|My closet after 333|
c2012 Helen Reynolds
This weekend I started doing Project 333 - wear only the same 33 items for 3 months (no shopping!). The 33 items includes scarves, jewellery, handbags, shoes and belts! Undies, sleepwear and exercise gear are exempt. I first heard about this when my virtual friend Lena Ohlen, a Swedish minimalist artist, did 333 back when it started in 2011.
For me, this is part of a test for a larger project to manipulate the systems surrounding my life, using what I know of systems theory. This project is proving fiendishly difficult, but the testing phase is useful and fascinating.
So Project 333 belongs to the research question - how does one optimise the systems of material objects that support your life? Working on the sub-system of clothing, setting this arbitrary numerical limit of 33 works really well!
I truly value the 33 items that made the final cut - and I am also caring for them really well, knowing they will have to work hard for 3 months. Shoes are polished, tears are mended. And when that 3 months is up, I know I am going to be both very thoughtful and very excited about what new clothes I might choose for the next cycle.
Project 333 removes one source of decision fatigue - an idea Roy Baumeister discusses in Willpower. If you have to make too many decisions, you can get worn out and turn into decision-making jelly, unable to make further decisions well and effectively. There are probably quite a few women who start the day as decision-jelly from staring at an over-loaded wardrobe, well before they even get to work.
So, a great test, with some ideas on how to further optimise possessions - and I recommend trying it out!