Unintended Consequences

I keep gazing admiringly upon my freshly organized closet. It really is a remarkable sight. Apparently I was mistaken about the size of my closet. It is not, as I previously thought, tiny. It is rather large! At least it appears that way now that two thirds of its contents have been removed. Here is a glimpse:


I am one week into my Project 333 experiment, and my simplifying efforts have already produced a surprising effect (in addition to my expanding closet space): I find I am wanting more . . . more of less.

After my great closet clean out, I found I was motivated to simplify other crowded areas of my home. I tackled the overflowing Tupperware cabinet and sent all stained, warped, and unmatched plastic containers and lids to the recycling bin. Our food storage containers are now neatly stacked with their proper lids, and nothing falls out when you open the cabinet door.

I also addressed my make up and cosmetics, finally freeing myself from that too dark foundation that will never match my skin, the dried up nail polish that I used to love, and the perfume sample that I didn’t like but kept anyway. I moved products from the bathroom counter to the cabinet underneath, where I discovered I now had more storage space.

I even found a friend to take my light bulbs (that I won’t use because they have a cool, greenish color cast). Yes, I was keeping a bag of light bulbs that I did not intend to use; they were perfectly functional, so I hated to throw them away, but I am picky about my light and kept ignoring this fact while purchasing more.

Beginning Project 333 has helped me re-frame my relationship with my belongings. I am considering what place these things have in my life. If the plastic storage container no longer has a properly fitting lid, why I am keeping it? In hopes that one day the lid will magically return? In what world will I, with my perpetually fair skin, ever wear foundation that says “Medium” on the package? Why am I saving a bag of light bulbs that I cannot stand to use?

I want a full life but not a crowded one, and these things take up space. They get in the way.

I know that eventually, in some weeks or months (or days if my toddler gets in there), the Tupperware cabinet will need to be organized again. More lids will get lost and more tomato sauce will stain. I will likely purchase another cosmetic item (or two or three) that doesn’t work for me, and I won’t use all of my new royal blue nail polish before it separates and must be thrown away. Organizing and simplifying is a process.

But I feel I’m breaking free from the burden of holding on “just in case”, or “because it cost good money”, or “because it still works”, even though it doesn’t work for me. I am practicing letting go of things, and my house and I are breathing a sigh of relief.

Now please excuse me while I go find something else to organize.

One comment

  1. Alicia

    P333 has a cascading effect for sure. I love getting rid of things now and my relationship to stuff has also changed for the better. Such a freeing feeling!

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