Ep 39 | Closet Joy Part II: Build Your Capsule Wardrobe with Courtney Carver

May 29th, 2018 · 35 mins 5 secs

About this Episode

Closet Joy Part 2 of 3. Our guest, Courtney Carver, shares minimalist wardrobe tips centered around 33 pieces that will help you be more with less.

Today’s episode of Spark Joy is part two of a three part series dedicated to closet joy. We’ll talk to three guests who are revolutionizing the way we view fashion and style. We’re going to learn how to be more with less from one of the minimalism movement’s veterans - Courtney Carver.

Courtney changed her life by simplifying it after a devastating diagnosis in 2006. She’s the founder of bemorewithless.com and minimalist fashion challenge Project 333. Her new book Soulful Simplicity was published by Penguin Random House. Carver shows us the power of simplicity to improve our health, build more meaningful relationships, and relieve stress in our professional and personal lives.

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In this episode, you’ll enjoy:

  • The documentary about Minimalism that featured Courtney's story

  • How a health scare in 2006 led Courtney to explore her wardrobe to reduce stress and improve her overall well-being

  • The origins of Courtney's personal challenge, Project 333, that focuses on paring down your wardrobe to 33 items or less for three months

  • How Courtney connected her shopping behaviors to dissatisfaction in other areas of her life

  • How tucking excess clothing away, out of sight instead of immediately discarding allowed Courtney to experiment with having a capsule wardrobe without evoking unnecessary stress

  • How you may already be practicing Project 333 without even knowing it!

  • Why you don't have to have exactly 33 pieces to simplify your wardrobe. (hint: there's no magic number!)

  • How to handle laundry, occasional wear, and goal clothes when simplifying your closet

  • How Project 333, KonMari, and frugality don't promote suffering or deprivation. The methods are meant to be helpful, stressless and value add

  • The Be More with Less courses, virtual community, and Tiny Wardrobe Tour

  • How dressing with less has helped those in Courtney's community lose weight and recover from depression and anxiety disorders

  • Courtney's steps to minimalism for beginners:
    Dress with Less
    Write it Down
    Discard the Duplicates
    Declare a clutter-free zone
    Travel lightly
    Eat Similar Meals
    Have an Emergency Fund

  • Why you have to have a good "why" to shape a compelling reason to change

  • How Courtney followed Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover to get out of debt in three years and establish an emergency fund

  • The importance of creating a clutter free KonMari Power Zone

  • The future of Be More with Less


  • "I didn't know what enough was."

  • "Your workout clothes have to workout."

  • "I didn't know what I loved."

  • "It's just interesting to really notice what you're actually wearing."

  • "This isn't a project in suffering."

  • "In the history of my life, a smaller size has never gotten me to where I want to be."

  • "Choose clothes that fit you today."

  • "I wanted one area for the family that would inspire us to declutter other areas."

  • "Don't discount the tiny steps, because that's what big change is."

Courtney’s favorite tidying tip: Reset to zero.

What sparks joy for Courtney: Her daughter's golden doodle puppy Stanley.

To connect with Courtney Carver, visit Be More with Less and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

If you’re interested in Courtney’s book “Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More” she's made a free copy of Chapter 1 available for Spark Joy listeners.

You can find Karin Socci at The Serene Home

You can find Kristyn Ivey at For the Love of Tidy