There has been many times where I looked in my closet and thought to myself that I have nothing to wear.  Ironically, my closet is filled with clothes and shoes. Sometimes I feel that closet management can be a huge issue. I have so much stuff that I’d resort to dumping my clothes on the top shelves or buried deep into my dresser.  In an OT visual discrimination activity, we often have people perform activities such as word search or ask them to find all the aces in a deck of cards scattered on a table.   If someone has visual spatial or visual discrimination issues, our recommendation may be to block out a portion of the what they are looking at to help isolate the image or to facilitate the search.  De-cluttering is merely the same idea, filtering things you don’t use or need may make it easier to find what you do need.

For years, I never found a solution until a recent challenge from my husband.  We are planning a trip to several different countries. In order make it convenient for the commute, we’re only bringing a carry on.  At first, I thought it was impossible. Then I researched types of things I can bring on my trip to make it more convenient. I’ve discovered “minimalist packing”.  With that said, it means that I may have to wear my outfits more than a couple of times on the trip. In addition, I may have to figure out how to do one load of laundry in a foreign country.

There are some things that made packing easier.  I picked wool blend items because it would be easier to wash. (I can hand-wash them and they would dry quickly overnight)  I picked garments that are more versatile, ones where that I can dress up or down.   Another tip that I discovered was that I can always wear things I planned to donate like my running shoes.  I was able to keep my luggage to under twenty pounds, including my carry-on.

The true gift from this challenge is that it fueled my fascination in a “minimalistic wardrobe”.  I am going try “Project 333”.  This project may not be suitable for everyone, but if you are interested, here are the rules.

My goal is to scale down to 33 wardrobe items for 3 months (each season).

I paced myself for deciding what I want to keep and sectioned off the process.

  1. I cleared out so all of the items I hadn’t worn in the past year or two. There were some tricks that bloggers had recommended. You can try turning your hangers the opposite way to keep track.
  2. Take out clothes that you no longer fit into, whether it is too big or too small. Chances are, by the time I could fit into them, they may longer be in style. For example, I have this skirt that I kept waiting to lose weight to fit into, but all it did was make me feel bad about myself.
  3. I took out clothes that are not appropriate for my lifestyle.   I donated 10 pairs of office type slacks and kept a few pairs. There’s really no reason for me to have any office type wardrobe. It’s just sitting there collecting dust in my closet.
  4. I kept items that I wear and love.

Here’s an activity to further prove my point: Find the letter ‘A’ In the space below.


Now find the letter ‘A’ again below.


‘A’ is the symbol of that one blouse that you want to wear. So you might have found more than one ‘A’, but did it take longer to find?

You know the saying, “less is more”?  I am only one step closer to actually owning just 33 items, but the process has been a pleasant experience. I am starting to feel less stress when I look in my closet.  The physical de-cluttering  has helped my mental de-cluttering as well.