Q + A with Courtney Carver from Project 333
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.
For Courtney Carver, owning less is the key to living more. Courtney began working towards a simpler life after receiving a life-changing diagnosis in 2006. She later started her influential website, Be More With Less, and has established herself as a master of minimalism.
One of her most popular projects is Project 333, a minimalist fashion challenge. Every three months, participants are challenged to select 33 items - including clothing, outerwear, shoes and accessories - to wear for the next 90 days. With Project 333, Courtney has created a community of people who use minimalism to power their daily outfits.
With all of the tips and advice that lives on her website, it’s no wonder why Courtney’s guidance has evolved into a book. Soulful Simplicity is Courtney’s brand new book, in which she helps readers to improve their lives as a whole with the power of simplicity.
VETTA was lucky enough to have Courtney answer a handful of our questions and she was kind enough to give us more of her amazing insight. Take a look at our Q&A with Courtney below.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself! How did you get into (and so good at) living simply in the first place?
A: I started simplifying my life in an effort to reduce stress and feel better - inside and out. I figured out what worked best for me by experimenting, practicing and being open to the idea that this journey may take some time.
Q: Your website is "Be More With Less" - how does this idea of simplicity translate into the different aspects of your life?
A: As I was making changes to different areas of my life, I realized that as I lived with less on the outside, I became more me on the inside. Once I made that connection I simplified everything, including my career and wardrobe. I experienced better health, more clarity and so much more love and presence in my relationships.
Q: What does your daily routine look like?
A: I start my day with what I call my "meaningful morning routine" It started as a 5-minute yoga practice and over the years has turned into a 2-3 hour routine including writing, meditating, yoga, walking and reading. I try to do my most creative work in the morning and meetings, interviews, and administrative tasks in the afternoon. Because I like to wake up early, I usually go to sleep by 9:30, sometimes earlier.
Photo by Sarah Dorweiler, Aesence
Q: Project 333 has taken social media by storm! Do you have any tips for those trying to adopt a minimalist wardrobe?
A: My first recommendation is to try the challenge. Dressing with less for 3 months teaches you so much about what you want and need in your wardrobe. There are a bunch of other powerful lessons too. Aside from that, I highly recommend dressing for the person you are today. Include items in your wardrobe that fit your body and lifestyle today, not last year or ten years from now.
Q: Your new book Soulful Simplicity will be released at the end of this year - can you talk a bit about why you decided to write the book? What was the process like?
A: Figuring out what the book was and then writing it was an incredible experience. It was challenging and nerve-wracking at times but overall, I really enjoyed the process. I love reading books so much, especially ones that encourage me to take action and make powerful changes. I wanted to write a book like that where I could share my stories, what I've learned along the way, and to remind people how alike we are.
Q: Can you tell VETTA Blog readers what they can expect from the book and how it's a new extension of your philosophy.
A: There are 4 sections in the book, each containing several short chapters + a chapter called "put your hands on your heart". This is where people can close the gap between awareness and action. The sections of the book represent the major categories of change I experienced; Making me, Making Space, Making Time, and Making Love. The book is more than an extension of my philosophy - it's a part of my heart. I don't say that in a cheesy way, but that it's a combination of the stories that have changed and moved me and the steps I took to move from overwhelmed, under-inspired, sick and tired, to happy, healthy, creative and content.
Q: What do you believe the keys to minimalism are?
A: Like any major lifestyle shift the key is remembering that there isn't one perfect way to do it. Being curious and finding out what works best for you is what makes it a valuable, permanent change.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who's looking to simplify but doesn't know where to start?
A: It doesn't matter where you start, but that you start. Don't get so overwhelmed by all the options that you do nothing. Instead, start with one small space in your home even if it's just a corner or countertop. Use the decluttered space as motivation to move on to the next.
You don't have to wait until you reach some magical version of simplicity or minimalism to start to enjoy the benefits of a pared down life. Don't wait. Celebrate each small step. You deserve happiness today.
For VETTA's take on simplicity, check out these posts:
- 4 Simple Steps to Cleaning Out Your Closet
- How To Sell, Donate and Recycle Your Old Clothes
- What Is A Capsule Wardrobe?
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