If hoarding is the act of stockpiling things with little function or value, then unhoarding is its opposite: getting rid of things with little function or value. Sounds simple enough, right? This three-part blog series is full of tasks and strategies to help you get your fitness collection under control so it can best serve you and your needs.
If you're terrified that I'm going to tell you to get rid of all but one pair of shoes and one moisture-wicking shirt, don't panic! "Unhoarding" isn't code for “have less stuff.” It's merely a way to simplify and organize your possessions in order to fully, truly enjoy them. In fact, if your collection is already a manageable size and you use everything in it regularly, you may just want to skip ahead to Phase Two. My guess is you probably have a few items that aren't living up to their full potential, but you may not need a full decluttering. However, if you're barely able to close your drawers or you haven't seen your closet floor in a few months, let's start with a thorough declutter sesh.
First things first, take some time to contemplate how you got to where you are now. Everyone amasses stuff for different reasons. You may discover that you enjoy the thrill of shopping more than the gear itself. Or perhaps you feel comforted knowing that you have a lot of options in case the unexpected pops up. Maybe you just like stuff—who knows? Until you figure out the root cause of WHY you hoard gear, you’re likely to find yourself in a similar spot later on.
Next think about your desired outcome after unhoarding. Do you want to make room for things that will better help you reach your fitness goals? Do you want your gently used items to get a second life with someone who needs them? Are you tired of being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff you have to wade through every time you prepare for a workout? Whatever flavor of organizational zen you’d like to savor at the end of this process, having a reason that’s important to you will help you stay motivated throughout the process.
Now that you're motivated and inspired from your mental prep session, you're ready to get rid of some stuff! The most effective way to get through a big purge is to do it in batches by item type. We'll focus on four main groups: shoes, apparel, accessories, and miscellaneous. If you plan on doing all your decluttering in one session, start with whichever category you have the most of so you’ll get the most massive task finished first. For your chosen category, drag every single item you own from that category (yep, go grab what’s in your dresser, closet, gym bag, laundry basket, car… all of it!) to one spot and pile it up. Marvel in silent disbelief at how large your collection is. Maybe cry a little; I won’t judge.