5 Surprising Ways Your Closet is Slowing Down Your Productivity

5 Surprising Ways Your Closet is Slowing Down Your ProductivityYou wake up in the morning and walk over to your closet.

You’re standing there, wondering what outfit you should pick out for the day, when it finally hits you.

You realize your closet is seriously messing up your productivity flow.

Hold on a minute…say what?

How can a collection of clothing affect your ability to arrive on time to work, finish your chores, and meet friends for lunch on the weekend?

In this post, I offer five surprising reasons why your closet may be slowing down or reducing your productivity levels…without you even realizing it!

I was inspired to write this post after receiving an interesting email a few weeks ago from one of my readers.

They were concerned about the amount of clothing they had in their dresser drawer and closet.

More specifically, they wanted to know whether having too many clothes would affect their ability to get things done during the day.

Hopefully, this post will prompt you to think about the amount of clothing in your closet, and whether or not it is helping or hindering your daily routine.

Who knows, you might even be inspired to declutter and organize your closet!

Now, on to the post…

More clothing means more maintenance.

Having a large collection of clothing means you have to maintain it. In order to keep your clothing in decent shape, you’ll have to spend time washing, drying, folding, storing, treating stains, sewing buttons, fixing split seams, replacing zippers, and the like.

What’s more, if you put in the effort to keep your wardrobe looking top-notch, but don’t wear 3/4 of of the clothing in your closet…why, that’s definitely a waste of your valuable time and energy!

Who wants to be stuck at home maintaining clothing they don’t actually wear? You could be working on that beloved personal project, planning your vacation, or spending time with your friends instead.

More clothing means more decision-making.

How many choices do you make in a day? While you may not know exactly how many decisions you make, there’s a high probability that you make a decision about what you’re going to wear when you get dressed. If you have lots of clothing in your closet, you’ll spend a lot more time deciding what items you’ll wear. 

Look at it this way: if you spend 15 minutes each day trying to decide on your outfit, why, that’s nearly eight hours per month of decision-making time! That’s a lot of precious time you could be using to eat a hearty breakfast, pack your lunch, or get to work on time.

Oh, and even after you’ve carefully weighed the benefits of wearing a blue shirt over a white one, or a pair of brown slacks over black ones, you’ll most likely end up wearing one of your favorite shirts or work outfits. It’s said that people regularly wear only 20% of what they actually own.

More clothing means more physical effort.

Some people have large, custom-built walk-in clothing closets in their homes, and others do not. For those who fall in the latter category, a bit more physical effort may be necessary to make use of their existing space. They may need to pack up and store off-season clothing in dead storage, or place clothing items underneath beds or behind doors.

Having more clothing means more time spent moving or accessing clothing. This may mean traveling back and forth across your bedroom to find a pair of shoes and a bag, visiting various areas of your home, such as a guest bedroom, to find the overflow of your fall and spring clothing, or spending the entire afternoon rotating one’s bulky winter wardrobe.

So, if you don’t want to bother with any of this, a smaller collection of clothing is the way to go.

Closet Decluttering & Organization Guide

More clothing means more frustrations.

“Argh, this closet is bursting with clothing…one of these days I’m going to declutter and organize it!” If you have a large amount of clothing stuffed into a closet, you’ll spend more time worrying about it. Really!

An overpacked and overstuffed closet robs your mind of peace and calm. It literally gets on your nerves. Peering into a cluttered closet may make you feel overwhelmed, flustered, annoyed, or disappointed. That’s not a good way to feel day in and day out.

This is definitely a good argument to keep a manageable amount of clothing in your closet. With a streamlined wardrobe, you won’t ever have to fear or think about doing a major wardrobe decluttering or overhaul ever again.

More clothing means more of your resources.

The clothes in your closet didn’t just magically appear. You had to go out to a clothing store or order items online. You had to take the time to walk, drive, or take public transportation to the store and shop, or spend hours online browsing and filling your electronic shopping cart. Oh, you also had to fork over your hard earned cash for your purchases.

As obvious as this may seem, the act of purchasing clothing involves two of the most precious productivity commodities we regularly talk about: time and money. By searching for and purchasing clothing you do not really need, you are spending more of your valuable time and your money.

How would you feel if you traded that optional shopping trip to the mall for a day outdoors at the park with your loved ones? How would feel if you put the $300 dollars you would have spent on a new outfit that you don’t really need, and instead put it towards that dream vacation or retirement fund of yours? It’s definitely worth reevaluating your resources and how you want to spend them.

How about you? What do you think of your clothes closet? It is currently helping or hindering you from getting things done? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

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About the Author


Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based productivity consultant who helps entrepreneurs manage their time and energy so they can reduce stress, work less, and make more money in their businesses. She has been featured in Fast Company, NBC News, The Washington Post, Business Insider, NPR, Huff Post, Fox Business, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.


  1. Keith Collyer

    The first point is plainly wrong, the more clothes you have (and wear), the longer they will last before needing repair. The rest make sense, though

    • Rashelle

      Oops, guess I blew it on the wear/repair point! Thanks for that. Still, I think maintenance can be an issue; for example, spending time ironing shirts you never wear saps both time and energy.


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