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Project 333 Update

3 months ago we decided to try out project 333 as a family.  It is a 3 month project so I decided to post an update and see how we had done.  I also had some fun getting the camara back out and getting some pictures of the kids.  …I have been slacking on the pictures lately and want to try and do better.  They are such cuties 😉

Some history.  End of March I read about Courtney Carvers Project 333 challenge.  I don’t think that minimalism can be simplified down to a number but sometimes having a goal helps give us a push.  We decided to do it as a family… or I decided and they went along with it.  Each of us went down to 33 items (including shoes and accessories but not including sports clothes underwear or socks)

Starting with Ian, here is where we ended up

He ended up with 30 items I could count between closet, wearing, and laundry (don’t know where the sunglasses or necklace he started with are).  Here is the photo of the clean clothes.  We have had trouble with him in the past few months claiming he has nothing to wear.  … the problem hasn’t been project 333.  The problem is that he is now responsible to put his clean clothes away and has had trouble putting them where they belong…and often dumps the whole pile into the toy box.  We have never had a time when we can’t help him find something to wear, …we have just had to help him hunt for them.  He also hasn’t worn all these items and probably doesn’t need them all.

I actually put 2 pairs of shoes in storage and got rid of one shirt (stained) from this pile before we put things back in the closet so now he is down to about 27.

During the past 3 months he has turned over and replaced a few shirts and replaced some flip-flops that broke.  

Here is another cute pic of him that I caught this morning.  He gives me the best expressions 🙂

Okay, now onto my princess.

She also finished with 30 items.  I didn’t hunt for her 4 pieces of jewelry, but she probably lost at least one getting her to the 33 items.  With her she ran out of clothes she wanted to wear a few times, but never out of clean clothes.  I want to work with her more to get her closet where we both can agree on what she wears.  If it were up to her she would wear only dresses and sweat pants.  However she is still learning to be modest in a dress and I don’t want her wearing sweatpants everywhere.  We will try and do some tweaks on her wardrobe in the next few months.  I would say 75% worked.  There were several items she never wore.

I pulled out the pair of dress shoes for storage because she hasn’t worn them.  She has also gotten a few new t-shirts this summer and we have lost at least one item due to stains.

Here is another picture of her helping her brother with his Legos this am.  I love it when they play together so well 🙂

My closet was a bit different.  Turns out I am the one member of the family who managed to grow my wardrobe during the three months… and it was my idea to cut down.  …oops.

I pulled several dresses out of storage and got a new one bringing my total at the end of the 3 months to 36 items.  I also didn’t wear all of these items during the three months.  I pulled a few items out and am back to the 33 now 🙂

My husband is another story

He has almost no clothes.  I hunted all over the place (I did laundry yesterday so things should have been in the closet).  I found 16 items …and 5 are pairs of shoes.  … maybe he didn’t have 33 to start with.   He is just such a good looking guy… sorry, couldn’t resist 😉

  • Pair of jeans
  • 2 shorts
  • 3 button shirts
  • dress pants
  • 2 t-shirts
  • sweater
  • 5 pairs of shoes
  • belt

He works in construction all week and those clothes weren’t counted in.  He would probably still be under the 33 items with them added in though.  I am going to need to go find him a few more shirts.  He has asked me to find him some for a while but finding tall t-shirts that look good and don’t cost a fortune is hard.

In summary

It’s not as crazy as it sounds 🙂 I really liked the 33 item challenge.  It helped create a goal.  Just counting the number of items we owned helped.  Adopting the 33 items per person helped the closets be much more manageable and makes deciding what to wear much easier.  The laundry is much easier too.  I don’t know if 33 is a magic number but it seems to be pretty good for us.

I don’t know if I will keep counting in the future.  It was a great experiment to try and I think we will keep a smaller closet going forward now that we are in the habit.

How about you?  Have you tried project 333?  Is there a number that works better for you?


  1. Carmen Carmen

    Well done Lori! We all have way more than 33 items, but interestingly I doubt any of us wear more than that excluding my husband’s work suits, school uniform and team sports clothing. There are other areas we need to work on first though. Books and toys spring to mind 😉

    (p.s. clothes, not cloths)

    • did I mess up the spelling? I will see if I can fix that. Thanks 🙂

  2. Great job guys! I think that I would like to do this, mainly because I feel like the laundry is never ending. I’m sure I would still be doing a lot of laundry, but having fewer things to put away…that would be nice. I swear my husband has 100 pieces of clothing, and wears them all within two weeks of each other!

    • it does work out to less laundry (I think). I do 3-4 loads a week. Usually 2 on Sundays and 1 or 2 during the week depending.

  3. lori lori

    Hi Lorilee. I find shirts for my tall husband at Old Navy and JCP. I get them during sales. We find shirts with and without collars.

    • thanks! The stuff he does have is from Old Navy. The stuff he has I got him at Old Navy online last year I think. I will have to check them out again 🙂

  4. Nice job keeping pretty true to your interesting closet challenge! The few months you spent downsizing to number 33 probably ingrained a habit of reducing your wardrobe and you won’t have to consider numbers as much.

    • Vicki Vicki

      Hi Lori, Could your daughter wear tights or leggings under her dresses? When I was growing up in Hawaii in the 60’s and mini skirts were in I always wore shorts under my dressses. They were short enough that you couldn’t see them unless you were looking where you shouldn’t be. The boys in high school used to sit on the stairs with mirrors on the steps to see up girls skirts. We hadn’t heard of sexual harassment back then!

      • thanks 🙂 I will go hunting. I had some longer ones for this purpose in the winter. I need to get out and find the short ones.

    • Heather, that is what I figured. I like how numbers are tangible but I like using them to challenge me instead of lock me in. Either way, I thought the 33 items was pretty good for us. Not including work clothes or exercise clothes makes it more doable for other too.

  5. Wow. That is inspiring! 🙂

    • na, it only seems crazy when you start. After 3 months it doesn’t seem crazy or inspiring at all 🙂

  6. Alisha Alisha

    A tip for your immodest dress lover (I have one too!) leggings!!! Best thing ever for girls. They don’t pill or run like tights and summertime can be Capri style. Just an idea to bring peace between you two regarding wardrobe.

    • Alisha, actually I have picked up a few pairs for her since the post and she loves them! I just need to find some in the right colors to match all her dresses and I am set 🙂 Nice to meet you!

  7. […] only a few clothing items and having growing kids means we end up needing to replace clothes often.  My daughter has jumped […]

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