Figuring out what I truly need was my first step in the direction of simple. There was one specific moment that I remember reading the passage in the Bible when John the Baptist tells his followers that if they have two coats they should give one to someone who needs one (Luke 3:11). I had read this passage many times before, but this time I heard it literally. What did I think it meant before? I'm not sure...but on that day, I went down to our coat closet + saw that I had two warm coats. I chose one to keep + one to give.
Today I have three coats (hmm) that keep me comfortable in various stages of cold + precipitation (rain/snow). I have wellies that keep my feet clean when I plant potatoes...and warm + dry (paired with some wool socks that double as my slippers) in the snow. I have one winter hat, scarf + pair of gloves. A sunhat acts as decor + shades me from the sun. These are the same pieces that I've had for years.
For exercise, I have a pair of leggings, a pair of shorts, two tanks, a warmer layer, socks + trainers. I get really sweaty, so I find it necessary to have clothing set aside for this purpose. :)
I think the numbers in the intimates category have a lot to do with one's laundry schedule. I will say that I've found that one nude + one black bra are enough for everyday. I use an older one for the gym (so 3 total).
These days, I don't have separate sleepwear. I wear one of my layering tanks to bed year round (not the same one). :) I also have a robe that I don't wear often, so...we'll see how long that lasts in my closet.
I'm not trying to be as minimal as possible, but I also try not to hold more than my share. These pieces are enough. The system is simply to wear + maintain this set number of items that works for me. When an item is used up, then I can choose a new-to-me one. I feel very fortunate to have so many things that serve their purposes well + that allow me to feel prepared + content.