Okay, so we have been cleaning out our stuff for a while now. Morten, who has a lot of clothes, has been going through his closet a few times. I felt all depressed by the thought of it, so I put it off for a while.
What is Project 333? Project 333 is a challenge to commit to only 33 items of clothes for 3 months. A way of downsizing your wardrobe and get rid of clothes you don’t use anymore.
About a month ago Kirsten Dirksen posted a video (watch it in the bottom of the post), about this girl and her friend’s wardrobes.
They started this project called “Project 333”:
You keep 33 items in your closet, you commit to wearing only these items for 3 months. What you don’t use, or isn’t in season, you get out of the closet.
A lot you might decide to get rid of entirely, and some you might want to put in storage. I loved the video, and it gave me the positive boost, that I needed, to tackle my closet.
The 333 challenge includes all normal clothes, jackets, shoes, scarfs, belts, jewelry.
Things did not include: underwear, socks, workout clothes, if you have a specific uniform you have to wear to work, wedding band, and pajama.
The 333 challenge is not set up strict, so you can decide for yourself what you include. The main point is to make a conscious decision of what gets in your closet.
Get rid of clothes that you are just not comfortable wearing, does not fit, is out of style etc.
Getting down to about 55 pieces was easy enough, mostly stuff I never use; either not my style or just old, but still hanging there for some reason.
The next 10-15 was a lot harder; a lot of good clothes that I always planned on using, but never did, and some sentimental pieces.
Getting all the way down was difficult; a lot of sentimental, and the very practical aspect. You need to make sure you have enough for work, long/short sleeves, dresses, not t0o many skirts etc.
Getting on with the Project 333 Challenge
I got through it and I feel liberated. I decided to only count my clothes: I live in Denmark, it is cold a big part of the year, so I need shoes and clothes for every situation all year round. I got it down to 34 items, and it is a working progress.
My goal is still to get down to 33 and to include more stuff. I kept some things that I just could not get rid of yet. I still have too many dresses for parties and skirts.
At the same time, I need more everyday dresses with long sleeves, so I can get rid of some sweaters.
Here is what I have now: 2 pairs of pants, 1 pair of tights for dresses, 9 jersey shirts (long/short/sleeveless), 3 party dresses, 4 skirts, 2 everyday dresses, 7 blouses (short/long), 6 warmer shirts/jackets.
I did not store any of my other clothes, I gave it to a thrift store, so it will not be coming back.
Right now I live in about 600 sqft (55 sqm), I would love to live in a 300 ft home or an RV. Often when I mention living in a small space, people who have kids respond: “but you don’t have children, when you have children it’s not possible to live in a small space”. It’s true, I don’t have children, but I don’t really see kids or not as the real challenge.
The challenge is: Not to focus on the size of space you live in, but to think about what you really need.
Learn the difference between Needs and Wants
I have thought about this a lot, and for me, it looks like this: I need a dry and warm place to live, I need privacy – a place where I can close the door. I need food. I need my husband, I need God, I need people around me who love and accept me. Needs vs. Wants.
In my opinion, I do need a little extra money to have some fun, so I can go to the movies, out for a drink and stuff like that. I need time, time to process, time to look out the window, time to take a walk. And then I need freedom.
Freedom for me links to many different areas of life. Finance is a big worry for many people, myself included. I never thought too much about it until I wasn’t able to work full time anymore.
I had been working too much for too long, so I had to take a few years taking it very slowly. But of course, that puts a strain on our finances.
I always thought of my debt like “I will handle that later, in a few years I will be making more money – and then it will be gone in no time”.
I don’t think like that anymore, reality caught up on me.
Geographical freedom is very important to me. I need to explore a new country every so often, if I don’t I feel like I’m drying up. Seeing new places, experiencing other cultures, tasting different food and listening to music I’ve never heard before, gives me a sense of being alive.
It keeps me humble and open-minded. Travelling might not seem like something that belongs on the need list.
But here is the thing about the list; you decide what is a need in your life…what do you need to breathe and smile?
Dare to question these?
Try to forget all the things you are “supposed” to need and dare to question them.
Do I need:
- a big house?
- a car or two?
- big flat screen tv?
- a manicured garden?
- an important career?
- a big bedroom, or a big bedroom for each child?
- everything to look perfect in my life and my house?
- the latest gadgets, including the newest iPhone?
- brand-name clothes for me or my kids?
How many of those things do you really need to be content? And what happens when you have acquired it all, are you happy then? Is having all that stuff worth what you have had to sacrifice to get it?
Make your own list of Needs vs. Wants
What does your list look like?
What are you willing to sacrifice to make the most important one or two things become a reality?
If you are interested in this topic, you might also like this:
100 thing challenge (live with only 100 things)
Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.