Minimalist living: why you should consider joining Project 333

Do you have more clothes than you have closet? Are your shoes falling out of your cupboards? Jewellery spilling out of drawers? So many of us would like to live an ordered and de-cluttered life, but, in reality, we’re often more Mrs Twit than Marie Kondo. And not only do bulging wardrobes and clothes scattered across the floor mess with that feng shui, it’s not doing our bank balances any favours either. In fact, a recent survey found that UK households spend £733 on unworn clothes a year.

This is where Project 333 comes in. The concept was conceived by de-cluttering expert Courtney Carver in 2010, and thousands of people have since taken on the challenge. The idea is straightforward: dress with 33 items or less for three months. Simple concept, but is it simple to follow?

The rules

The idea is to pick 33 items from your wardrobe, including clothing, accessories, jewellery, coats, jackets and shoes. However, some people have found the jewellery rule is too restrictive so you might prefer to give yourself a free pass for your more sparkly items. There are also no restrictions on underwear, sleepwear, workout wear and clothes you wear to relax at home in (although this might be a good opportunity to go through them and throw out those stained pyjamas and holey socks).

Once you’ve chosen your 33 items, you pack the rest of your clothes up in a box and put it somewhere out of sight. You won’t be needing them for the next three months.

Tips to get started

Take everything out of your wardrobe and start dividing into four piles: charity, trash, wardrobe, store.

Stained or ripped clothes can be taking to textile bins at your local recycling centre where they’ll be made into new items, such as padding for chairs and industrial blankets. Or shops including H&M and & Other Stories will collect any old clothes, no matter what state they’re in and give you a money-off voucher to use in store! The Recycle Now website has more information on what you can do with clothes you no longer want.

It’s important that the 33 items you choose will see you through the next three months. So, you’ll need work wear, casual looks and clothes for any special occasions you have coming up. Think about signature items: a classic coat, a good pair of boots, your favourite jeans that you can dress up and down and no clashing patterns; you want clothes that you can pair with everything. Don’t worry that you’ll always look the same − accessories such as chunky jewellery and scarves can completely change the look of an outfit.

Less choice, less stress

Once you’ve de-cluttered your wardrobe, you’ll probably find that your life becomes less cluttered, too. Dressing will become a breeze, as you’ll have far fewer clothes to choose from. You will have already done the hard work picking out your capsule wardrobe, so you’ll know whatever you pick out will go.

Having a de-cluttered clothes space will make you feel less stressed. Goodbye disordered and untidy bedroom, hello calm and zen-like haven!

Free your finances and save the planet

If you’re considering your finances and looking to find ways to save money, cutting down on buying clothes is a good place to start. Not only that, fashion is one of the most environmentally destructive industries, responsible for over 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. Once you’ve created your capsule wardrobe, you’ll quickly see how the benefits of a ‘less is more’ approach to buying clothes in the future will not only help the planet, but your bank balance too.

Now that you know the benefits, will you be joining Project 333?