Get Dressed Every Day in 5 Minutes or Less: Tips for a Minimalist Wardrobe

The other day a friend asked to see inside my closet. (Every closet in my house, actually.) 😉

She seemed… surprised (shocked?) that my whole wardrobe takes up about four horizontal feet.

“You don’t have a dresser?”

“Wait, where are all your socks?”

“This is all the shoes you own??”

I think I dress reasonably well. (We should really get my friend to confirm or discredit this claim…) And I actually enjoy getting dressed every morning. It’s a happy few moments of my day.

The reason, I think, is because what I own makes it easy for me. I don’t need more than a few minutes to put an outfit together, so I never have that frustrated clothes-all-over-the-bed feeling I remember having as a teenager. (Maybe that’s also because I’m not exactly 16 anymore…)

How to Get Dressed Every Day in 5 Minutes or Less

1. Own only what you really wear. 

After my friend saw my closet, she texted me a few pictures from her own closet, asking what to do about this item or that. My answers were all really simple and consistent: “Do you actually wear it?”

She usually answered with some version of “no, but.”

“No, but it’s so cute! I really should!”

“No, but maybe after I lose the baby weight…”

“No, but maybe someday I’ll actually have a dressy occasion for it?”

“No, but” doesn’t cut it.

When decluttering your closet, one trick is turning the hanger around on any items you’re undecided about. If you haven’t worn it in a month, send it on its way.

Related: 100 Things to Get Rid Of—To Simplify Your Home

2. Own only what you love. 

Notice that #1 came first because you may LOVE it, but if you don’t wear it, it has to go. It feels amazing to step into a closet of pieces that make you feel good about yourself. Not the jeans you haven’t fit in a year… Not the top your mom gave you so you feel guilty parting with… Keep the items that make you feel good.

3. Only buy and keep what really, truly fits. 

Fit is something I’ve come to appreciate as I’ve gotten older. I used to buy an item that fit close enough—but not quite perfectly—just because it was on sale. (Or because I’d ordered it online and was too lazy to return it by mail!) But if it fit isn’t spot on, I always find that I wear it a lot less, and when I do wear it, I don’t feel great in it. Fit is KEY.

Oh and if you’re in the pregnancy / post-pregnancy / size-changing-all-the-time years, I suggest…

1. Go as minimal as possible on the things you store. Chances are you won’t still love it—or it won’t fit like you thought—when it’s finally time to pull it out.

2. Store those few items that you do want to save out of sight, to keep your day-to-day dressing as uncomplicated as possible.

4. Rotate out the out-of-season items. 

If you have to overlook the hoodies because it’s the middle of summer, you’re wasting time and brain power.

5. Design your closet so you can see it all at a glance. 

I use a hanging shoe organizer to hold my socks, underwear, and leggings… My bras and a few necklaces hang from a row of hooks… Everything is incredibly easy to see and grab. (Key for a mom who needs to get dressed QUICK, right?)

6. Every time something comes in, something must go out. 

Train yourself to enjoy finding things you can pass on to a sister, friend or donation center. I think of it as a little game: When I find something I haven’t been wearing, I get an absurd sense of satisfaction.

7. Lip color is an accessory. 

This is one I’ve always lived by. Lipstick is small and easy to store, and if you have a few well-selected colors, they can take any easy outfit to the next level. 😉

Psst! Need help paring down? Check out my free, room-by-room decluttering guide!

I’d love to hear—What’s the shape of your closet? Is yours more like mine… or my friend’s… or maybe somewhere in between?


  • Reply
    Athena n'ha Lee
    March 24, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    A) Join the military straight out of high school–they not only teach you to get dressed in 5 minutes, they teach you how to take a shower in 3 minutes.
    B) Be bone-aching poor–you don’t have to worry about excess.

  • Reply
    March 24, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    I’m left hoping for a photo of the closet 🙂

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      March 29, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      Haha, Missy! I actually have one — Feel free to email me for it if you’re THAT curious! Guess it felt a little personal to post it on the interwebs, but maybe I should get over that. 😉

  • Reply
    April 18, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Would love to see a photo of the closet, I think pictures speak a thousand words 😀

  • Reply
    May 11, 2018 at 5:02 am

    Would love to see a pic of the closet. Trying to get there myself!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2018 at 6:29 am

    Is there a support group on fb? I am so overwhelmed and my weight fluctuates between sizes…I am looking after my 81 yr old Mom who is a hoarder…I’m so tired of fighting stuff, clutter…papers…I’m so demovitated at the moment …I just stare at all the stuff…

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      July 17, 2018 at 8:54 am

      That’s so hard, Marguerite! I might suggest looking up either the “Becoming Unbusy” or “Motherhood Simplified” groups on Facebook! If you ask a question—or even just ask for encouragement—in there, I’m sure you’ll get lots of support!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    How many tops, bottoms, accessories, etc. do you keep where you can see it?

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