The hardest part of doing exercise for many of us is getting our gear on and getting out of the door. We’ve got activewear to help us feel good, but often we find we’ve got a drawer full of leggings, tank tops and sports bras and end up wearing the same two or three items all the time. We lose the drive to sort through our clothes and just reach for what’s on the top of the pile.

Here are some of the reasons why this happens:

  • We haven’t decluttered our drawers. Decluttering means choosing the items welike wearing and letting go of the ones we don’t.
  • We’re storing our items on top of each other in the drawer, so we can’t see what we own and we forget what’s hiding away at the bottom.
  • We’ve got items of activewear scattered in all different places around the house and have lost track of where they all are.

As a Professional Organiser, I see this all the time, we’re busy people with busy lives, but we can fix it and get back to our feel-good, exercising best with minimal effort. Here are 4 simple tricks that will help you to make the best use of your wardrobe space and ensure you wear all of your Bandit Bee favourites.

1) Declutter first

First it’s important to ‘take an audit’ of what you own. There is no point in storing items that you’re never going to wear – it’s a waste of valuable space and the clutter will end up getting you down.

Gather together every item of activewear (from every location in your house!) and lay them all out in front of you on the bed or another suitable flat surface. It also helps to sort your items into categories (leggings, tank tops, sports bras etc).

Pick up each item one by one and ask yourself if it ‘sparks joy’. Basically.. do you love it?

Look forward to wearing it? Feel good in it? If the answer is yes then keep it and if the answer is no then place it in a pile to either sell, donate, or throw away (if it’s unsalvageable).

2) Folding

The rule of KonMari folding is ‘fold into thirds’ (see diagrams and video link below). You
want to end up with a rectangle shape that will stand up on its own as you will be storing
everything vertically in your drawer side by side.

Folding example for Tank Top:

  • Lay the tank top out flat and smooth out any wrinkles with your palms.
  • Fold one long side of the tank top just over the centre line and then fold the other side over the top of it so you’ve folded it in thirds lengthways and made a long rectangle.
  • Fold the tank top almost in half, bringing the top edge (where the straps are) down to the bottom edge, but leaving a small gap at the bottom edge.
  • Starting with the folded edge of the tank top, fold that a third of the way up, and then fold it over once more so that you’ve created a small rectangle.
  • The tank top rectangle should now stand upright (with the folded edge facing upwards).

Storing your clothes vertically, side by side rather than piling items horizontally on top of each other means that you can see every item you own at a glance, so you can easily get items in and out of the drawer without having to rummage through a pile.

3) Storing

Use boxes within your drawers to store your items. This is particularly useful with activewear as the material is often lightweight (especially tank tops and shorts) and can come unfolded easily. You can use shoe boxes (bonus points for recycling!) or places like Ikea do some great ranges (their SKUBB and STUK ranges are excellent).

Here’s a tip for using storage boxes – try to avoid boxes with a smooth/shiny surface as yourfolded clothes will slip around inside them. Remove any lids from your boxes so it is easy to see what is inside.

Also, try to fill your boxes and drawers to around 80% capacity. Your clothes need room to breathe and the more items that are stuffed in, the more difficult it is to see everything. For really small items such as sports socks, I use smaller boxes to keep everything in place.

The iPhone box for example is great for this purpose – it’s strong and sturdy, and just the
right size for small items such as trainer socks.

Store like with like – If all your activewear is in the same drawer, you’ll know exactly where to find it and where to put it away. If this isn’t possible then try to keep at least the same categories of your activewear together in the same box (e.g. tank tops with tank tops, leggings with leggings etc)

4) Operate a one-in-one out policy.

Adopting a change in habit like this will ensure your drawers stay clutter free. Think of your
boxes and drawers as finite spaces – if you’re buying in something new and the space you
have is filling up fast, then it’s time to let an older item go.

All of the above points can be used to declutter and tidy your entire wardrobe, not just
active wear – why not give it a go?

About the Author:

Esme is a certified KonMari Consultant, Professional in-home organiser and founder of Tidy Coaching.

Esme trained with Marie Kondo in Los Angeles in 2019 and is one of only 26 Consultants in the UK who are certified to teach Marie’s method.

Working with clients in their homes across London, Esme offers a personalised service to declutter and organise using the KonMari Method™.

As well as in-home sessions, Esme also works on-line with clients world-wide, from the UAE to Australia, offering virtual organising coaching sessions.

Esme is passionate about helping people achieve a calm, organised living environment that supports their daily life and she enjoys seeing the positive effects that decluttering can have on mental and physical well-being.

Esme is also a member of APDO, the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers.