My family and I downsized our house last year. Since then I have repeatedly downsized our downsized house. At this point I could probably live in a shoebox happily; or so I thought. As much as I love living the minimalist diet I had to make some compromising when it came to my clothes. As someone who used to have a serious shoe addiction and shopping obsession, I was pretty impressed with how much I was able to downsize my wardrobe. Then I heard about the 3/33 challenge, I was all in!
The 3/33 Challenge means 3 months and only 33 articles of clothing. This includes, shoes, jewelry, scarves and belts. Not including pj pants and workout clothes. (whew!) The best part is, you don’t have to totally say goodbye to all the other clothes. You tuck them away for a rainy day and then switch out your wardrobe after the 3 months is up. You can read all about it and more on the Be More With Less website.
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As you can maybe tell (?) I had already recently downsized my closet before I started the 3/33 challenge. Before we downsized, I had my very own closet and it was bigger than the one my husband and I now share. I definitely had to get crafty when we moved in to find room for all my shoes, tank tops, scarves and jeans. Since then, all my scarves are gone, my shoe collection has been cut in half and I own only my favorites pairs of jeans. Even after eliminating over half my wardrobe, I still find myself going through it almost monthly and tossing out more things. No, I’m not buying more stuff. I swear almost every time I make a clothing donation, someone else has a bag of clothes for me to keep. It’s great getting to switch up my wardrobe but it doesn’t help when it comes to the decluttering process.
So, it was time to tackle the 3/33 challenge. The toughest part starting was that I decided to start this in August. August in Minnesota is usually around 90 degrees. In 3 months when my challenge ends, it will be November. That means it could still potentially be 90 or -30 and 12 feet of snow. Because of this, I decided to give myself a little “weather leeway.”
Getting started, start with those clothes you already aren’t wearing. This will be easier at the end of a season. If you start at summer’s end, go through those shorts and dresses, flip flops and sandals and clear out whatever you didn’t wear. Besides Goodwill, check out local homeless or women’s or homeless shelter’s in your area. We have the there are also sites like swap.com.
If you are someone who has spent a ton of money on great designer gear that is still in great shape then you will probably love Yogi’s Closet.
Next make a list of all the upcoming events you know you have to plan for. Like a trip, work meetings, weddings, or whatever plans you may have ahead in the next 3 months. It’s important to make sure you are prepared for all of those big events. Another thing to remember is if you don’t have an outfit for an upcoming party or wedding, considering borrowing from a friend instead of buying!
Alright, time to get picky and choosy. This means shirts, shoes, dresses, jeans and jewelry! Get rid of any of those things you don’t think you’ll need for the next 3 months. Make sure you make smart choices here! Choose undershirts with sweaters and jackets where you can easily swap and interchange so you don’t get bored with your selection. I personally hung onto my jean jacket to go with my dresses as I transition into fall. Minnesota weather in unpredictable, so I did my best to plan for it. I even tossed out gym shoes! I had 3 pairs simply so I could swap out colors with whatever outfit I was wearing to the gym. I decided to just hang on to the newest pair, because you really only need one.
Well, I had to compromise, hopefully you don’t have to. I held on to some summer stuff and some winter stuff because Minnesota is unpredictable and I didn’t want to chance having to dig into my “discard” pile. Instead of 33 items, I have 55 and as soon as the heat is gone, I will do away with another 22. Even though I didn’t do the 33, I think the difference is obvious! I cleared out what seems like half of my already downsized wardrobe. Remember, this isn’t forever. It’s just three months. Now, at the end of these three months, if you have gone without wearing an article of clothing, it’s time to part ways and say goodbye!
Amazing things can happen when you start to declutter your life. You lose worry and material possessions lose their grip on you. Project 3/33 is a great way to get yourself started without having to make too many scary choices all at once! I highly recommend giving it a go and if you need to I’ve yourself a little leeway…I totally get it!