3 days ago, I decided to embark on Project 333 – to use only 33 articles of clothing for 3 months. I did something similar in 2012. I brought 100 personal items with me to Melbourne to last me a year. This 100 included clothes, electronics, and stationery. I returned with 106. Almost made it.
When I saw Becoming Minimalist’s post on Project 333, I knew I had to do it, not to prove a point but because:
I’ve accumulated too many things.
I have no space.
I want to save money.
I want to keep only what I use, and use them well.
It took me a while to identify 33 articles for 3 months. It’s a lot harder than you think. The next 3 months will span the Christmas holidays and the New Year. The 33 articles will have to clothe me for work, leisure, weddings, parties, interviews, etc. According to the rules:
The 33 articles should include all clothing, accessories, jewellery, outerwear, and footwear.
Exceptions include underwear, sleep wear, home wear, and workout clothing (for hygiene’s sake, I’m going to count socks under these exceptions).
Clothing that no longer fits or deteriorates may be replaced during this period.
I spent an hour whittling down my options to the following 33:
3 casual pants in assorted colours
5 casual T-shirts in assorted colours
4 casual shirts
3 work pants in dark blue brown, and grey
7 light-coloured work shirts
1 black tie
2 piece brown suit
2 belts in black and brown
1 pair of brown casual shoes
1 pair of black work shoes
1 pair of black dress shoes
There’s enough variety to mix and match items. There’s also enough backup to allow for delays in washing, drying, and ironing. I felt pretty satisfied with myself. These 33 articles could fit comfortably into a small hand-carry bag. How liberating!
I discovered a few tricks in the process:
What matters most is variety in utility, reusability and longevity, comfort, and good workmanship.
Fancy patterns, big brands, and chunky bling, are harder to include within a limited range.
A variety of un-repeating solid colours allows for greater versatility and flexibility.
Black or brown leathers are a man’s best friend.
At the end of these 3 months, I hope to inculcate a new habit of keeping and using only what I need, and using them well. I eventually intend to extend Project 333 to other categories of possessions like books and apps. The very possibility of scaling back on clutter is exciting!
This might sound crazy but for Singaporeans trapped in a never-ending cycle of consumerism and materialism, this is supremely relevant and life-changing. The challenge is laid. Will you accept?
Here’s to the next 3 months. Wish me luck!