Declutter Your Home for Better Fitness Habits

Decluttering these three areas helps improve your exercise habits.

Declutter your home - no more unused stationary bike
Jonathan Storey / Getty Images

When you declutter your home, you free up time, space, and money you can use for fitness. Never thought about decluttering that way? Hear me out. If you tackle these three kinds of clutter, you'll breathe easier at home. But you can also remake your exercise habits at the same time.

Declutter Target #1: Fitness Equipment

What old fitness gear is gathering dust in your home? Maybe it's something as big as a treadmill, a weight bench, or a stationary bike.

Or maybe it's just small things, like VCR tapes (uh, do you still have a VCR?), a jump rope, or hand weights.

Even if they're stashed in a closet, these items are taking up both physical and mental space. Ditch them, and you ditch the guilt that goes along with not using them. You give yourself the space, and possibly even the money, to try something new. Maybe you'd be much happier spreading out a yoga mat where that treadmill used to be, or swapping the weight bench for an elliptical machine.

How to get rid of old fitness equipment: Donate to a thrift shop or shelter; sell at a yard sale or through a classified ad; swap with a friend or family member.

Declutter Target #2: Clothing

If you're keeping too-tight clothes because they might fit again someday, stop. For most people, this strategy isn't motivating. It just makes you feel bad about yourself. And guess what? Even if you do lose weight and drop a clothing size or two, your old clothes still might not fit, because your body's shape may change.

Or, you may find that you just don't care for those old clothes even if they do fit again.

And don't forget to tackle the workout clothes, too. Sometimes you don't know until you wear something a few times that it doesn't stand up to your usual workout. It's too tight or too loose, rides up or falls down, or the high-tech fabric is sagging and bagging—whatever the distraction, you don't need it when you're trying to exercise.

Cut your losses and toss it to make room for active wear that you feel good in.

How to get rid of clothing: Donate to a thrift shop or charity, or consign it if it's re-sellable.

Declutter Target #3: Kids' Sports Stuff

It's important for kids to try out lots of different sports so they can figure out what they like. The downside, of course, is that you can be left with piles of gear that's going unused. Instead of saving it for a mythical someday ("someday, a younger sibling might need it ..." "Someday, he might change his mind about soccer"), pass it on so someone else can use it. You may even be able to recoup some of the cost through resale. Just like with grown-up gear, clearing out these items means less stuff to clean and store so you'll have more time and space for your own fitness needs.

How to get rid of kids' sporting goods: Donate it to a sport-specific organization or league, to be used as loaner equipment; host or contribute to a sporting-goods swap; sell or consign to a dealer like Play It Again Sports, or post for sale via a classified ad.

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