Every parent knows there are mountains of laundry involved with kids. The secret to getting through this is creating a capsule wardrobe inspired by Courtney Carver’s Project 333. The goal is to minimize kids clothing in your house in order to make laundry day and getting dressed much more simple.
What is project 333?
The first time I heard of a capsule wardrobe was when I read about Courtney Carver’s Project 333. The basic rule behind this project is to have 33 items in your wardrobe. This includes clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes—everything that you’ll be wearing for a 3 month period.
Things that aren’t included in the 33 items are: wedding rings, sentimental pieces of jewelry you never take off, underwear, pajamas, or workout clothing.
Why have a capsule wardrobe?
In a capsule wardrobe, each piece is carefully and intentionally chosen. Ideally your entire wardrobe would consist of articles of clothing that are comfortable, fit well, and can be mixed and matched.
This takes the stress out of dressing in the morning and ensures you’re never standing in a crowded closet feeling like there is “nothing to wear”. These 33 items can take you from home, to school, to a party, and anywhere you need to be during the 3 months. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Project 333 for Kids
Here is an example based on what I’ve used for my daughters in the past. For Project 333, socks, underwear, and pajamas aren’t included in the list.
- 5 T-shirts
- 3 long sleeved shirts
- 6 bottoms (shorts, pants)
- 2 light cardigans
- 3 heavier sweaters
- 2 dresses (or extra playclothes)
- 2 fancy dresses (or nice outfits for special occasions)
- 4 pairs of shoes (sneakers, sandals, dressy shoes, rubber boots)
- 1 hat
- 1 pair of sunglasses
- 1 jacket
- 1 pair of splash pants
- 1 bathing suit
- 1 backpack
Does Project 333 really work for kids?
It can be difficult trying to stay on top of both the daily outfit changes and constantly changing sizes as kids grow. Therefore the criteria for kids capsule wardrobes might look different than it does for adults.
For example, you might be less worried about style and investment pieces and more about what fits them and can be cleaned easily. Here are some criteria for choosing which pieces to use for your child’s Project 333 wardrobe.
1. Make a laundry schedule.
If you’re worried that 33 items won’t be enough, make a laundry schedule. This might seem like an odd step to begin with, but think about how often you do laundry and then work around this. For example, if you do laundry once a week then you’ll obviously need at least a week’s worth of clothing. 33 items will cover that many outfits, even with extra outfit changes during the day.
If you find yourself doing laundry twice a week, you might get away with having less—or you’ll have even more options. If you don’t have set times to do laundry, think about implementing this so it becomes more organized. You’ll discover that Project 333 can fit a lifestyle with children.
2. Keep tops and bottoms that mix and match.
If you have too much and are trying to pare down, I suggest keeping items that easily mix and match with each other. I do this by choosing pants that go with most of the tops: jeans, khakis, or colors that match a lot of existing items.
That one mint-green-butterfly-patterned outfit that has pieces which specifically need to be together? Yeah, that’s the one to go. When everything goes together it makes it simple to grab a top and a bottom. And if you have kids who insist on dressing themselves, then you’ll have the added bonus that they’ll actually pick things that match.
3. Store off-season items.
Eliminate the chaos of having everything in the closet or dresser at once. Only keep the items for this season, and then store and label any off-season clothes. I use a big Rubbermaid bin which sits on the top shelf in their closet. This also applies to any clothes that they will grow into soon.
However, don’t get carried away with storing for seasons, otherwise this will become another source of clutter. Depending on the climate you live in, perhaps organizing twice per year could be enough: a Spring/Summer season and Fall/Winter season.
4. Pass on clothing.
Other people might approach this differently, but I choose to give away clothes as soon as my children grow out of them. One way that clutter accumulates quickly in homes is when we keep items “just in case”.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of people give me second-hand clothes for the kids, and I buy clothes only when there’s a gap in their wardrobe and a specific item is needed. Since I’ve been given so much, I’d like to pass on things to other people too.
I’d rather give items to someone who definitely needs it now, than keep things for my own ‘someday, maybe’. (The easiest time to go through clothes is when the seasons change since you’ll have to adjust their wardrobe anyway.)
5. Keep closets simple.
I keep the kids’ clothing in bins instead of a dresser. Each child has one box for tops (T-shirts, cardigans, and sweaters), one box for bottoms (shorts, pants, and dresses), one box for underwear (including socks and bathing suit), and one for pajamas.
Instead of hanging or folding clothes, I simply sort the clean clothes into the correct box. This makes it easy to put clean clothes away, and easy to find things in the morning. When I move the boxes onto the floor, the kids can sort their own clean laundry.
Make some space in your closets, house, and family life. Apply Project 333 to your child’s clothing and see how simplicity can make your family’s life more calm, stress-free, and organized with less stuff and more life.
*Note — This article was originally published at Simple Adventure.