So today I am starting Project 333 for the first time. The basis behind Project 333 is to live with only 33 items of clothing for three months (hence the 333). I’m excited for this little adventure.
When I started pruning the excess stuff out of my life, clothes were definitely a big task. For months I’ve slowly been going through all my clothes, getting rid of things here and there but never seeming to make a dent. There were old concert t-shirts I was saving (but never wore). There were super cute dresses I got on clearance at Charlotte Russe for like $8 (but again never wore). Things people had given me as gifts that did not suit me at all, but that I could not get rid of for the guilt. All of that translated into a walk in closet packed with clothes that were hardly worn.
Project 333 has given me something to work toward. By having a specific number of clothes I could keep (33) I had to process why I was keeping things I never wore, then let that go and pare down. A few discoveries:
1. I have a hard time letting go of gifts. Not necessarily because I like said gift, but because I feel guilty about getting rid of something someone spent the time and money to give me. However, no one is inspecting my apartment to see if I’m using/keeping something they got me. Shoot they probably don’t even remember anyways seeing as some of the things I’ve kept are from a decade ago from someone I don’t even keep in touch with. And as I read somewhere (can’t remember where), it’s possible to accept the intention behind a gift without keeping the actual object.
2. I need to stop attaching a story to everything I own. “Oh I couldn’t possibly get rid of that shirt, I wore it on a canoe trip in 2001 and it was 110 degrees. I need the shirt to remember it.” True story. And I clearly don’t need the shirt to remember that trip. The truth is when you attach a story to every object you own then the objects begin to own you. It’s a surefire way to end up with a cluttered life. Consider instead a journal or drawing/photo of and event (not too many!) to trigger a fond memory.
3. I need to stop focusing on Potential Alyssa and focus on Actual Alyssa. I had a TON of adorable trendy shoes and hats and dresses and such. But what do I wear every day? Jeans, t-shirt, and closed-toed shoes (I work in a lab). I always bought those cute dresses and tights and skirts with the intention of one day being a girl that spent hours dressing fashionably and wearing makeup. This was my Potential Alyssa. Actual Alyssa has an assortment of neutral tank-tops to wear over my Old Navy jeans.
So that’s the start of my Project 333 challenge. Tune in the rest of the week for more details on my personal take on Project 333.