Wednesday, May 15

How to Organize Your Running Gear

Ah, yes, organization... one of the few aspects of life that still makes my heart skip a beat despite all the daily doldrums and temporary crud I'm dealing with.

Back before I lost my job, Wendy at One Tough Mother Runner wrote a post about organizing her running gear. At that point in time, I had "gizmos and gadgets a plenty" and "whozits and whatzits galore." (Wendy loved my Little Mermaid reference, natch.) :)

Since I'm an organizer at heart, I thought I'd share my process here on my blog on the off chance that it might be helpful to one of you!

I used Wendy's post as a starting point with my own gear. Since I had started running, I had a small snack table next to the kitchen door that served as my running things station--it's where I kept my shoes, my inhalers, my earbuds, and my gym bag. But my clothing was stored separately in a single drawer in my dresser. As my collection grew, I had to shift things to other drawers and it became annoying and time consuming to find what I needed. Things needed to change!

Here's what I did.

This makes me happy. Neat & organized!
  1. Pick a location. I chose a closet in my spare bedroom as the new location for my running gear. I had been leaning towards making this spare room a "workout room" anyway since I have a 60 lb. punching bag hung in the corner. I decided that I wanted all of my gear, clothing, shoes, and fuel to be kept in the same spot. That way I could grab what I needed (or just get dressed right there in the spare room) and be on my way. I already had things in that closet: rubbermaid containers of seasonal clothing, sporting equipment (bike helmet, gorilla lock, tennis racket, rain boots, softball glove, ski helmet... I have a thing for helmets... I like my brain), and an organizer for my winter items like gloves, scarves, and hats. But these things don't have to relocate just for my running stuff. My running items actually make a welcome addition because it's technically sporting equipment and I have some seasonal items I'll want to swap out at some point.
  2. Decide on a structure. My closet doesn't have doors, and I already had one of those long hanging organizers for my gloves, hats, and scarves (it attaches to the pole in the closet with velcro). I liked the way it looked and worked. Because I wanted to be able to *see* all of my things at once--and not have to root through drawers or boxes to find what I want--I found this solution to be best for me. I went to a local discount store (Ollie's, but I'm not sure if that's a national chain or not) and found precisely what I wanted. It was billed as a "sweater" organizer, but this kind had extra mesh pockets on the sides. Perfect! For people who want a more closed, "put away" look, this kind of organizer is not for you. You might like a tower of drawers or one of those cube structures with the little boxes you can use for storage. Then again, if you have closet doors, the sweater organizer might still be an option for you!
    Mesh pockets rock.
  3. Organize! Put things where they make the most sense. I took a top-down approach. I put my shirts on the top, my shorts and pants in the middle, my socks and shoes on the bottom. The smaller slots near the bottom also fit random items like hats, water bottles, my SPI belt, and shoe pouch. The side pockets are excellent for holding my gloves, hats, facemask, reflectors, Road ID, heartrate monitor, and bag tags. I use the other side for fuel options--chews, gels, Nuun, and Picky Bars. (Note: I keep wellness items like wrap bandages and pain creams in the bathroom cupboard because, for me, that's where they're most likely to be used. I keep my asthma inhalers in my gym bag and in my purse so I always have them with me. Also, I keep my iPod near my computer because that's where I sync it and charge it.)
  4. Keep it organized. Organization is a commitment. It means putting things back where they belong every single time. When I do laundry, I fold things so they fit into the organizer I bought. I always return my shoes to their slots and refill my fuel pouches so I can grab and go. If you take a few small steps to restock your gear and keep the area neat, you should feel less anxious and more ready to conquer whatever run you're doing.
    Again: je t'aime, mesh pockets.
Pre-run: I grab the clothes I want to wear, my socks and shoes, and any accessories I'll need. If the run is the next morning, I set these things out on my small table so I can dress and be on my way.

Pre-race: The night before, I lay out what I'll wear, what fuel I'll use, and what water bottle I'll take. I put my clothes on the small table and my food and water bottle choices on the kitchen table next to my keys and phone so I have everything I need in the morning. My focus then will be eating breakfast and leaving for a wonderful racing experience!

If you have any questions about organizing your gear, or want any help, let me know! I love to organize and I'm happy to advise if I can. 

I'd also love to hear about your solutions for your gear! Tell me about what you're doing or what you've done to deal with the swell of stuff. :)

1 comment:

  1. So inspired by your post. I recently bought myself a running gear from the New Balance India website


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