"Less" is the key to accessing that elusive feeling of "enough".
Less allows us to know that we already have enough pairs of pants to make it through until laundry day... and enough to make it through the season too. This might seem backward, but sometimes we've got so much in the closet that we don't even know what we've got.
Less allows us to see shopping as an activity with a purpose rather than as everyday entertainment.
Less allows us to value the pieces that really work in our lives and to take the time to care for them well.
Less allows us to mindfully replace a worn out item and to dispose of it responsibly.
Less gives us the space to be able to live out our values. We can value people and the environment by choosing to consume a little bit more in line with our needs rather than our wantiness.
These thoughts are antithetical to all the messages that we are accustomed to hearing: More is better. Something new will make me happy. Something new will help me fit in. I still need to find that "perfect" [pair of jeans... t-shirt... sweater]. Shopping is what I do for fun.
1. Get out all of the current season clothing.
We'll focus on the current season, because we know what we like to wear and are actually wearing right now. We won't forget about frigid AC at work or needing pieces to wear in the sweltering heat.
2. Let things go that do not fit, don't get worn, or are uncomfortable to wear.
Remember: While it's probably a good idea to let some things go, our goal is to not buy anything new at this point...so don't go overboard with the purging. It is not our goal to end up with nothing but an empty closet and a shopping list.
3. List categories of clothing worn.
For example, mine for warm weather are tops, bottoms, dresses, footwear and layers.
4. Pick a reasonable number for each category and shop your closet for that number of those items.
Consider either a variety (for example, in winter I have a mid-weight, light-weight and heavy-weight jacket) or stick with the truly preferred style (for example, maybe you only really like to wear cardigans- not pullovers). Focus on pieces that can be worn as parts of a variety of outfits.
5. Let the rest go.
If this is too final at the moment, box them up and put them away. If you can't remember anything you want out of that box at the end of the season, donate it. Don't open it.
6. Make notes for next year.
(For example, I made note of the possibility of needing to replace a couple of my striped tees for next cold weather season. I can remember to keep an eye out for fair ones now.) This lets me feel like I've got a head start when I begin to look at my wardrobe the next time around. I often find that I don't really need what I thought I might when the time comes, however, so I'm careful to reevaluate before purchasing.
It may take several rounds of this process to finally find a comfortable resting place. It did for me. I kept feeling comfortable with less and less as time went on. I have to tell you that I feel so much better with less than I ever did with more. Enough feels great.