Welcome to phase two of Unhoarding with Holabird! Hopefully you’re feeling happier and more energized now that you’ve lightened your fitness-gear load. If you need to take a moment of silence to honor the memory of your stuff, I totally get it.
Oftentimes people end up purchasing things they already have because those items hide in the bottom of drawers and in the backs of closets. Or folks get in a rut of wearing the same two or three things because those clothes are always on the top of the pile. This post focuses on how to organize and store your gear in a way that makes it easy to see and access everything you have. This not only helps you rotate through your entire collection so everything gets used, it’s a great visual reminder of all the awesome stuff you have.
If you haven’t yet been introduced to the Queen of Tidying, Marie Kondo, I highly recommend checking out her TV show, "Tidying Up." I love her method of “filing” clothes because it’s simple and easy to maintain. It may seem a bit ridiculous at first, especially when confronted with meticulously folding ALL your workout clothes at once, but I got hooked on this method as soon as I realized I’d never have to dig to the bottom of another drawer looking for a specific item again. Ever. I can literally see everything I own in each drawer as soon as I open it. It's actual magic and sometimes I open a drawer just to bask in how aesthetically pleasing it is.
There are hours of footage on YouTube detailing how to fold your clothing just right for filing, but the main point is to get your article of clothing into a rectangle and fold until it’s able to stand on its own. We've put together some visual aids for your most common items of fitness apparel below. Enjoy!
BEFORE & AFTER
Note: If you are folding larger sizes, you may need to fold items in quarters once you've done your initial lengthwise fold into thirds, otherwise your clothing may not be able to stand upright in your drawer.
Ideally your shoe collection is now modest enough that it can be fully contained by your shoe rack (or cubbies or wherever your shoes live in your closet). We like to tuck the laces into each shoe before putting them away because it looks neater and it keeps them out of the way when you’re grabbing a pair of shoes.
Organize your shoes by least- to most-frequently worn so your favorites are always in the handiest location. If you have shoe overflow, creating a seasonal rotation is a big help. You can store out-of-season shoes in clear totes for easy identification, or you can reuse your shoe boxes and label them.
If you have room in your workout clothes drawer, store your fabric accessories like hats, gloves, headbands, scarves, etc. next to your clothes using the same filing method. Many smaller accessories don’t fold as neatly as clothing, so don’t panic if it looks a bit disheveled. The important thing is that each item has its own spot and that everything in the drawer is visible and accessible.
“Nest” your unused gym bags by placing smaller bags into larger ones until you ideally are left with just the largest bag. A gym bag is also a great place to store any caps or visors you may have, but those can also be neatly arranged on a shelf or in a drawer.
Fitness trackers, sport watches, earbuds, speakers, and other electronics should be stored with their accessories so you don’t have to rummage through the dreaded box of miscellaneous cords every time a device needs to be charged. You can store an item and all its accompaniments in bags or small boxes and store those in a larger container or arrange them on a shelf or in a drawer—wherever makes the most sense based on how often you use them.
Keep all your shoe-maintenance gear in one container for easy access. Spare laces and insoles are an obvious addition to this bin, but shoe glue, cleaners, waterproofers, etc. are often scattered across various locations with other household products. Having everything in one spot makes it that much easier to take care of your shoes.
When selecting where/how to place any remaining stuff, first consider how often each item will be used and let that help you decide where it should live. Following that, the goal is to keep it neat and visible.
While they’re not physical items, memberships, apps, and subscriptions are another area where you may benefit from a little streamlining. Whether it’s a specialty gym you rarely attend, a nutrition app you haven’t opened in a while, or a fitness newsletter that just clogs up your inbox—there are many little ways you can simplify. These items should not be another chore on your list, so get rid of anything that isn’t directly helping you reach your fitness goals.
So far, so good, and now that you've reorganized your stuff it's time for Phase Three: Staying Tidy!