Simplify Your Wardrobe to Reduce Stress and Lose Weight

project 333; be more with less; capsule wardrobe; simplify your wardrobe; simplified clothing
A few months ago I gave you my new laundry system that I created to keep clothes off my floor and not spend all my time on Sundays folding and putting up clean clothes.  As I continue to work on my weight and my health , I find that one of the keys to success is implementing systems for the everyday tasks that take up my time and stress me out. I have a history of using food to de-stress and while I definitely support working on those deeper issues of why I choose food as my crutch in the first place,  I also believe in creating a life that is overall just less stressful.
Today I want to tell you about a program that has truly changed my life in such a simple way it’s ridiculous. It’s called Project 333.

Project 333 is a program offered by a woman named Courtney Carver who runs a blog called Be More With Less. This blog, this lifestyle, that Courtney created is all about living a very simple, purposeful, and intentional life. And to do that, Courtney believes you need to give yourself the space to live. You need to cut out all the excess crap.  Project 333 focuses on cutting out the crap in your wardrobe.

The rules are simple. Every three months your wardrobe consists of only 33 articles of clothing. These 33 items include shoes, jewelry, belts, purses and of course your clothes. They do not include, your workout clothes, your running shoes, or gardening clothes, your underwear or socks. Every fourth month you swap out those 33 items for another set of 33 that are more weather appropriate.  To help you with the process Courtney, the founder, has provided a microcourse for purchase called Dress with Less.
At first this may seem impossible but what I learned through this process is that Project 333 can help you see immediately what has been in your closet taking up space that you weren’t using. Country suggests you only deal with one season at a time. If you live in the East Coast like I do, this program fits really well into your life because we have four seasons. When I started this challenge it was spring.  So I just packed up all my fall and winter clothes and didn’t even worry about it. Then I shifted just slightly and swapped some thicker sweaters for thinner ones for the summer and a few sleeveless tops. I have yet to purge through my fall clothes and I refuse to even worry about that for another month.


There are five distinct ways that Project 333 has helped me de-stress, two of which have specifically helped me in my weight loss journey.

This program is not designed to help you lose weight but here in the FoodLove Community we are always looking for ways to enhance our lives and lose the weight once and for all and I have found Project 333 to definitely help in this area as well.

First, the obvious ways that Project 333 has helped me de-stress:
1. I decide what to wear in like 2 minutes or less. It’s so easy. All of my clothes are right there in my face. There’s nothing hiding or bunched together or missing. It’s all right there. This has created such a relief in the morning.
2. It allows me to see what I don’t have. Throughout this first round of 3 months  you can truly see if you miss any of the clothes that originally didn’t make the cut. Chances are you won’t miss anything or you may be  missing something you don’t own. You start to truly respect your shopping choices because you know you are so limited.
laundry baskets_c
3.  Laundry is insanely easy. I’m not sure what was happening before but even after my new laundry system was in place I still had more laundry to do than after I started Project 333.  If all of your clothes are simple then they are more easily interchangeable.  Now, I have like one or two loads, and really it’s only two because I have whites and colors. And honestly, it’s not even a full load. I have to combine with my husband. Winning!
4. I have more space in my brain. Part of the result of Project 333 is that I have what I like to call “simplified clothing”.  In order to make 33 items really work for you it is a good idea to have uncomplicated clothing – lots of layers.  So getting dressed is super simple because everything goes with everything else.  Deciding what to wear each day and not knowing where things were when I needed them was taking up space in my brain. And now that space is freed up. Free to explore who I , who I want to be, what makes me happy, and what kind of life I want for myself.

Now, how did I apply Project 333 to weight loss:

FoodLove Girl_relax
1. Less stressing = less overeating.   Simple wardrobe = less stress. As I said before there is so much less stress in my life that was previously associated with what to wear. I have less stress when I do laundry, less stress when I get up in the morning, and decide what to wear, I have less stress on Sunday thinking about the week to come because I know what I want to wear.  When I am stressed, I tend to overeat.  So this system has eliminated a source of overeating for me.
simplified clothing; declutter wardroe; simple wardrobe
2. I have come to realize that what I wear and how I look really affects how I eat. I have to show up for myself more in this area than I ever have before. And as I work through this new realization I am finding great comfort in new systems that allow me the space to calmly make choices about my wardrobe and not freak out, over-stress, and then overeat. Systems like the my new laundry system, and using my Nordstrom Stylist, and now Project 333. Being able to see what I actually have in my wardrobe makes it easier for me to articulate what I want. I can look at my whole wardrobe in one rove of the eye and feel what’s missing. I can think more clearly about what’s going  to make me feel more pretty, more confident, and more calm. Project 333 has allowed me some structure to this journey of looking better.   As I shop and dissect, I make choices. When I add, I subtract.

Tips on how to build a Capsule Wardrobe

Courtney, from Be More with Less,  makes some points about not having a lot of color and being okay with repeating your clothes and these are all great points but what I like most is that she encourages you to make this Project your own. Do ‘your 333’ the best way that works for you. For instance I love purple so I don’t mind that wearing purple makes it more obvious that I’m wearing a certain shirt more often. It makes me feel pretty so it stays.
I recently read a very helpful post on how to build a capsule wardrobe from an unlikely source – a food blog called Pinch of Yum.  For more tips on how to build yours, check out this post here.
 I encourage all overeaters of the FoodLove Community to try Project 333 and to check out this wonderful blog that I think beautifully mirrors what we talk about so much here: Living our lives full out, de-stressing, and focusing on what really matters so that we can finally let go of that excess weight and live the lives we were meant to live.
Do you have any systems you’ve discovered or created that have helped you de-stress and eat less as a result? I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment in the blog.
Resources mentioned in this post:
A similar idea, slightly different approach:
[This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase the product I receive a small profit.  I do not recommend any products that I haven’t used myself on my journey to heal my relationship with food. ]

2 thoughts on “Simplify Your Wardrobe to Reduce Stress and Lose Weight

  1. kristi guilfoyle says:

    Hi FoodLuvGirl! I love the idea of this system. We have a fairly good size closet and I prefer to “store” clothes hanging. Where do you store the clothes that you are NOT wearing? Do you take them off hangers and put them in a dresser, or boxes?

    I can’t wait to clean out my closet!

    • FoodLove Girl says:

      Hey! Yeah, I store them in boxes – those little recycled paper boxes that they are always throwing out in my office. I love them because they come with lids. Yeah, Courtney advises you box it away so it’s not taking up room in your brain. The idea is that you don’t even want to see those extra clothes. Out of sight out of mind. As far as my dresser, I keep the none Project 333 items in my dresser – underwear, socks, pjs. That sort of thing. 🙂

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