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How To Organize a Home Exercise Area

A guest blogger and fitness coach talks about organizing a home gym.

I've always looked at the month of September as a month of new beginnings similar to the month of January. Kids are returning to school, folks are getting back in the groove at work and people are coming out of vacation mode.

It's a great time to re-visit the goals you set for yourself back at the start of the year and to evaluate where you may need to get back on track. For many health and fitness goals loom large and so I thought this would be the perfect time of year to jumpstart a focus on exercise!

This week I invited Katie McLarney, a Beachbody health and fitness coach, to provide some tips on how to keep an exercise area organized. 

Hi, everyone! My name is Katie McLarney and I’m delighted that Sarah invited me to write a guest blog post about keeping your exercise space organized. I started my own health and fitness journey two years ago after having my daughter and struggling with my own weight loss. Since then, I have been doing consistent at-home workouts 5-7 days a week. I started by working out in my small living room and I would store my hand weights under the couch side tables, but as my toddler’s toy collection and my collection of equipment started to grow, I transitioned to our basement.

Here are some tips that I’ve learned over time to help keep your exercise area organized, especially if you're short on space.

1. Have a clean and uncluttered floor space

First and foremost, find an area of the house where you can have some room to move around. Even if it’s just a 4'x4' square, you can usually get a lot of exercise in just by being able to take two steps in any direction. Design the space to make sure that nothing is in your way to be stepped on or tripped over.

2. Invest in a weight rack

I used to have all my weights laid out on the floor and getting a 3-level weight rack has made such a difference. It opened up the space which provided me greater range of movement. Also, having a rack is a much safer way to store weights and keeps them better organized by size.

3. Maximize wall space

I hang up ladders, jump ropes, resistance bands, basically anything that I can drape over a nail in the wall I will hang. It helps create more space and also makes my area feel more like a personal gym. When you’re short on floor space, going vertical is a great storage option.

4. Decorate with inspiration

Aside from my hanging wall equipment, I also hang up race bibs, my vision board, program calendars, before and after pictures of myself, and inspirational quotes to motivate me during workouts. My favorite quote: “I CAN and I WILL” is proudly displayed on my wall.

5. Hang a calendar

I am a very visual person and I need motivation and reinforcement each day I complete a workout. I keep a calendar in my workout space to document the exercise I do each day as well as when I start and finish entire training programs. The calendar I currently have was designed by a friend with pictures of my own fitness journey along with motivational quotes. It makes me smile and pushes me harder each time I look at it!

6. Store your workout DVDs in an easily accessible location

After two years of doing at home workouts, I have accumulated quite a collection of DVD programs. I love each one for different reasons and I proudly display them over my TV on a small book shelf. This allows me to pick and choose workouts easily at times I am not following a specific program or sequence of workouts.

7. Designate a play zone for the kids

For anyone with children, the best thing I did with my basement was to divide it in half. Half is mine for exercise and the other half is for my toddler to play. She has a train table and a box fort that she loves and only plays with during exercise times. She keeps very busy during my workouts and I get to burn calories while keeping an eye on her.

8. Set physical boundaries for your workout zone

To go along with tip #7, I use a line of masking tape to delineate my space from my daughter’s.  This is particularly helpful when I’m working with my weights or resistance bands so she knows to keep her distance for safety reasons. Having a physical boundary is a great visual cue for other housemates too. It makes it so family members can be more aware of not storing items in the area or using the space for their interests and hobbies. 

Katie McLarney, LCSW, is a health and fitness coach, or as she likes to say "accountability expert," through the Beachbody company. The mission of Beachbody is to: Help people achieve their goals and live healthy and fulfilling lives. Katie enjoys working with busy moms and anyone looking to make some healthy lifestyle changes but is at a loss for how to do it.

You can connect with Katie on Facebook or through email.

A big thank you to Katie for her contributions this week! I'm a member of her FB support and accountability group and I love it! Katie is so motivating and inspirational and truly loves what she does.

Do you have an organized workout space in your home? We'd love to hear one of your tips!

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