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Is “Simple” the New Black?

I have always been intrigued by the concept of  “Simple,” so when I came across the minimalist blog, Be More With Less I was delighted. Courtney Carver, former advertising executive, now Simplicity Guru is the mastermind behind Project 333 which challenges us to reduce our wardrobes to 33 items for 3 months.

There is just something about a good challenge that makes me want to say: I CAN DO IT! So over the past month I’ve been mulling this over in my mind. Could I really pare my wardrobe down to only 33 pieces?  After all, I probably have close to 33 pairs of shoes. Shameful I know, but I am not the only one, and I know there are those with a lot more; so I don’t feel too bad.

What would it mean?

Austerity… Self Control… Diet… Self Mastery… Boring… 33 really great pieces that I love… Head space to think about other things than the way I look… Simplicity… Improved priorities… Space… Lower carbon footprint… Suffering?

Well, I did it yesterday. In preparation I mind mapped what my wardrobe should include. Categories were: pants, shirts, sweaters, skirts/dresses, outerwear, accessories and footwear. I didn’t include pajamas, underwear, or workout clothes.

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Next I thought of a fall color scheme which included: grey, black, ivory/white, denim blue, camel and mustard and then started to fill in the blanks.

I can tell you, getting started wasn’t simple and this is not a money-saving adventure. If I’m going to wear only 33 things, then they will be things I love. This led me to buy a very expensive (for me) pair of black Frye Combat Boots. I LOVE THEM, and I might wear them every day; even with skirts and dresses despite the fact that I am a woman of a certain age (that means old if you didn’t know.)

My wardrobe

My wardrobe

Last night I was pretty excited about my accomplishment. Here is what I learned…

  • I have a lot of clothes! My bedroom looked like a department store after I separated what I was going to keep, and what I was going to pack away.
  • The boundary of 33 (which is a metaphor for 40 in my case,) puts a halt to impulse buying. I have no room in my life for anything frivolous or excessive.
  • I have a very small wardrobe so I can afford quality. This is inline with my value of quality over quantity.  It is a personal truth. I know it because I feel my heart-strings singing like a beautiful violin.
  • I feel less greedy. I have enough for my needs. I feel like I’m living with more respect for those who are less fortunate.
  • I can take good care of 33 pieces that I love. My life is filled with “to do’s,” and I am often overwhelmed with taking care of “things.” I love the feeling of being released from duty to inanimate objects. I am free to use my precious energy on more important things.

The thought has occurred to me that this doesn’t have to apply just to clothes. What about “stuff” in general? I’m not suggesting a radical reduction to everything I own, but I do want to question everything. What would happen if I applied the spirit of Project 333 to how I spend my time? If I only had 33 months, days, or minutes, what would I do? Watch Candy Chang’s Ted Talk

Well that’s all for this week. I’ve been working on a video for Caregiver’s Storyboard called, “Gun Run for Grandma.” I will be posting it soon, so be watching. If you haven’t seen Caregiver’s Storyboard, check it out on Facebook and please tell your friends. Caregiver’s Storyboard is a safe place for sharing stories and i hope you will do just that. I want to hear from you 🙂

Take care and until next time, may you find your cup half full 🙂

Barbara (The Blog Whisperer)

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