4 Things I Learned From a Ruthless Closet Purge

After discovering that stress could exacerbate her multiple sclerosis symptoms, Salt Lake City blogger Courtney Carver resolved to simplify her life—and her overstuffed closet. She challenged herself to downsize to a 33-item wardrobe for three months and invited others to do the same on her website, Project333.com. Here she shares four surprising perks of paring down.


No More “Nothing To Wear” Mornings

Photo by Alessandra Olanow

I used to try on two or three outfits before going out. Creating a “capsule wardrobe”—a season’s worth of staples that all match—has given me tremendous clarity. The skirt I wore with a button-down, a blazer, and flats to a speaking engagement can go with a tank, a scarf, and boots for date night.


I Receive More Compliments

At first, I thought my coworkers would notice my limited repertoire. Instead, I got positive feedback. Interestingly, there were fewer “I love your shoes” types of comments and more “You look great” ones. A capsule wardrobe helps you hone your personal style. I feel confident in what I'm wearing, and people pick up on that.


I Have More Downtime

Shopping was a way of life. I constantly checked e-mail for sales. I spent weekends at the mall. Now I buy clothes a few times a year to fill in gaps and have more time for hiking, skiing, and traveling.


Streamlining Snowballed

Living with a minimal amount of clothes gave me the courage to make even bigger changes. I got rid of the dining table and the eight chairs we never sat in, the desk I didn't use, and the furniture in our superfluous second living room. Eventually we moved to an apartment.