7 Commandments of Closet Organizing That Will Help You Get Dressed Faster

For many of us, the mornings are a mad rush to get out the door. And if we’re being honest, even early birds who dream about fitting in an early-morning workout, a meditation session, meal prep, and cleaning all before they leave for work rarely get to everything on their to-do lists. Whether your goal is to accomplish as much as possible before your kids wake up or simply to snooze 15 minutes longer, there’s one way to find more minutes in the morning. The secret? Organize your closet to streamline your morning routine. Stop hunting for lost socks, trying on multiple outfits, and sifting through that growing pile of shoes. Follow these seven closet decluttering guidelines right now to making getting dressed every day a little bit easier.

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1. Thou Shalt Not Store Clothing Thou Don’t Really Wear

Haven’t worn that blouse, jacket, or belt in the past 12 months? Then it no longer deserves a spot in your closet. To keep the decluttering process quick and easy, go through your entire closet, tossing everything you haven’t worn in the past year into a big laundry basket or onto your bed. Everything in that pile can no longer be stored in your closet. Instead, donate what you can and sell garments that still have tags or are in great condition. For special-occasion outfits you only pull out every few years for weddings and other big events, there’s no point in having them clutter up your closet, which should be reserved only for clothing you wear regularly. Instead, store these items in a dust-proof garment bag and stash them in the attic or a spare closet.

2. Thou Shalt Organize Clothing by Activity

If your goal is to get ready faster in the morning, organizing clothing by activity is the most practical method. Work blouses should go with work blouses, work heels with work heels. This way, when you’re searching for a pair of pumps to complete your office-ready outfit, you won’t have to wade through sneakers and summer sandals to find them. Similarly, when you’re out of the office and spending the day at the gym and running errands, all of your workout leggings will be in one spot so you won’t have to toss aside dress slacks to find your Lululemons.

3. Thou Shalt Make It Easy to Find Lint Rollers, Sweater Shavers, and Wrinkle Spray

Even once you pick out an outfit, you may find that your black skirt could use a lint roller or that your sweater has some pills. Keep a small basket or bin dedicated to clothing care must-haves right in your closet so it’s easy to grab what you need in the morning. Fill it with the essentials: wrinkle-release spray, a mini lint roller, a handy sweater shaver, shoe polish, a fresh-smelling lingerie spray. Never again will you waste precious time in the morning hunting for a misplaced lint roller.

4. Thou Shalt Not Stash Excess Hangers

There may be things cluttering up your closet that aren’t even clothes. Do you have extra hangers that make your clothing more crammed than it needs to be? Remove them and either toss them out or relocate them to another closet. Throw away or recycle spare plastic covers from the dry cleaner, and empty shoe boxes should also get recycled. The same goes for that stash of paper shopping bags.

5. Thou Shalt Make Accessories Accessible

If you want to get ready faster, save yourself a trip to the dresser or bathroom, and store jewelry and accessories right in the closet. Order an $8 jewelry organizer that can hang right from a hanger in your closet, then invest in a belt rack ($10, containerstore.com).

6. Thou Shalt Store Socks and Underwear in the Closet, Too

If you really want to make your closet your one-stop shop for getting dressed, you’re going to need to commit to storing your socks and undergarments there as well. Think you don’t have room? Once you follow rule #1 and move special-occasion and off-season items to storage, you’ll find you have more space than you thought.

When I set about organizing my own chaotic closet, I used this hanging three-compartment organizer ($13, containerstore.com) to hold bras, socks, and underwear. Now, instead of wasting time walking back and forth between my closet and dresser, I have everything I need to get dressed right in one spot.

7. Thou Shalt Not Pile Shoes on the Floor

If you haven’t yet invested in a shoe rack or hanging shoe organizer, move this rule to top priority. Whether you opt for an over-the-door organizer or a classic shoe rack that sits on the floor, you’ll be able to spot the pair you’re looking for at a glance, saving you time every single morning.

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