bed. Having fewer items makes it easier to put everything away.
  • My change in lifestyle (going back to work in an office part-time) means pulling together a good outfit quickly is more of a priority.
  • I want to make it easier for me to look nice on my work-at-home days. I don’t want to have to get changed just to go to the post office or to be embarrassed when a courier or print rep rocks up on my doorstep.

Finding my style

  • I’m in my thirties now, people. It’s time to find my signature look. I know it’s in there in my wardrobe but it can be hard to see amongst the impulse buys and throwbacks from my partying days.
  • Similarly, I’d like to get away from trend-based dressing and create a more classic wardrobe. I’ve never considered this before because ‘classic’ to me meant boring (because I adore colour and pattern which goes against most ‘classic dressing’ advice). This will enable me to focus on creating my own classic look from clothes I already own and only buying new items that I know can mix’n’match with the rest of my wardrobe.
  • After I quit my full-time job we cut back on a lot of areas of our budget and clothing was one category that was slashed. Even now that my income has gone up, I still find myself buying cheap and nasty clothes. I want to get back into the mindset of investing in good quality pieces again. I don’t want to increase the clothing budget, so I need to buy fewer things and again, make sure they work with other items.
  • I enjoy choosing outfits and would feel frustrated and deprived if I had an all-year simplified wardrobe. I am hoping switching it up every three months will prevent me feeling bored.

Buoyed by all these benefits, I thought Project 333 was a worthwhile experiment for me to try. I have created my first capsule wardrobe (which you can see in the header image) and have been wearing it since a bit before my official start date of June 1st.

It’s definitely a big project so over the next week or so I’ll share the details of how I chose my first capsule wardrobe and what I’m doing with all the leftovers.

Have you done Project 333 or another wardrobe challenge? If so I’d love to hear about your experiences!

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4 Responses

  • Katy

    What happens to the capsule wardrobe after three months ??!! Shouldn’t we be reducing the amount of stuff we throw out?

    Isn’t buying classical clothes means they last for three years if not 33 yrs ??!!

    • Hi Katy. Oh gosh no, the idea is not to throw everything out after 3 months!! Sorry if I gave that impression!

      At the end of the three months I’ll put together my spring wardrobe, so the heavy winter stuff will go into storage for next year but many basics (jeans, ballet flats etc) I will use year-round.

      You’re totally right, we should be getting away from the idea of disposable fashion. This capsule wardrobe was entirely made up of items I already owned, but when I need to update clothes in future I’ll be placing more of a focus on buying well-made, classic pieces that will last me for many years :)

  • Julie

    Katy – the capsule wardrobe is put away until the next time the season rolls around – it isn’t trashed, just replaced with new season appropriate clothes. The project 333 website has a lot of good information on it – it helps people prioritize better made clothing that lasts several years because they can take care of it, not just buy crappy clothes to throw away each season.

    • Thanks for your input, Julie. Sounds like you’ve had a bit of experience with it? I’d love to know how you found it.

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