One Month Into Project 333: Phase II!

Today marks the completion of my first month as a participant in Project 333: Phase II, and let me tell you – it’s actually been pretty easy!

Laundry was not as much of an issue as I thought it would be, thanks to my wonderful fiancee who has taken the liberty to do my laundry when he’s home. I also realized that I don’t need to throw things into the laundry after wearing it just once, and have worn shirts a couple times before considering it ‘dirty.’ This has allowed me to expand the ‘wear time’ of my clothing. I actually haven’t worn everything I selected yet; some things have only been worn once.

Of the original 33 items I selected, there are still a few items I’ve barely worn:

  • Plaid shirt (yet to wear)
  • Red & Tan striped sweater (worn once)
  • Black tank top (worn once)
  • Black t-shirt (yet to wear)
  • Black dress pants (yet to wear)
  • Black Converse All-Stars (worn once)
  • Black dress shoes with short heel (yet to wear)

I don’t really want to wear the red & tan striped sweater again (I only included it because it is a warmer sweater and my fiancee loves it on me). It will be donated at the end of this winter season, along with my two brown shoes that have been worn way too much in the past two years. As for the three items I decided to put aside for “dress to impress” evenings, I ended up not wearing the gray suede boots and sticking with the brown sweater boots instead, which was a good choice during an especially cold and snowy evening in the city.

What clothing items do I miss?

  • My dangling brown earrings – these are the pair I wear when I feel like ‘dressing up’ a little extra. There have been a few days when I was a little tired of my simple pearl earrings.
  • Extra layering shirts. I have a few more that are put out of sight for the project, but I could use them. I would take out a few of the items I haven’t worn much and replace them with a couple more shirts, if I could.

That’s pretty much it. I love my gray cardigan and wear it almost every day.

The outfit I’m wearing in the picture is typical: gray cardigan, t-shirt, jeans.

That’s what I love about this project. It gives me the freedom to wear my favorites over and over without feeling like I have to conform to today’s fashion trends or the expectation that I need to have a lot of clothing. People haven’t mentioned anything to me about my repetitive outfits, and I love waking up in the morning knowing exactly what I’m going to wear.

Will I be sticking with only 33 items after the project is over? No, but I know I will be cutting down on my clothing until I am left with about a week’s worth of favorite outfits for each season and a few extras things for different occasions.

The great thing about this project is that I feel free.

A Note on Minimalism: It’s Still Here.

I wanted to bring attention to the controversy of the week within the realm of minimalist blogging:

Is minimalism dead or alive?

Sparked by Everett Bogue’s post declaring the death of minimalism and his new [offensive] website, several bloggers have been pumping out heated responses to his rejection of minimalism and adoption of being a cybernetic yogi. I was also a bit shocked when he basically told us that minimalism is a fad and he’s beyond that now. Well, wait, what about the rest of us who are still exploring our simple living journey?

I identify the most with Mike Donghia’s two posts: A Public Message for Everett Bogue and It’s Still Cool to Be a Minimalist: Everett Bogue Moved On But You Don’t Have To. I also identify with Matt Madeiro’s response: Minimalism is Just Fine, Thanks!. Go read them.

I hesitated to write about this because everyone else already has, but I wanted to let you know I still plan to publish basic decluttering posts and discuss ways to simplify because like Mike said, only a tiny percentage of people are familiar with minimalism and have simplified their lives. Just because a small group of elite bloggers have moved past focusing on minimalism in their lives doesn’t mean that everyone else should do so. Many of you are just starting to learn about and embrace simple living. My aim is to remain focused on this process for not just myself, but for you.

Of course, if you want to shift focus from simple living to being a cybernetic yogi (cybernetic yogi? Huh?) and creating a digital self, then please do. As someone who is focused on real life interactions and living a simple life, I don’t understand why anyone would want to create a digital self. But hey, whatever floats your boat!

But for me, minimalism is alive. It always will be. And it is always changing.

Other points of view:
By Ev, Now How About We All Learn to Get Along?
Minimalism isn’t dead, you’ve just gone insane Everett
Everett, Former Teacher.
The Sun Rises On Minimalism, Sans Everett.
Minimalism is NOT Dead: Regardless of What Everett Bogue Says
Accepting the Torch From Everett Bogue

OK. Back to reading The Power of Less. (Picked it up at the library yesterday! Yes!)

Hey, didn’t Leo Babauta write that? Say, isn’t he pretty much the pioneer of modern minimalism? Doesn’t he still write about simplifying? Yes. he does. And hasn’t the concept of simplifying your life been around for thousands of years? Uh-huh. So forget about Everett and let him do his thing. We still have Leo – the original minimalist, and a myriad of other great bloggers who aren’t leaving any time soon.

My Project 333: Phase II Update

A couple weeks ago, I shared with you that at the start of this month I would be participating in Project 333. After some consideration over the holidays, I’ve pretty much kept the list the same with a few changes. Here’s an updated, final list of thirty-three clothes & accessories I will wear for the next three months:

1. Orange sweater
2. Gray sweater
3. White sweater
4. Gray cardigan
5. Red sweatshirt
6. White sweatshirt
7. Plaid shirt
8. Red & tan striped sweater
9. White t-shirt
10. White tank top
11. Black tank top
12. College radio station t-shirt
13. Chevrolet t-shirt
14. College t-shirt
15. Axis t-shirt
16. Black t-shirt
17. Green t-shirt
18. Brown t-shirt
19. Light blue jeans
20. Dark blue jeans
21. Gray skinny jeans
22. Black dress pants
23. Red Houndstooth coat
24. Bronze puffy winter coat
25. Brown clogs
26. Brown sweater boots
27. Black Converse All-Stars
28. Black dress shoes with short heel
29. Black gloves
30. Black belt
31. Green fashion scarf
32. Gray & green knitted scarf
33. Pearl earrings (not pictured).

Items not counted: slippers, pajamas & robe (which doubles as in-home lounge wear), underwear, socks, hearing aids, glasses, engagement ring.

I’ m also bending the rule for the new ‘three extra items in your closet’ addition. Instead of keeping three extra things to rotate in so others may be donated, I’m keeping these three items aside for nights out when I have to ‘dress to impress.’ I realized I had nothing in my thirty-three things that would suit a “dress to impress!” evening and I didn’t like the thought of an outfit I’d rarely wear taking up three spaces.

My three extra items (not pictured):
1. Sweater dress
2. Black leggings
3. Gray suede boots

What challenges do I anticipate?

The first thing that comes to mind is laundry. There is no washer & dryer in my apartment unit which means I need to pay about $3.00 a load each time I do laundry. I tend to do separate loads (one whites, one colors) so it’s $6.00 in quarters each time I do laundry. To avoid paying for laundry so often, I would wear every last bit of clothing I had until nothing clean was left so I could space out my loads and do them every two-three weeks. That saved me money from doing it on a weekly basis, but left me with a lot of clothes! Since I have even less clothes, I’ll be doing laundry more. Collecting quarters might be one of my new habits.  However, when I move to my new place in the beginning of February, I’ll have my own washer and dryer in the bedroom and no need to save quarters! So this is only an issue for the first five weeks of the project.

Another  concern is my student teaching placement in the middle of March. At my current job, I can dress casually and wear sweatshirts on certain days. I run around with the kids, sit on the floor often, and get covered in marker. Any desire to dress up is eliminated for fear that my clothes will be ruined (both sweatshirts have marker stains). However, when I student teach, I will need to dress up. This is why I threw in a pair of dress pants and heels. These won’t be used until March and I can have it last one or two weeks. If another round of Project 333 begins in March, I’ll have to change a lot of things in the wardrobe – most of these are packed up and put out of sight for now.

What am I looking forward to?

It is only five days into this project and I love being able to make a quick decision about what to wear. The choices are limited, thus, making it easier to pick and choose. Plus, many of the items I have can be worn in different layering combinations or I can just throw a sweatshirt over it all. I always wore the same pairs of jeans and shoes anyway, so people won’t notice the difference.

Speaking of people noticing, I highly doubt that anyone will scrutinize my outfit every day, realizing I wear the same things over and over. I’m expecting that people won’t care too much about what I wear and that will give me the freedom to stick with a minimal amount of clothing well past the completion of Project 333.

My personality will shine brighter. I will smile more. I will gain extra confidence. My clothes are just there.

My dresser? Empty. Will be moving it out soon.

My closet? More spacious than ever!

My clothes? Aside from the clothes in the closet for this project, the rest of them fit in two duffel bags. I have a feeling that I’ll be able to get rid of one of the duffel bags when this project is over (or even sooner)!

Ahh. This is great.