Most people don’t know I’m participating in Project 333 this year. For those who haven’t heard of it and don’t feel like following the link, it’s an exercise in simplicity: For three months, limit your wardrobe to 33 items. This doesn’t include things like underwear, pajamas, wedding rings, and clothing you only wear while working out or playing sports, but does include shoes, coats, and jewelry. I’ve been going for a few weeks now, and here’s the most interesting result:

Nobody’s noticed.

Nobody’s noticed that I have one pair of jeans, one pair of black dress pants, one long black dress skirt. Nobody’s noticed that I wear the same two pairs of shoes and the same two scarves everywhere I go. Nobody’s walked up to me and said, “Hey, I noticed you only seem to own one pair of earrings! What’s up with that?”

It’s pretty fun.

My clothes fit in one dresser drawer.

I never worry for long about what to wear.

I’m always comfortable. (There’s no room for non-comfy items in my limited wardrobe.)

I never have to hunt for my clothes anymore, although I still have difficulty finding matching socks.

Surprisingly, I never get bored. Because the clothes I have are my favorites. I get to wear my favorite sweater twice a week: hooray!

I thought it would be difficult to plan for both professional and personal life. Because I am SUPER casual by nature (Hoodies! Jeans! Clogs!), and sometimes I need to look like a grown up. But a pair of comfy black slacks goes with six different shirts and sweaters for a professional look, or even with (gasp!) my favorite hoodie. And all those shirts go with jeans. Or a skirt. And I’ve actually gotten used to the idea of wearing fabric other than denim on my bottom half, even if I’m staying home. (Leggings underneath for warmth. This is Cleveland, people.)

An unexpected side effect is that I’ve become more confident with my appearance. My husband and I were invited out with some of his friends, and my first instinct was to ask, “What should I wear?” but then I realized that the outfits I was panicking over weren’t even in my current list of clothes. So I relaxed, put on my one pair of jeans and a professional-and-attractive shirt, my earrings, and black flats. I spent 5 minutes rather than 30 getting ready, which meant that I didn’t have time to get cranky about the way I looked. As a result, I had a much better time than I often do in similar situations. Totally unexpected.

Of course, I have to be a little more careful about timing my laundry now. It takes about 24 hours for heavy items to dry on our rack, so I found myself at one point with no dry pants at all! (Thank goodness I included a long skirt in my 33.) So far, though, the positives have outweighed the negatives. We’ll see how things develop when (if?) the weather turns before April.