Congratulations! You’ve successfully decluttered and reorganized your fitness gear; what’s next? To complete the unhoarding process, you need to put some strategies in place to prevent your old habits from making a comeback. We touched on some of the reasons why people stockpile things in the first Unhoarding with Holabird post, but the main takeaway bears repeating: You must address the root of WHY you collect things you don't use in order to fully break the habit.
I can’t therapize you or do this step for you, but you’re a smart cookie and I'm sure you’ll figure out what caused you to shop until you dropped. And once you get it all sorted out, it's a great idea to establish a few rules to keep you on track in the future. Remember: It's not that you "can't" or "shouldn't" buy things. Rather, the things you buy should be items that will actively help you reach your fitness goals—not just take up space or provide a temporary hit of dopamine when you swipe your credit card.
Rule One: It’s Never Done
Like any other worthwhile endeavor, keeping close tabs on your stuff is a lifelong pursuit. Moving forward as the neat, organized person you have become means you’ll be folding and “filing” your clothes, putting away your shoes, and keeping everything stored in its proper location from now until forever. But it also means you won't have to frantically throw everything out of a drawer to find the one thing you're looking for, leaving a mess that needs to be dealt with later. And you don't have to do it in silence! Put on your favorite TV show or tune into your favorite playlist or podcast. Folding laundry can be downright meditative if you adjust your mindset.
Rule Two: Check Yourself
Part of keeping up with your new tidy lifestyle is checking in with yourself regularly. Not just how you feel but how well your "stuff management" is going. As time passes, you may need to tweak how you organize things, where you store them, or even if you need certain things at all. Go with the flow and let yourself restructure things to better suit you. There are tons of books and expert advice out there, but the truth is: The best organizational system is the one you will stick to.
Rule Three: Shop Strategically
As I said earlier, I'm not telling you to buy less stuff. My job is to sell you things, so that would be a decidedly unsavvy business move on my part. I want you to really enjoy each thing you buy. Get excited about using it during your next workout. Talk it up to your friends because it's so awesome. Maybe even dream about it.
It's true that being a bit pickier about the items you buy in the future may result in fewer total purchases. But with the money you'll save not buying lots of smaller things on a whim, you can treat yourself to life-changing items like these glorious waterproof Jaybird RUN True Wireless Headphones that offer up to four hours of playtime and are much more comfortable than those hard plastic ones that shall not be named...
A simple way to keep your collection under control over the long run is to follow the rule that for every new item you buy, you must let go of something you already own. This is a great way to manage your inventory and keep things from feeling stale.
Another great idea is to determine how many of an item you realistically need and hold yourself to it. This way, when you feel the itch to buy another pair of running shoes, you’ll be forced to gauge just how badly you really want them. Do you have a pair you’re willing to retire in order to give the new shoes a home? If you still love all your running shoes too much to part with any of them, congratulations! You just saved some money for those fancy earbuds.
In the end, unhoarding is about having the right amount of the right stuff to keep you healthy, happy, and unburdened. By letting go of things that don’t serve you properly, you’re able to make room for things that truly fuel your fitness fire.