Let me ask you something. How many pieces of clothing do you own? And how many do you wear regularly? How many would be enough for you to wear during the next three months?
The other day I came across something called the 333 Clothing Challenge, or Project 333. The idea of this “challenge” is to pick 33 pieces of clothing/accessories, and wear nothing but these for 3 months. You don’t have to count underwear, socks, wedding rings/jewelry you never take off or sportswear, but you do have to count shoes, outerwear and belts. I know very well, how people (including me) tend to underestimate the number of clothes (or items in general) they own. Yet somehow, 33 really sounded like a lot! Especially when this is supposed to be a challenge.
I knew I probably owned more then 33 items, but since I’m 8 months pregnant, there’s a lot I can’t wear right now. Yet even a large portion of my maternity clothes are never worn. I got all of it for free in bundles, and since nobody has the exact same taste, there were some items I love, and some I don’t care for at all. So after learning about this challenge, I went over to my closet to find out just how many items of clothing I’m actually wearing these days. I ended up with the following list:
In my closet:
1 Longsleeve shirt
1 Pair of pants
2 Spaghetti tops
1 Short jacket
1 Pair of jeans
1 Spaghetti top
4 Items (+15=19 Items
In the laundry*:
2 Items (+19=21 Items)
1 Dress (I’m not sure if I can fit my big belly into it, I’ve yet to try it, but if it fits I’ll wear it)
1 Pair of shoes
3 Items (+21=24 Items)
I’m not counting my 2 pajamas’s, 2 yogapants and 2 yogatops. I also have 3 pieces of jewelry I always wear; A watch, my engagement-ring and my mommy-necklace. The last are now actually a combined item, since I can no longer wear my ring on my swollen fingers.
Funnily enough, if I were to count these, my total would add up to 33!**
When I got my maternity clothes, I took everything that I wasn’t going to fit for the next 6 months out of my closet to keep things organized. I easily fit everything into a single garbage bag, and it’s waiting for me in the linen-closet upstairs. I’m pretty certain there won’t me more than 33 items in there either.
It’s funny how something that’s considered a challenge to most people, is actually just life for me. I never find it challenging to dress myself using just 24 items, and it’s not like I don’t care about what I wear. I really do love fashion, I even wrote a fashion blog for a while. If you pick your items carefully, you can make endless combinations with just a couple of pieces. This isn’t news to me.
I just hadn’t realized how far I’ve already come on my journey to a simpler, greener life until now. I knew my lifestyle isn’t mainstream, but I figured any minimalist/green/frugal lifestyle-challenge I do would be able to help me along on this road, and actually be a challenge! Many people seem to have joined the 333 clothing challenge, and I really think that’s great. I just never realized something like this would be so challenging to anyone who isn’t a teenage girl.
I get that people accumulate clothes over time. It get that people buy and buy and hardly ever purge their clothes. I’m not blind to the world outside, I just didn’t think going 3 months on 33 pieces of clothing would be so difficult for people.
I’m still feeling a bit confused over all of this. On one hand, I feel a bit out of touch with the world. Apparently my current wardrobe is the stuff of challenges for people who want simpler lives. Does this mean I’m living an extreme lifestyle?
On the other hand, this does mean my current wardrobe could also be viewed as inspirational instead of odd. It means other people actually want to be at the point in life where I currently am. It makes me feel proud of myself, and then it makes me blush for being that proud. It’s an odd sensation, really.
When I look back two years, I see how much our lives have changed. We went from being in debt on a double income, to saving money on a single income. We’re eating more healthy. We’re using less power. Bas is only eating organic meat, and only about twice a week. I’m becoming more and more skilled at fixing up things around the house. Tidying has gotten so much easier now that we don’t have so much junk lying around. We’re expecting a baby next month, and I get to stay home and raise her myself, because of the changes we’ve made in our lives.
I know my journey is far from complete. There’s so much more I can do, so much more I can change, so much more I can learn. My family and I could forever be moving along this path. But now that I get to look back, I realize how far we’ve already come. And I couldn’t be more proud of us.
If you’re doing this a challenge or have any thoughts on it, please tell us in the comments or on our Facebookpage. Remember that no matter where you are in life, if you want to be somewhere else, all you have to do is pick a different path and take that first step. And don’t forget to look back to where you came from every once in a while. You’ll be so proud of yourself.
*Don’t worry, I didn’t run a load of laundry with just two items. The rest of the load consisted of underwear, socks and Bas’ clothes… Just so you know.
** Oops! I just realized I forgot my sunglasses! So I guess that makes my total 25 items, and 34 if I counted PJ’s, sportsclothes and daily worn jewelry. Unless, you count my ring/mommy-necklace as a single item, in which case we’re back to 24/33 items. It’s all about perspective I guess.