That Time I {Kind of} KonMari’d My Workout Clothes

This is the story about how I decluttered a part of my life using a relaxed KonMari method and lived happily ever after. Okay…happily ever after is a bit of a stretch but I’m defintely happier and less stress 🙂

A couple of times a year I do a closet clean-out…usually with the change of seasons, winter into summer and summer into winter. I usually just get rid of anything that is damaged beyond repair or simply worn out. Sometimes there are some things that are still good but I just don’t like or want anymore-those items are either donated or sold. The last time I did a clean-out, I sold a bunch of tri kits I no longer wanted on eBay and earned enough to pay for Lake Placid 70.3 and another race later on this season. In the back of my mind I was thinking “wow, that’s a lot of stuff. I have a lot of stuff that I don’t even use” but that quickly turned into an afterthought and I went about my day.

Between getting huge discounts on items for being an ambassador or affiliated with a company to having good luck in finding sale items, I had accumulated so much shit over the years that I just didn’t want to get rid of. Also, **insert eye roll here** FOMO, huge amounts of FOMO in the past when I saw someone on Instagram rockin’ a pair of Rogas with an unexpected Flyte tank color. Once I learned to STOP comparing myself to others’ Insta-life and live my own life, I realized these things were just that. Things. Things that didn’t exactly bring me happiness but more stress….and guilt for having so much stuff.  The amount of stuff I have had was embarrassing.

It was in February, though, that I decided to make a change. Here I was, having a really crappy run…like the first 24 of the 25 minutes were terrible. So when that 25 minute felt good, I decided to do another five minutes. Within those five minutes I though to myself “I feel really good, I should just do my long run.”  That thought was quickly dismissed because I was wearing a pair of shorts that I couldn’t run longer distances in because, historically, they chafed after about 30-35 minutes of running. So I stopped running at the 30 minute mark and immediately thought “why do I have shorts I can’t do any distance in?” And I got a little pissed I was even asking myself this question.

So, I returned home from my run and got to work.

The Process:

After realizing the problem, which is technically the first step, I dumped everything out and sorted it all into smaller piles based on category: tanks, long sleeves, tights/capris, shorts, jerseys, cycling shorts/bibs, tri shorts and sports bras.

The initial pile…way, way too much. I mean, there’s something in there with a tag. A TAG!!!

Next, I tried on each piece. This was time consuming but necessary. I found some sports bras were beyond stretched out and some running shorts were not even comfortable enough sit in. Based on my findings, I separated things into a keep, donate, ThredUp, eBay or trash pile.

Next was the hard part. Sorting through the keep pile. I kind of KonMari’d this pile. I know I’m in the Oiselle minority here, but I really don’t see the need for 10+ Flyte tank tops or six pairs of Roga shorts when I usually run in tri shorts. Yes, they were various colors, but I found I really only wear a few of the tops regularly…and I only wore the Rogas for short runs and hikes. So I chose my favorite and put the rest in the eBay pile. The rest of the items were assessed like this: do I wear this regularly and do I actually like the item? If it didn’t fit into both categories, bye! It went into the appropriate “get rid of pile.”

After that, I packed up my ThredUp bag, the donation bag and put the eBay items into a bin to take pictures/list at a later date.

Now that I was left with items I loved and wore on a regular basis, it was time to put everything away. I did the KonMari method of folding to everything but my socks, sports bras, cycling jerseys and shorts. I’m convinced it’s impossible to KonMari fold cycling shorts and bibs. So my shorts just kind of got placed in the drawer with my tri shorts and tops, my bibs and cycling jerseys are hung in the closet. Everything else was folded and placed into drawers.

The result:
I downsized from two FULL 32″ wide x 20.5″ deep x 10.5″ high storage bed baskets + closet space (I’ve always hung my cycling jerseys) to two drawers measuring 26.5″ wide x 12″ deep x 8.5″ high with additional space in one of the drawers + the same closet space but with room for my winter coats.

The two storage bed baskets are now used for bed linens, towels and regular clothing (t-shirts, jeans and non-running shorts).


The feeling of getting rid of things I don’t need is so satisfying. I also found it simplifies training–having limited choices and being able to see everything I can choose from making getting ready for the workout(s) super easy. The less decision making I have to make the better, right?

So while I’m not doing a spending freeze or anything, I’m going to have a “one in, one out” policy when it comes to workout clothing. I really don’t want to have to do a giant purge like this again.

How do you keep your workout clothing under control? Do you have a “one in, one out” policy?

I’m sharing on the Fit & Fashionable Linkup today! Big thanks to the host, Nicole at Fitful Focus.

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