I love watching HGTV! I especially love any house hunting type show that allows me to peek inside other people’s homes for ideas and inspiration.
Inevitably, in each show, the couple touring the home walk into the master bedroom and take a look at the master closet. No matter how amazing the house is, how big it is, how perfect it is, nine times out of ten… the closet is “too small”. Gazing at a huge walk-in closet, one partner will turn to the other and make the joke,”Where will we put your clothes?”
Silently Raises Hand
Until recently, that person was me. My clothes were taking up most of the shared closet and spilling over into the guest bedroom closet. I had multiple storage boxes for out of season clothes. A closet stuffed with clothes that I didn’t really like. Clothes that I didn’t even know how to wear (cinch it? cuff it? peg it?) and clothes that were never going to fit me again, ever. I spent way too long staring into my closet each morning wondering what to wear. More often than not, I didn’t even like what I ultimately threw on.
After our first daughter was born, I stumbled upon a system that literally transformed my morning routine and helped me to dress in a way that made me feel good about what I was wearing. Bonus: I got to wear my favorite stuff all of the time.
I wish that I could take credit for this invaluable way of dressing and organizing my closet, but I am just a steadfast devotee of the idea. It’s called Project 333 and it was started by a woman named Courtney Carver, the blogger behind Be More With Less. I’ll let you explore the finer details of Project 333 on your own, here is how it works for me.
My closet contains roughly 30-35 items. Yup- that’s it.
Before you roll your eyes, stick with me. Here is what is included in that number:
- The clothes that I wear to work everyday.
- The clothes that I would wear for a night out or to a weekend event.
- A few seasonally appropriate accessories like scarves and statement necklaces.
Here is everything not included in that number:
- Underwear, bras, socks.
- Grubby work-around-the house clothes/items to wear while working out.
- My everyday jewelry (wedding ring, a small necklace and hoop earrings)
- My shoes (three/four pairs depending on the season)
It saves me so much time in the morning
The idea behind this system is that it takes all of the guesswork out of getting dressed. By paring down my wardrobe to approximately 30 pieces, I only have my favorite items in my closet. It is easier and quicker to put together outfits because everything has to coordinate. By having fewer things, I have been able to understand my personal style a little bit better and that makes it easier to pull outfits together.
Yes, I wear my clothes more often. Yes, my coworkers and friends see me in the same stuff every week. No, I don’t care.
Logistically, I rotate my closet roughly four times a year. My clothes are generally aligned with the seasons in Indiana and I add/subtract items from the rotation when needed.
I keep my off-season clothes in two plastic tubs in my closet. I could probably whittle it down to one off-season tub, but this lets me keep a few extra items on hand for future rotations.
To answer the question I get all of the time- Yes, I still get to shop for new things!
I’m just much more focused on what I need each season. Since shopping alone is a rarity with four kids, it is easier to know that I really just need to add a new pair of black pants or an updated summer work jacket to replace or refresh my wardrobe. I still get new pieces, just less frequently. This means that I spend a lot less time and money on dressing myself.
After five years of dressing this way, I know that this system saves me time and money. Even more importantly, it has has all but eliminated the stress of what to wear each day.
If you’ve ever thought about simplifying your wardrobe, try this system. Or create something similar that works for you. I went from an overstuffed master closet (a la HGTV) to an emptier space that makes my mornings easier. And I’m never going back!