On Saturday I started Project 333: I chose 33 items of clothing, accessories, jewelry, and shoes to wear outside the house for the next 3 months.
Before: every girl needs an extra DVR box in her closet.
The idea behind Project 333 is well-documented; you can read about Courtney Carver’s capsule wardrobe challenge here and check the #Project333 hashtag on Instagram to see how I and other people are doing it. For me, the goal is twofold: to see if I can do it, and to welcome the notion that I can walk over to my closet with the guarantee that anything I put on will be something I love. No more big sigh “I have nothing to wear” moment as I stand before thousands of dollars worth of accumulated clothing. How brattily first world is that moment so many of us experience every day? Seems dumb now, and avoidable.
Only the clothes on the right, and the 5 pairs of shoes up top, are in my 33
As my friend Michelle and I went through my entire wardrobe, assessing, choosing, tossing, or storing for later, I did feel a few moments of panic. What about this item? What about that one? Will I get bored with these 33 after just a week? But really, even if I do, who cares? I can always quit.
Nobody’s forcing me to do this. But I know myself, I’ll try to stick to it because I said I would. I love a challenge. Committing to temporary challenges has been a hugely successful venture for me. Doing this has helped me:
- Get my family on a budget (Financial Peace University)
- Write a novel (NaNoWriMo)
- Calm down (Oprah and Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation)
- Write every day (April A-Z Challenge)
- Eat clean (elimination diet)
- Get stronger (2-Week workout challenge)
Wow. The more I sit and think about it, the more of these I can remember doing. Only a few of those challenges have stuck with me for good, or at least for now, but I enjoy taking them on and seeing what becomes a long-term way of life.
Recently I stopped drinking wine and cocktails during the week. I started making my bed (almost) every morning. I cut personal use of Facebook out of my life entirely until Easter.
Facebook-free March. But who’s counting?
All of these new habits and challenges to myself are meant to simplify. Get rid of stuff, appreciate what I have, blah blah. I’m not sure I expected to be successful, frankly. But here’s the thing. I think all this simplifying is working.
I have definitely made room in my life for more positive activities and thoughts and especially for writing. As of today I have written 78,000 words in my novel’s first draft! I don’t know if my new sparse mix-and-match wardrobe will help with that, but it will certainly make me better-dressed than my usual lounge pants and fleece when I take my customary seat tonight at the library.
Project 333 Day 1 and Day 2.
Usually, whenever I declutter a space, I get the urge to purchase new things to replace the things that I've just moved out of my space. I tell myself "I need a new bin to hold these things," or "It's time for new curtains for this window." I planned to spend this weekend focusing on my novel. I'm in the home stretch of the first draft after over 2 years, and I'm so excited to finish the story … [Read More...]
One of my new favorite views: the library where I spend 45 minutes, twice a week, working on my novel while Kyle is at karate class. One full wall of windows with giant oak trees that sparkle in the sun and cast shadows as it sets, either friendly or ominous depending on my mood. … [Read More...]
I'm giving up Facebook for Lent. It's not about sacrifice; it's about making room for something better. Lent, that buildup to Easter so famous for inspiring people to "give up" something they like, begins on Wednesday, March 1. As a Catholic I will mark the occasion by getting my forehead marked in ashes by the parish priest. During Lent I will go to confession and confess some carefully … [Read More...]
Belonging to a writers’ group keeps me writing. My group’s members have published two novels, several anthology entries, countless blog posts, news articles, short stories, and at least a thousand tweets. I have been a part of a small women’s writers’ group for about four years now. We go back and forth when we try remember who joined when and how, but the important part is that we ended up … [Read More...]
Fields of Fire, the latest in the Frontlines series of near-future science fiction war novels, is the fifth shot out of writer Marko Kloos' very big and complicated gun. It is rare for a sequel, and then another installment, and then another, and then another, to capture my attention so completely that I can't do anything but keep reading to see what happens next. I'm delighted to say that even … [Read More...]