Focused with Less: Halfway There

As an avid thrifter, my wardrobe has always been a challenge to pair down successfully. In order to tackle this dilemma, I decided on a trying a 30 day version of Project 333 as a new year's resolution. If you'd like to read about how I began Project 333, check out my first blog here.

Along the Road

No one ever said living with 33 items for 30 days would be easy. I'm human and I make mistakes, so let me be honest and tell you... I went over 33 items! It was never intentional but more like a creeping suspicion that my wardrobe had acquired a few "friends" when I wasn't looking. How had this happened?

If you shop at Goodwill, you know stock always changes. You walk in expecting one thing and walk out with a completely different treasure. It's the beauty of thrifting and the challenge for those of us trying to live with less! As I was reading through the rules for Project 333, I used what was meant to be an encouraging quote as justification for needless shopping. Eventually, this lead to buying more and saying "yes" to family and friends that offered hand-me-downs.

You are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in. Remember that this is not a project in suffering. If your clothes don’t fit or are in poor condition, replace them.
— Courtney Carver, Project 333

I was "suffering" to find a balance between my resolution and my habit. Perhaps change cannot occur without a little challenge? 

I embarked on this journey to dedicate more time for other tasks and to make more deliberate empty space in my closet.  Still, I love thrifting and exploring the racks of Goodwill. I found that if I asked myself these two questions I could compromise and still be intentional about bringing new items into my life:

1) Will it fit my color pallet?

2) What will I get rid of to make space for this new item?


The Silver Lining

Even though I had to recount my items, I feel like I've already learned and made a significant change in my shopping habits. The focus of my morning routine has also changed.

More Time

I've found myself eating breakfast with my partner in the morning instead of rushing around with a bagel in my mouth. The extra time to prepare a lunch, look at the weather, and my calendar before the day begins makes me feel ready to tackle the day!

I've even had a few mornings where I had the time to accessorize an outfit with one of my favorite pair of earrings.

No Decision Fatigue

A small inventory allows me to choose what I want to wear before I even get out of bed. I know that whatever I pick will work and that I will feel good wearing it.



As I sorted and counted my wardrobe the second time, I realized my favorite items unintentionally fit within a color pallet. (Burgundy, teal, brown, navy, or deep plum.) With a narrowed range of colors and textures that will work in my wardrobe, I can still enjoy digging through the racks at Goodwill without wasting unnecessary time hunting. 

Engage in a conversation with yourself; how do you spend your time and who do you want to be? If it's easy and there is no challenge there will be no change. Struggling to accept my mistakes and find a solution has allowed me to realistically live the lifestyle I want.

Are you looking to begin some change with your own minimalist journey? Start with the clothes that you know don't fit anymore and donate them. Free up some empty space and treat yourself to something that will actually fit.


About Samantha Pohlot

Sam is an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving at Goodwill Industries-Knoxville in the Marketing Department. Sam is excited to continue sharing her minimalist journey and building relationships with the Knoxville community!