For a lot of people, the word “minimalist” is a very scary one. We live in a world that creates problems and then promptly sells you the solutions to them- one payment at a time. Retail therapy is a very real thing and can quickly turn a bad day good, but what really is the point in accumulation? Is it all worth it?
My older brother lives a life most people only dream about, he travels the world. In the most recent email I got from him he had spent a week in the Philippines where he climbed mountains, spelunked in underground caves, hiked to remote villages, and even got a traditional tattoo from a woman who has been profiled by National Geographic. The most surprising thing about his whole trip is that none of it surprised me at all. It was just all very typical Josh. A lot of people ask me how he manages to do it and he really only has one secret – minimalism. A long time ago he said “E, the more stuff that you have the more your stuff has you” and I’ve never forgotten it. He buys probably one shirt a year. He is an avid painted and squeezes every last drop out of every tube. And all of his possessions can be fit into one duffel bag.
I’m not saying everyone should be that frugal. I love creature comforts and have more knick-knacks than all your grandmother’s combined. Seriously. I have so much shiz that I’m having a garage sale this weekend with prices so low I’m practically paying people to clear my house out for me. But, one area where I really managed to cut back is clothing –with the help of a project I discovered two years ago called “Project 333.” The idea is pretty simple, narrow your entire wardrobe down to 33 pieces for 3 months. After those 3 months, switch it up as needed. There are a lot of reasons why. You’ll save money on shopping. You’ll save time in the morning getting ready. Some of the richest people in the world have one simple outfit (think Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg). You can save space in your closet. You will spend less time doing laundry and sifting through clearance racks at the mall and more time doing things that are better for you like training for the Great Pumpkin Dash or enjoying a hobby. Or, my personal favorite, I have 33 items that look absolutely badass on me and not 100 items, some of which fit and some of which don’t. I know whatever I pull out of my drawer is going to look good because with only 33 items in my arsenal, they all better look good.
So, if you’re up for a challenge that will help you get closer to lighter living and a more minimalistic lifestyle, Project 333 is a great place to start. If you think it’s impossible, just trust me when I tell you it’s not. It’s irrevocably, utterly and thoroughly one of the best habits I’ve ever started for myself.
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