Declutter Your Closet with a Project 333 Experiment


“Cheerfulness and contentment are great beautifiers.” – Charles Dickens

A few years back, I experimented with reducing my wardrobe by joining Project 333.

The idea behind Project 333 is simple: Wear only 33 articles of clothing for the next 3 months. All clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes count towards your number. Exceptions include wedding ring, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing. Clothing that no longer fits or becomes in poor condition may be replaced during the time period.

Originally, I decided to try it for a number of reasons:

  1. I needed an extra push to reduce the clutter in my closet.
  2. I find boundaries to be helpful in minimizing.
  3. The project sounded both challenging and reasonable.
  4. The Project 333 community seemed encouraging.

The project began on an October 1 and concluded on December 31. And other than a few minor exceptions (think Ugly Sweater Christmas Party), I was able to stick to the rules of 33 articles of clothing with only minimal adjustments to my weekly routine.

It became an experiment that I valued and often recommended to others. I learned some valuable lessons about boundaries over those three months.

Consider the benefits of living life within boundaries:

1. Boundaries keep us restrained.

Artificial boundaries can keep us in check when our natural self-control does not. Over the years, I had amassed a closet full of clothes—far more than I truly need. Looking back, I am embarrassed at the amount of time, money, energy, and attention devoted to my clothes.

In similar ways, the average American carries $7,200 in credit card debt and watches over 32 hours of television per week. We are in need of boundaries. Good parents set boundaries for their children… and good adults should set boundaries for themselves.

2. Boundaries force our values.

When you are challenged to pare down your clothing to 33 items, you are forced to identify which items are absolutely necessary. You are forced to single out the most important, most versatile, and most loved items. You are required to identify the most valuable things in your closet.

Similarly, boundaries in life help to force this exact same thought process. Boundaries force us to identify the difference between “really important” and only “somewhat important”—just ask anyone who has ever been given a limited amount of time left to live.

3. Boundaries promote creativity.

Orson Wells said, “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” Limiting your clothing items to 33 items for 3 months forces art. Limiting your wardrobe does not rob you of personal style…it causes you to truly find it. For help getting started, try this: A Practical Guide to Owning Fewer Clothes.

4. Boundaries bring freedom.

This may sound contradictory…and depending on the exact boundaries, it may be. But in the example of clothing, I found great freedom in the project. It is a refreshing feeling to look inside a closet and see only clothes that you love. Getting ready in the morning is less time-consuming. Laundry is easier. And I saved a few dollars over the 3 months as well. The experiment granted me more time, energy, and money—the very things I was losing without it.

For me, Project 333 became something far greater than wearing fewer articles of clothing. It became about recognizing the value of boundaries. And the value of boundaries reaches far beyond our closets. It begins to spill into how we decorate our homes, the toys we buy for our children, our yarn supplies, and even how we choose to spend our time, money, and energy.

Why don’t you try giving it a shot? You’ll enjoy the challenge. And you’ve got nothing to lose but the clutter in your closet.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

Follow on TwitterLike on Facebook


  1. says

    I can see doing this with clothing articles, but I could never part with my jewelry. After 25 years of marriage, I have well over 33 pieces of things I treasure. IMO, jewelry is a fine way to express yourself but not take up a lot of space! It’s fun to make too…..

    • lin says

      I agree. my husband gets me a small gemstone every year for my anniversary. <3 I'd like to keep it and pass it down to my daughter.

  2. says

    I think my husband, son and I will all participate in this.
    (And by my son, I mean that he’s almost 3 and he has more clothes than my husband and I together. I, personally, need to do it FOR him but yes, still do it.)
    I don’t think my husband even owns 33 pieces of clothing but I own mannnnny more.
    We’re moving soon and need to purge anyway. Perfect challenge!

  3. says

    I’d like to comment again, sorry.
    People are different, AlexM. See, I used to have a lot of jewelry. But I don’t think I have near 33 pieces now. I wear 3 rings each day all with significance. I have a few body modifications that have their own jewelry – also which I’m not counting because those are, you know, basically a part of me now. But as far as jewelry goes… I have a few necklaces and a couple sets of earrings that I have kept. I haven’t worn but a necklace or two and will probably purge the rest during this project. I enjoy jewelry sometimes but I really do not feel like it’s a necessity. But everyone is different. :)

  4. says

    I like the idea Joshua, I’m moving house in a month and will be in a temporary rented place for 3 months, so this sounds like an ideal way to have to move less!

    Would you be willing to share your list of 33 to help people get started?

    • joshua becker says

      Sure Rob. It looks like something like this:

      7 v-neck t-shirts (black, grey, white). *7 for my wife’s laundry schedule.
      3 pairs of jeans.
      3 pairs of shoes (sandals, dress/casual, sneakers).
      2 pairs of shorts.
      2 short-sleeve polo shirts (black, grey).
      2 long-sleeve button-up shirts (black, grey).
      2 long-sleeve sweatshirts (Phoenix outerwear).
      2 articles of workwear around the house (t-shirt/shorts).
      1 black belt.

      I ended with 24 items. Last time I conducted the experiment, I was living in Vermont. Needless to say, I have found the 33 limit to be much easier during the Phoenix winter.

      • says

        Thanks Joshua, I only just saw your reply.
        I’ve been giving this a go for a couple of weeks now, and whilst I haven’t stuck rigidly to 33 yet, I’v got rid of a lot of things I previously tired to keep just in case.

        The thing that this showed me was the value in approaching things from the opposite angle. My previous decluttering attempts have been about throwing things out, not actively choosing what to keep. It’s amazing how a subtle shift can have such a significant impact.

        Thanks for letting us know about the project.

      • Anne Stockwell says

        So among your sweatshirts & “workwear” do you have anything bright or colorful? Not criticizing, just curious. I’m making a conscious effort to get more color into my clothes.

  5. Linda says

    I really chafe at the words “boundaries and limitations.” The motivation in life, for me, is for more freedom, more space, more peace, more opportunities, more joy, more more more! I find that abundance comes with living life simply. The thoughts of “limitations and boundaries” do not bring me closer to simplicity, they create fences. Just an interesting reaction to your words today.

    • Paula says

      Linda – I understand your reaction to the words “boundaries and limitation.” I have strived for simplicity and not yet achieved it. But I realize that I can only have freedom within cerain limits. It is like crossing a bridge over a deep chasm. If the bridge has side rails, I am free to wander to the edge and peer over. But without rails, I stay to the center. with side rails I am still free to wander to the edge, but without them fear overtakes me and keeps to where it is safe.

  6. says

    I started doing this last spring and I love it! I thought our closets were pretty simple but having the limits helped me move things out of the closet that I thought I should wear… but really didn’t. We did it as a whole family and even though I don’t count my cloths anymore it got us in the habit and we stay right around that number.

    Once you get used to seeing and using the 33 items, when you get more in your closet it starts looking and feeling crowded and cluttered :)

  7. says

    “Boundaries Promote Creativity” and “Boundaries Bring Freedom” are counter intuitive assertions but I see how it works. There is a whole ecosystem of thinking and removing extraneous items will help you reinforce your values and declutter your mind as well. It’s also the freedom of genuinely knowing that when you do buy something, you really love or need it. It’s easy to spend so much time on figuring out where to store or how to organize things. Basically, it feels like you are continuously moving the same things around. That takes so much time!

  8. robinG says

    Limiting the things we own is what gives us the FREEDOM to enjoy life. Is is not fun washing all those clothes, putting them away, sifting thru them to find what you are looking for. Stop focusing on the semantics, and you don’t look at it as being fenced in! Having all those clothes is what fences you in to keeping you away from what is important! Freedom to do what you enjoy is what is important!

  9. Teresa Forrester says

    I have been cleaning the house out for the past year. I found that ‘redumping’ an item in another area does NOT solve the problem. Yes the closet is cleaner, but the garage where I dumped the stuff is not. Please don’t fall into the pit I did. When you clean it out, out means out of the house PERIOD. Today I am facing the giant mess in the garage. If I had done this right the first time, I could be doing something else with my time today. God Bless

  10. Becky says

    I’m confused about the number 333 and 33. I love the idea of a challenge like this, just not sure what I’m committing to, though. Thanks.

    • joshua becker says

      Project 333 comes from 33 articles of clothing for 3 months.

      If 33 seems too difficult, try 40. The goal is to choose a number that would be challenging, but not impossibly frustrating.

  11. Annie says

    I was sort of “forced” in to doing this when I moved in with the man who became my husband. We live in a small city apartment and storage space is in very limited supply. I refuse to pay for storage elsewhere because I’m cheap, (and darn proud of it!), so I had to weed out the need-nots. We extended it to the rest of our place and that has made life more enjoyable since cleaning is easier and my place is ready for guests at any time. Try a similar approach to kitchen clutter, you’d be surprised how few kitchen tools you really need and use. Before buying anything new for my kitchen I ask myself, “can it multitask, and do I already have something that serves the same purpose?”

    • jenn says

      Yes, and the answer is usually that most tasks can be accomplished with a knife. I used to work for a kitchen store, so I know how it makes you feel like you need all these gadgets!

  12. Becky says

    Oh I see… it’s a 33 clothing item challenge within a 333 challenge project.
    OK, I’m in… 33 items of clothing for 3 months. Thanks, this sounds fun!

  13. Soan says

    I’ve tried this challenge one or twice but never seemed to follow through til the end…. I’m going under a major physical change next week (breast reduction) Many of my clothes won’t fit anymore so I think it’s the right time to take the 333 road again! I’ve decided to change the rules a bit, I’m not going to count accessories such as jewels, bags, scarfs and the likes as part of the 33 . I’m taking the rest of January to play a keep, toss, sell and buy game with my clothes.
    The people of the 21th century need to own less and live more……

    • Michelle says

      Good luck with your surgery Soan.
      My sister had the same procedure done just over a years ago, said it’s the best thing she’s ever done for herself. She is much healthier and happier and she had alot of fun re-organising her wardrobe to suit the new look :)

  14. Becky says

    This challenge is the bees-knees! I’ve got a box in the trunk of my car for charity drop-off tomorrow, a sectioned away with black plastic all around so I don’t see it for
    three months (most is a little too small), a few things in the washing machine that will total the 33 things! The 3 optional things are sneakers and 2 pairs of sox. I’d list my stuff here only it’s cataloged and filed away already. :-)
    I am so jazzed!

  15. Michelle says

    I live in a sub-tropical climate so my main wardrobe is shorts and t-shirts, and I own two skirts. I even wear shorts and t’s to work! I have jackets and jeans for when we are on the Harley but my wardrobe is very basic. A large wardrobe is such a time waster, the fewer things you have the quicker it is to decide what to wear :)
    Much easier to do the 33 items project in a warm climate I think.

  16. says

    Ok! I try it !! But in Montréal, it’s will be a real challenge, winter, snow, win, cool temperature :) It will be a good exercice for me. I did a clean last year in my closet, but may be i need to clean again :) I visiting you web site since 1 month ago, and one part of my blog (in french but you can use the translator :)) is in the same philosophy! I like very much your site ! Merci! MJ

    • Pidgen says

      I live in the North and I do 333. It’s a bit harder and I don’t count long-underwear, mittens, socks, hats or scarves as part of the 33 pieces. I also don’t count outerwear such as coats or snowpants. I just count what is actually in my closet. Still makes me feel awesome to know that what is in there is what I have to choose from in order to make outfits! I don’t get to choose if I wear the underlayers! lol.

  17. mari says

    I have so many things that are “just ok”, or are functional and I *might* wear someday. So I started wearing them. Usually I can tell within minutes if I really will keep wearing it or not. Usually it’s not and goes immediately into the Donate bag.

  18. says

    I’m almost “there,” but 333 will give me a nice kick in the pants to tighten up, purge a couple things I’ve been needlessly hanging onto, and adhere to this. I love the concept. :-)

  19. Varney says

    I count 14 things following the above rules.

    7 t-shirts
    2 pairs of trousers
    1 pair of shoes
    1 pair of sandals (worn during showers)
    2 sweaters
    1 jacket

    Simple enough. Trying to wear out everything and replace with merino wool.

  20. says

    I am definitely doing this. I first thought, “There’s no way I can do this”. But 33 items. When you really think about it, 33 is plenty. You wrote, “Limiting your wardrobe does not rob you of personal style…it causes you to truly find it” I love that quote. It’s easy when you have all the choices in the world, but setting those boundaries forces creativity.

  21. says

    Good that underwear is excluded from counting towards the limit. I got nervous there!

    I don’t have to do the exercise though, as I have a very simple, minimal wardrobe. I actually need to buy more to wear, and can do it with good conscience, despite the fact that I’m a diehard minimalist;-)


  22. Holly Dominguez says

    I’m on Round 2 of this challenge and love it! I have gone from a “just for mommy” 9′ x 10′ (with 8′ ceiling) closet filled to the max, to 16″ of a closet rod that holds all the clothes for this season. It has been a turning point in my life, going from mindless consumerism back to minimalism (with the inspiration and help of your blog).

    I will say that as a woman changing sizes (have a baby, still nursing, questioning if I would even fit in a dress for Christmas), I was not as strict with the challenge during the first round. Having some clothes around as a security blanket helped me realize that they were not actually necessary. I was able to donate an obscene 9 garbage bags of clothes at the beginning of Project 333, and donated another 2 at the beginning of this round. So liberating!

  23. jen says

    ok – but when you live somewhere with 4 distinct seasons (center midwest) where it is 10 degrees today and in 6 mos, the heat index will be over 100 – I find it hard to pare down clothing.

    On the flip side to that, I did read not too long ago about an American who moved to Rome with limited wardrobe, and I find the rule of 3 to be helpful in building winter layers. For example, tshirt, cardigan, and scarf. Or dress, necklace, bracelets. Anyway, the point is – having 3 items makes you feel pulled together and if what few items you have coordinate, it exponentially opens up your options.

    It appears I’m arguing with myself, but it’s more of a matter of “how do I do this” and be prepared for our diverse weather (plus business meetings, mommy duties, etc).

  24. Kimberly says

    I’m laughing nervously to myself as I read this. We’re moving back to America from Germany. It will take 60-90 days for our household goods to make the journey. Like it or not, we have to plan on packing three months of belongings into suitcases following the airline’s baggage restrictions. I’ve made this overseas move three times before but this time it might be fun to do a version of this challenge, though the climate in Germany in early April is wildly different from the climate in Kansas in late June.

    Something I’m struggling with as I go through the process of simplifying my life is:
    Where does the desperate need for variety come from?

    I’m sure every individual has a slightly different answer, but I’m wondering if you have ever written anything addressing this question.

  25. jen says

    April in Kansas will be good chance of rain with warm days (short sleeves) and cool nights. By June, it is often over 100 degrees.

  26. Lynne says

    When my husband passed away, I took on the task of packing away his clothes. When I was done I found that the once full closet was pretty much empty. I was shocked; my sister made the commet ” You need to go shopping, it is a shame that a dead man had more clothes than you”. I will admit that stung a bit, but to be honest I am to cheap to shop. I wear the same stuff every year. So I have a dresser, I am going to empty it out. I do not wear the stuff in it. But this task will done tomorrow.

  27. deb says

    This is something we have been heading toward for about 6 months now…
    When we made our last long distance move we stayed with relatives for awhile so stored all our “extras”. That situation then moved into house-sitting jobs and so for 2 years we continued to spend $75 a month to store our “things”. (Which of course included clothes for 4 seasons…coats, footwear…you get the idea..) Eight months ago we finally settled into our own small apartment and 2 months after moving in we emptied the storage unit and had a HUGE sale. When it was all done we asked ourselves WHY we had paid $1800 over 2 years to keep those items we had obviously now LIVED WITHOUT? It was a big turning point for us and since that time we have pared down even more. I found your blog Joshua and we use your ideas for minimization as we continue on our journey. The 333 challenge is not going to be difficult but I do know we each still have more than the 33 items. We’ll begin today and move forward with this challenge and keep everyone posted. In closing I would just like to say that we are a couple in our early 60’s and we spent our life as CONSUMERS….doing what they do best…CONSUMING ;). It’s a bit embarrassing to look back at our 41 years of marriage and see the time, effort, and money we wasted in our mindless CONSUMPTION OF THINGS! I hope that readers younger than us will see your blog, this post and the 333 challenge as a way to lead their lives into true minimization. Thank you for your wonderful blog!

    • anonymous says

      Such an inspiration! It’s never too late, some people will NEVER realize why it’s so great to live with less so kudos to both of you. I am 26, I have drastiacally pared down everything in my house and it feels great!

  28. deb says

    This is something we have been heading toward for about 6 months now…
    When we made our last long distance move we stayed with relatives for a while so stored all our “extras”. That situation then moved into house-sitting jobs and so for 2 years we continued to spend $75 a month to store our “things”. (Which of course included clothes for 4 seasons…coats, footwear…you get the idea..) Eight months ago we finally settled into our own small apartment and 2 months after moving in we emptied the storage unit and had a HUGE sale. When it was all done we asked ourselves WHY we had paid $1800 over 2 years to keep those items we had obviously now LIVED WITHOUT? It was a big turning point for us and since that time we have pared down even more. I found your blog Joshua and we use your ideas for minimization as we continue on our journey. The 333 challenge is not going to be difficult but I do know we each still have more than the 33 items. We’ll begin today and move forward with this challenge and keep everyone posted.
    In closing I would just like to say that we are a couple in our early 60’s and we spent our lives as CONSUMERS….doing what they do best…CONSUMING ;). It’s a bit embarrassing, (actually shameful), to look back at our 41 years of marriage and see the time, effort, and amount of money we wasted in our mindless CONSUMPTION OF THINGS! I hope that readers younger than us will see your blog, this post and the 333 challenge as a way to lead their lives into true minimization….It’s the best way to live! Thank you for your wonderful blog!

  29. Deborah says

    The problem I have is our seasons.
    It can be 97° or -35°
    You can freeze here, and layers and various coats are a REQUIREMENT, as well as numerous boots, hats, glove, scarves.

    • Pidgen says

      Hence why it’s only 3 months at a time. I now have 4 seasonal ‘rotations’ of clothing that each fit in a drawer. The season at hand gets to be in the closet. ;) And I don’t count outerwear, long-underwear layers, or mittens/hats/scarves. Having 33 things to make OUTFITS, is much different than freezing to death because you don’t have proper clothing. Give it a try – it’s actually a lot of fun!

      • Sara says

        I probably don’t have much more than 33 things for all seasons, any more. Two coats, a rain coat and a winter coat. A couple of cardigans.I just can’t afford new stuff. But we have definite seasons too and I would NOT get rid of stuff just to keep to an arbitrary number like 33. I think it’s good to go through your stuff. But I don’t care for exercises like his that say its good to throw stuff away because you won’t use it in the next three months? And then what, when I need winter stuff, go shopping again? No thanks. Or am I misunderstanding?

        • Beatriz says

          You don’t throw out the things you are not using this season! Like you said, that would make no sense. What you are aiming to do is to have a 33 piece wardrobe for each season (some pieces, of course, will be used for more than one season so your total will probably be well under 132 pieces – my favourite pair of jeans stay in my wardrobe the year around). What isn’t in season is packed away, to be retrieved in the next cycle.

  30. Linda says

    I just counted 85 items hanging in my closet. That’s JUST the hanging stuff – primarily shirts, skirts, and dresses! Most of my pants, and quite a few shirts (t-shirts and sweatshirts) are folded on the shelf above the hanging stuff. And then there are my coats, jackets, and scarves in the coat closet (and on the backs of chairs in the kitchen and dining room), and shoes/slippers/boots, in various parts of the house, AND a drawer or two in my dresser with shirts and … whatever, that I never wear. I could easily give away the stuff in the dresser drawers – that would make more room for socks, which I really need more room for. (Now that I think of it, one drawer has all my summer shorts. So that’s yet more clothing that I *do* wera.) And, of course, socks and underwear don’t count, right?

    I have dozens of pairs of earrings, and lots of necklaces (some of which my daughter made for me).

    Obviously, I have way too much clothing. But I would have a terribly hard time choosing what to keep, even if I could keep only 50 articles of clothing!

    On the other hand, I really should at least get rid of the stuff I know I’ll never wear again – either because it’s too worn and full of holes, or just stuff I don’t like.

    I think it would be really cool to start a clothing “library”, where people can gain membership by contributing some of their own stuff (clean and in good condition), plus a small annual membership fee to maintain the space and pay the staff. And then they can just go in and borrow anything they like – or even exchange something of their own for something in the library.

  31. Becky says

    Hi, I was hoping there would be an accountability/follow-up type post for this challenge, but that’s OK (or if I missed it) because my success really has been my own reward. :-)
    I got rid of things that were a little too small, got all new mostly black coordinating all-weather things with just enough colored accessories to not be boring and with only one purchasing mistake. (My new haircut helps, too.) Now I’m sure I have only 33 things INCLUDING my underwear and sleep/lounge wear and it’s plenty.
    My new 3-month goal is to be more graceful with my husband by making not one mention of his stuff at all. Thanks again!

  32. laura m. says

    I had recently purged my warm weather items as I live in S.E. Ala. was several swim suits, shorts, tops donated to charities. Just this week, sorted thru cooler weather outerwear, got rid of items that I didn’t wear last winter, as it was warmer than usual, so realize now I have too many light wt jackets plus rain wear. I must purge some jackets (got rid of three last mo) problem is, I got them on sale (North Face, Columbia brands) suitable for mild winter chilly days. but cannot decide which ones to purge. I may run ads in local online free ads when weather cools down. These jackets (soft shell) were 75% clearance sale too.

  33. moya says

    I live in a four season climate and use a ten item wardrobe. This means ten items for each season.II dont include coats or loungewear.I dont have forty garments as I use the same wardrobe for spring and autumn.I review my wardrobe at the start of each season ,discard any worn piece and replace it .I always go for quality and I include One fun fashion inexpensive piece in the colour of the season.This is a fun but minimalist way to dress and I feel like I have a whole new wardrobe each season.I have donated all my other clothes although I had collected many fine pieces over the years.I decided to become a minimalist in my sixties.I feel 20 years younger without all the clutter. Absolutely great blog Joshua.

  34. says

    An interesting discussion will be worth comment. I do believe that you should publish more on this particular topic, it will not be a taboo issue but normally people are not enough to speak on such subjects. To the next. All the best

  35. Karen Dubrinsky says

    I love this idea, Joshua, and want to try it out! I also have been thinking that I wear so many things over and over, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Thanks for sharing the idea and explaining how it works. I will tweak it for our different seasons here, but still feel it will work as I often wear short sleeves under sweaters in the winter. Thanks again!

  36. Ram says

    Living in India is lot different. Have been under 33 for as long as i remember.

    7 shirts.
    5 pants
    7 under wear
    7 inner wear
    3 pair of socks
    2 hand napkins.

    the west can learn a lot about minimalism from us.

  37. Katherine says

    Nice idea, but it doesn’t count on seasonal changes. I like the idea, rather, of taking a whole year and starting with all the hangers backwards. At the end of each season (or the year) donate all the clothes with hangers still backwards.
    Also: for sentimental stuff, I cleared out my formal dresses and reduced jeans by giving them to my niece. Easier to get rid of that way. Of course, I tend to ignore fashion trends and stick with my favorites, but I bet that is true for most minimalists.

    • anonymous says

      Your the only other person I saw mention the seasonal changes. I live in upstate new york and I understand where you are coming from COMPLETELY.

    • Beatriz says

      That is why the project is 33-3: 33 pieces for 3 months. In other words, each season gets its own set of appropriate clothing, with many basics (like jeans) that transition through several seasons.

  38. anonymous says

    33 is an interesting number, though I understand wanting to own significantly less, this would never work for me. The first reason owning only 33 items of clothing would never work for me is because I live in upstate NY. The weather here is completely wretched. One day it’s 70 and sunny and the next day it’s 30 and raining for 6 days straight. The amount of clothing I need to live in a place like this is probably a bit more lol. So that’s my first “point”. The other thing I would like to bring up is your laundry schedule and I have seen several people make their list based on this. I personally live in an apartment with my significant other, and we both work, finding time to go to the laundry mat sometimes is a daunting task. So yes there are times the laundry pile gets higher than I would prefer. And I HAVE run out of things to wear. So for me I need that few extra pieces to get me through when laundry days get pushed back. I just wanted to bring these items up bc I know some people are having trouble pairing down and at the same time working hard to live a minimal life style so suffice to say… 33 is just a number, the ultimate object is to live with only what you need and use. If #34 is an item you CAN’T live without, it’s not the end of the world.

    • says

      Try living in Melbourne Australia, the weather here is notorious for being beautiful one minute, hailing the next!
      To be completely honest with you (as I am in my work with all of my clients who are trying to change their lives for the better) your comment contains numerous excuses as why you (and possibly others) might be unable to complete this challenge. As you say, 33 is just a number, if you are truly wanting to minimise your wardrobe and create a simpler life then perhaps you could choose a number more suitable for you and see if you can meet the personal challenge you set for yourself. Life is full of challenges and our ability to face them (without making excuses) is what makes us better, stronger human beings.

  39. anonymous says

    I also have a job in a clothing store. The pressure from even my bosses to look “fashion forward” on the job is something I take into account with my wardrobe. It’s part of my job to look a certain way, so it’s hard to find a balance.

  40. Carol says

    Last year I went one month with 7 articles of clothing – I recommend the book: “7” by Jen Hatmaker for a great 7-month experience in being minimal…one month it was 7 kinds of foods: only…..mine were: eggs, apples, tortillas, cheese, cucumbers, coffee and beer…..LOL!

  41. Lois Hunziker says

    Some people like myself, are of an age and lifestyle that makes this idea easier. I live in a rural area and my social life isn’t that varied or exciting, so I don’t require a large wardrobe. Although I enjoy seeing it on others, I’ve never been much for jewelry either, so getting rid of the little I have wouldn’t bother me.

  42. cheryl says

    I have cut down so much of my clothing I cant believe it. Was hoping that I could wear some things when I lose weight and that is just fooling myself and making me unhappy so I got rid of alot of it. My husband on the other hand has sooooooo much clothes you would never ever believe it. We live in a small house and he has the master closet, which is not a walk in just regular, the closet in the guest room, a portable zip up closet ,a tall dresser and part of my dresser. It is unreal but says Im a packrat for other things. Kind of frustrating. And on top of it he is retired so he doesnt go into a workplace to need that much clothing.

  43. says

    I have been using an iPhone application, ‘Stylebook’ to manage my closet since April this year. It helps me to know the value of my closet (over $2200 so far, not including all items) and the value of each item per wear … I have definitely been making the most of my existing items to get more value out of them since using this app.
    Currently, and surprisingly I have 145 items listed and I have yet to add most of my Spring/Summer wardrobe … Today is the first day of Spring in Australia, I think it might be the perfect time to start using project 333. Wish me luck :)

  44. Lee says

    I love this idea, to use some fun number pattern to decrease the extraneous belongings that we all have accumulated. I have been thinking about getting rid of some things, and this is a great place to start. I have been looking around my home, and become aware of how much “stuff” I have and that I no longer use or that takes up space and collects dust. I have donated some things to a local thrift store, and could do more with focusing on the clothing I have, as well. It is true, I often wear many of the same clothes, especially pants, although I like to change my look by the tops I put with them. So, I am going to try to use the 333

  45. Amber Brunck says

    I am a continual bargain shopper. It’s crazy how many items I have in my closet that I have never worn and bought on impulse because it was a “staple” piece at a great price. I could kick myself! This is just the type of discipline I need and the kick in the pants (a staple pair, of course)) that I need to bring sanity to my life. Many thanks and a deep bow of gratitude.

  46. Liz says


    I have only been trying the minimalist lifestyle for a few months now, and am finding it hard to break old patterns, although sometimes I feel like I am making progress. I think this 333 challenge will help. Here is my question, for work I need to wear professional clothing, but I almost never wear that clothing at home, what’s a good middle ground for figuring out how to navigate my wardrobe? Also, I because of where I live I have seasonal clothing, how should I approach that?

    I am growing as I learn to look for happiness outside of my material possessions.

    Thank you for your guidance and encouraging posts!

Sites That Link to this Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *