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Tell Me Tuesday: Organizing Your Workout Drawer

12th March 2012, By: dimity, Tags:

Before: what my drawer o' spandex usually looks like.

 I do not pretend to be a neat person, at least when it comes to my clothing. Keeping my drawers neat is about 287th on my to-do list, which means it never gets done. Except maybe twice a year, usually when everything else feels out-of-control, and I crave some semblance of order. Then I’ll  fold.

Because I fold so infrequently, I try to edit my clothes as I go along. I rarely heed the if-you-haven’t-worn-it-in-a-year-toss-it rule with my “regular” clothes (read: tees and jeans). Fortunately, I don’t have to apply that rule to my workout garb since I do wear it all at least once a year. But that doesn’t mean some of it shouldn’t go.

So I dumped out the drawer on my bed and started folding. A few fave things definitely couldn’t go.

I got this at the 2007 Nike Women's Marathon. Despite red being my least favorite color, I {{will always heart}} this shirt. I wear it to the gym on days I need to convince myself I am badass.

Two prereqs for tanks for me: must be long enough to cover my belly and must have a pocket in the back. This does both--and has been with me for four years.

And these shorts are also my besties. Bought these when I committed to 2007 marathon. (Note red trim: maybe I do subconsciously like red more than I pretend to.) And I love that these have a back pocket and are ultra lightweight.

But a few things could bite the dust.

This bra actually did well in Runner's World testing last year--it's great for people with larger or smaller than normal rib cages--but mine is a fairly standard size. So putting this on isn't worth the sweat it takes.

These too-small socks have been flipping my toe the bird for 3 years. I kid you not.

I also tossed one pair of capris and one skirt; let’s just say the linings had seen much, much better days and leave it at that. No visual necessary.

So how did I organize? I won’t go all Real Simple on you, but I did do a few things:
1. I put tops that I only wear to yoga or Pilates with the pants I wear only to those things. They’re now in my closet. (Nutty, right?)
2. I took a cue from my very neat husband, and rolled all my bike shorts and capris like this:

Capris and bike shorts, all (relatively) compact. Don't look too close, or you'll spot dog hairs.

3. I decided that I couldn’t have all my bottoms in one drawer, even though I like everything in one drawer so when I go to lay out my clothes the night before a workout, my effort is minimal. So I put my bike shorts in their own drawer, a very stubborn one that requires both a delicate touch and patience to open. We’ll see how long that lasts.
4. The only true wild card? This lovely constellation of bra pads. I saved them, but they’re stacked up in my undies drawer right now. I’m still on the fence if they’re worth the effort.

I love that these pads hide the headlights, but I hate how they fall out in the wash. And how they require time and–again–a delicate touch to replace.

So the title of this post was a little misleading. I didn’t really tell how what to do with your clothes; I only tossed a few holey socks, a too-much-work bra, and some bottoms that no amount of detergent could save. (I’d advise you to do the same.) But I bet you innovative mother runners have some much better advice: How do you organize your running clothes?

Because at the end of all my work, my drawer looked like this.Fine, but not super crazy neat--and it'll be a disaster again by Friday. Promise.

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56 Responses to Tell Me Tuesday: Organizing Your Workout Drawer

  1. Nicole says:

    I love your honesty! I just had a hormone-fueled breakdown over my workout dresser drawer, which looks like your before picture except it was so jumbled from me searching for things, that I couldn’t shut it without refolding everything, and so it’s just been sitting open for…weeks now? Anyway, I was just glad to see I’m not the only person struggling with this problem!

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  3. I keep all of my workout gear in a drawer as well! It does become such a mess. I even keep my socks, handkerchiefs, and sports bras in the same drawer and my shirts and shorts – right now. BUT I would love to someday be more organized and have everything separated! Who knows when that will happen – probably when my now 2.5 yr old graduates from college I’ll have the time to really get that all sorted out! ;o)

  4. Randi says:

    Go Big Red! :) we love red in this house but i don’t really have a red running attire.

  5. Chris says:

    So many great comments! I love reading these!
    I usually wash my running clothes once a week-and then I fold them and put tops, bottoms, and bras in a plastic storage tub that slides under our bed. Seasonal items stay on top since they get taken out and put back in.
    Socks (for some reason that I am questioning now after reading this) go in my sock/underwear drawer, which is divided by two plastic containers-one for socks and one for undies. In the front hall closet I have a shallow and pretty rigid cloth bag that contains reflective gear, yaktrax, blinking light for the dog’s collar when we run at night, hats, etc.

    As far as the pads go, when they fall out it seems like I lose one, like socks. I am guessing there is a place where pads and socks go together. I hope they are all happy, because my little girls need all the enhancement they can get!

  6. Kel says:

    I hang up my shirts – but the rest are in drawers like you.
    With the older shirts — I save them and make a quilt out of them! So far we have a whole quilt dedicated to bike rides we have done. We are still saving shirts to make a quilt from our running events.

  7. Laura says:

    I have two plastic bins (not drawers but bins) on two shelves next to my bed. I can reach them from the bed actually. Strategic placement for cold mornings. I have socks and sports bras in the top one and everything else in the bottom in one big pile. If what I want isn’t there it is in the wash.

  8. Kasey Smith says:

    I’ve orgazined my running things in my drawer a few times. But where is my gear most of the time? Hanging from shower rods, door knobs, shelves, etc drying from the wash. And then it doesn’t get put away. I just wear it again, wash it again, and the cycle repeats. When I was off running for a few weeks I actually put everything away where it goes. It made me so sad to not see everything hanging.

  9. Jules says:

    I don’t. I usually fish them out of the dryer, (or if I’m lucky, the laundry room counter), right before my run.

  10. courtney says:

    I am with @Lenora – I’ll come over and organize! I have three drawers: one for socks, bras, extra hats and gloves; one for shirts organized by long sleeve, short sleeve and short sleeve with words on it; one for bottoms organized by length. Skirts, shorts and tanks are currently in my “summer clothes” bin. Jackets, hoodies, currently worn hats, headhones, headbands, etc., are on those reusable hooks on the wall in closet. Other gear such as glide, headlamps, flashlights, road id, phubby, etc are in a recently purchased plastic bin with dividers (I heart the Container Store) on top of the dresser. Husband has special plastic drawers/bins also organized by shorts, pants, hats/gloves/socks, swimming, biking, etc. So now even my son has to have his sports stuff done that way – football in one drawer, baseball in one, running in another. Happy spring cleaning!

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