Saturday, October 01, 2016

October 1st, and the Project 333 Challenge: what's your simple thing?

For the past several months I've been following Courtney Carver's Project 333 wardrobe challenge. In short, fewer clothes, and fewer hangups. What it's not: a list of clothes that says you have to own a white shirt and a pair of black pumps. What it is: a bit of rebellion against the consumer culture that never stops saying "more." 
We are living in a crazy world full of inequalities, injustices, and many things too bad to go into. On the other hand, we're living in a beautiful world full of wonderful things that we could be doing and exploring, if we didn't spend so much time deciding what to wear (and saying that we don't have anything to wear so we have to go buy something else), what to add to the house, what to eat, what new thing to watch or listen to, and what to watch or listen to it on, before we rush on to the next. We now have to talk about "slow fashion" and "slow food" to make the point that more is often less.
Project 333's official  new season starts today, October 1st. I'm already in the middle of my "fall," because I set my own timeline based on when we tend to get a big change in the weather here, mid to late November. Also there's still a psychological thing for me about September: September was always about new things, new focus, new pencil crayons, new shoes. So I'm not really changing anything around for October.
Lesley, a style-minded Canadian blogger, decided recently that she is also going to pare down to 33 clothing items for the next three months. When she posted her own rules for the challenge, she explained why she's not including accessories in her 33: "My accessory collections have always been minimal; selecting sunglasses from one of my four pairs, or grabbing a necklace from a half dozen options, doesn’t stress me out or cause decision fatigue."
Which is, I think, a big point about any decluttering, downsizing, streamlining, and minimizing you might be thinking of. What is it in your own life or house or bookshelf or closet that makes you crazy? What causes you stress, guilt, or frustration?  If you have three hundred cookbooks, bookmark tons of recipes, and still can't decide what to make for dinner, maybe you need a simplified menu plan that lets you focus on something else for awhile, even if you end up eating the same thing a lot (and what's wrong with that?). If your book wish list is a book in itself, but your shelves are already full, it might make sense to do a Howards End is On the Landing year. If you need serenity in the closet, Project 333 (or one of its cousins) is a reasonable plan, with accessories or without them.
On the other hand, what are you just fine with and can't understand why anyone would have too many of or need to get under control? What's your simple thing?
Enjoy it, and welcome to October.

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