minimalism, Project 333

Capsule Wardrobe Kitchen Spending Diet Bonanza

Happy New Year!

I have always been into New Years Resolutions. “This is the year”, I tell myself. There are lots of lists made and ideas drawn out and I get really excited. But, just as the stereotype goes, by February 1st it’s business as usual. BUT, I’m going to do it again and say that THIS IS THE YEAR! This is the year of getting control and of trusting my instincts. And guess what, it has nothing to do with losing weight (this has been the theme of most of my past resolutions). I’m not going into these endeavors solo. I am going into the with the plan (that I didn’t come up with), a built in community, and NUMBERS. Lots of numbers. Here are some of the numbers.

908, 4,633, 2,500, 333

The first three numbers are my credit card debt, one student loan (you don’t even want to see the other one), and a savings goal for visiting my best friend in London in June (squeeee!!). I will pay the first two off and achieve the savings goal by using The Spending Diet from the blog And Then We Saved. At this point I’ve probably read just about every post on this website. I cannot get enough. I am an impulse spender whose long term goals get clouded by instant gratification. Having less debt and saving up for this big special trip are huge motivators. I’m tracking how much I put towards each goal every month and tracking my purchases so that I can make only the essential buys each week. My brain still tells me that beer is essential (and sometimes yeah it is) though I know that’s not the case. The one thing I have found so far is that I get so excited when I get paid to pay my bills that I kind of overpay them and then I’m stuck with very little money until the next paycheck. I need to keep enough to make sure I can comfortably cover the basics and try to not get so ahead of myself. Reigning in my spending will definitely be challenging at times but the message boards on this site are active and I have supportive friends and family so I think all in all I’ll be okay.

The last number is a biggie. 333. This refers to two things, both related. First, The Capsule Wardrobe Challenge, or Project 333. That’s 3 months with 33 items of clothing, encouraging you to find your own style, have quality pieces that are versatile, and let all that other fluff fall away. I have now entered month dos (dun dun dunnn) of this challenge and I’m really liking it, though I do feel a little bored at times. Getting dressed is way easier. I have some go to outfits that I seem to gravitate towards. Even within the 33 items I’m not wearing all of them. I sort of bent the rules a bit and didn’t include outerwear or jewelry in my count mostly because Richmond weather is crazy and you can’t commit to a coat when one day it’s 40 (today) and one day it’s 74 (tomorrow). Yeah. I also have a lot of cool jewelry I got from my Gramma when she passed and my mom has given me some stuff of hers and I want to get as much use out of those things as I can. Just before I really started the challenge I sold some of my clothes to a local resale store and got myself a $33 credit that I plan on using to fill in any gaps for the Spring/Summer. I feel lighter and less overwhelmed and I notice this most of all in the mornings when I’m getting ready for work.

The other part of the 333 is the Capsule Kitchen Challenge which is super exciting to me. Same thing but with ingredients. You pick 33 things that you love eating and that is what you eat primarily for the next 3 months. At first that might sound a little restrictive but spices and seasonings aren’t part of your list so you have freedom with those. Here’s my list!:

Greek Yogurt (Plain)
Sweet Potatoes
Brown Rice
Canned Tomatoes/Marinara
Cous Cous
Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
Mozzerella Cheese
Brussels Sprouts
Kashi Granola Bars
Pizza Dough
Coconut Milk
White Potatoes

My goal here is to simplify my meal planning, cook more intuitively (more about this another time), and make the most of the ingredients I’ve chosen. I LOVE kale. I LOVE most things on this list. But I probably only cook with each a couple different ways. This is an opportunity to expand on how I prepare these ingredients. It’s an invitation to be creative and I don’t feel limited. I kinda feel free. I also started reading An Everlasting Meal tonight. It’s getting me really jazzed about getting into the kitchen and making the most of simple ingredients. And not over thinking or over planning. It’s also helping think of how to make the most of every resource. Tomorrow is my meal prep day so I’ll spend a couple hours chopping, making soup, roasting stuff. Then, I’m good for the week. It’s going to be great. The Facebook group is already chatty and supportive so I’m looking forward to learning from everyone and I’m enjoying reading other people’s 33 and their blogs.

I’ve never been a numbers person but right now they are inspiring me!

minimalism, Project 333, scaling back, Uncategorized

So, I like how I wrote one blog entry in June with the promise to write more and…crickets. Once I get writing I’m good to go but getting there is hard. Everything I want to say is in my brain all jumbled together and I have a hard time organizing myself. Maybe I should make an outline before I commit to an entry. Either way, I want to write more. I am hoping that a little project I am starting tomorrow will renew my focus, not just on this project but on lots of things. Because, well, I really need it.

For a while now I have had the clean out bug. I have gone through all of our stuff multiple times, boxed things up, and gone to Diversity to donate said items. The main target of this possession purge is my side of the closet. Our 1965 split level was built before the days of walk in closets and big bedrooms so closet space is at a premium. For a long time it’s been hard to slide my hangers down the bar but with getting rid of some things it’s started to get easier. Yet, it’s still not enough for me.

I came across the idea of a capsule wardrobe on Pinterest. The term piqued my interest and I did a little research. Some great websites featuring this idea are INTO MIND (there are worksheets!), Unfancy, and bemorewithless. I’m sure there are plenty of other great ones but I’m just starting out. The last website is where I found Project 333. Basically, you go through all your stuff and select 33 items, committing to wearing those and only those garments for the next 3 months. YIKES. That was my first instinct. But, if the end goal is feeling 10 times better about the scaled down wardrobe you create yourself, I’d say this is a pretty great way to get moving. So that’s what I’m doing. I went through and made my list. Anything not on the list went into the closet in the office. The door is closed and I don’t plan to open it until the end of February.

Here’s what I’ve got to get me through the winter!

1. Straight leg blue jeans

2. Gray jeans

3. Black leggings

4. Lavender jeans

5. Big white sweater

6. Teal cardigan

7. Gray cardigan

8. Colorful flannel shirt

9. Long sleeve anchor shirt

10. Black and white short sleeved shirt

11. Blue and red striped hoodie

12. White fleece

13. White sweater w/ Peter Pan collar

14. Black light sweater

15. Purple mandala sweatshirt

16-18. Tanks (gray, burgundy, white)

19. Black wrap dress

20. Teal flats

21. Black boots

22. Brown boots

23. Brown ankle boots

24. Moccassins

25. Black Danskos

26. Roxy flats

27. Long sleeve shirt (buying tomorrow)

28. Wool sweater Mom bought in Scotland

29. Green J. Crew sweater

30. Purple sleeveless top

31. Purple scarf

32. Yellow scarf

33. Red toggle pullover

My 333.

My 333.

Now, in this challenge, you can adjust. I noticed that I put an awful lot of shoes on this list but if I decide I have too many shoes and not enough of something else I can move it around a little. But, in looking at what is left, it’s all my favorite stuff. It’s warm, pretty basic stuff of good qualiity. All of these items are what I mainly wear anyways. My hope is that the next 3 months offers me a chance to fully practice what I hope to see myself doing as I pare down my closet. I want this to be an exercise in mindfulness about my consumption habits. I also want it to be something that helps me focus on other things. If I’m not spending time trying to figure out what to wear or what to buy to wear, what else can I do in that time? I have some ideas about that, too. I’m going to give it a few days before I go into all that. In the meantime, here’s all the good info I’ll be using as I give this whole thing a go.

Project 333

Project 333 Facebook Page

Project 333 Pinterest Board

If anyone plans on doing this too let me know! I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences.

#Project333. A slight change of pace.