Today's mission is to declutter fitness equipment and sports gear from your home that you, and other family members, no longer want or use.
I've designed this mission to be done during the week we're focused on the Garage Organization Challenge here on the site, which is one of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenges.
That's because many people keep both fitness and exercise equipment, as well as sports gear and equipment for themselves and their kids, in the garage. However, you tackle these items today wherever they are in your home.
What Types Of Equipment Should You Focus On Today?
Everyone has a different set of equipment in their home, depending on their preferences and what they enjoy doing, so that's why I've combined such a wide range of items into this one mission.
For sports equipment I am envisioning any type of gear or equipment necessary to play various sports, either on a team or out in the yard with friends, such as baseball, hockey, soccer, tennis (which is what my family has a LOT of), basketball, volleyball, golf, and football just to name a few.
Then, there are additional sports or physical activities like rollerblading, and ski equipment to consider, as well as kids balls and other outdoor play equipment.
Then, for exercise and fitness equipment the range can be just as large, and includes large pieces of equipment such as treadmills and ellipticals, as well as home gyms, exercise balls, weights and more.
You know what you've got in your home, so these listed items are really here to spark your thought process so you know what to evaluate in your own home.
In addition, depending on how much you've got, plus how difficult it will be to get rid of, this may be a more than 15 minute project. In that case, tackle it 15 minutes at a time, including the parts of the mission discussed below about figuring out what to do with the items you plan to remove from your home.
Evaluate Each Piece Of Equipment & Gear And Consider Whether You Use It
Just like we did yesterday, when decluttering bicycles and similar equipment, you should look at all of these pieces of equipment and gear you currently own and ask yourself, for each one, do you (or a family or household member) use this enough to keep it?
Obviously, get rid of anything that is broken beyond repair (or that you do not even care enough about to repair), but after that the real focus should be on whether you use each item enough to justify the space it takes up.
This is true for large items, like treadmills and other gym equipment, and also for smaller items that, in bulk, take up a lot of space.
For us, in my house, the example would be tennis equipment. We have a LOT of it, because all three of my kids play this sport. We've got racquets (multiple ones per person), tape, grips, extra strings, so many tennis balls you'd be amazed, a ball hopper, and more. Each of these items, individually doesn't take up much space, but once all of it is combined it takes up quite a bit of room in our home.
However, I would never imagine decluttering this tennis equipment, except the tennis balls that have lost their bounce, because my kids use the equipment almost daily from spring all the way through fall, plus they even play indoors several times a week in the winter, so really, this equipment is used year round.
On the other hand, for us, I know there are some pieces of sports equipment that we don't use anymore, at least not as much. There was that time that my son wanted to play soccer. We still have one soccer ball, since he and his friends in the neighborhood still like to kick it around in the backyard enough to justify keeping it, but we've long since gotten rid of the, at this point, too small cleats and shin guards, plus the too big to justify keeping around soccer goal net for him to practice. He didn't use these items enough now that he's decided to focus on tennis to justify the space they took up.
Evaluating each piece of sports equipment and fitness equipment in your home should follow this same thought process evaluation that I walked you through above. If you don't use it enough you should get rid of it, and the more space it takes up the more critical you should be about whether it actually should stay or go.
If you haven't, in the past year or so, used the equipment enough to justify keeping it, but you would like to begin using it again, that is, with certain caveats in place that I'll explain below, a perfectly legitimate choice.
For some, as you do this mission you may realize that large piece of home gym equipment you purchased, like a treadmill or similar item, has just been taking up space for a while, but you don't want to get rid of it. Instead, you want to get back into the habit and routine of using the equipment. Good for you! I encourage that!
Below are my thoughts on what you need to do to make sure this isn't just an excuse to not get rid of some huge clutter in your home though.
Get Any Sports & Exercise Equipment You Decide To Keep Ready For Use
Once you've decided what equipment should stay and what should go, it's time today to also get this gear ready for use that you're keeping.
This is especially true of anything you had not been using previously, but have decided that you will try to begin using again instead of getting rid of.
That's exactly what a reader, Dora, did when she sent in the before and after photos above, showing her results when she decluttered her treadmill.
If you haven't used a piece of exercise equipment long enough for it to accumulate all that stuff on top of it, with time, I'd normally say it was time to tell the treadmill bye bye. But Dora explained that she had a goal of using it again, so she instead cleared it off.
That's exactly the kind of step I want you to take today if you've decided to use something again. Also, make sure everything is in good working condition, make any service appointments necessary (or do it yourself) if it's not currently working properly, and then make some plans, written in your calendar, of when you'll use some of this equipment.
Those additional steps will help you ensure, for yourself, that you're serious about again starting the process of using these items, and not just postponing the decision to get rid of something because it's clutter, over guilt of either wasting money, or not meeting a goal, such as a fitness goal for example, that the equipment represents.
What To Do With Fitness & Sports Equipment You Decide To Get Rid Of
Finally, once you've decided what equipment to keep and what to get rid of, you've got to take the final step to get the stuff you're not keeping out of your home.
This may actually take a bit of work and effort, especially for some of the larger items because of the need to figure out what you're going to do with them, and then to transport them or arrange for someone to pick them up.
If something is broken beyond repair it needs to be taken to the dump, or potentially recycled, which is especially possible if the item contains scrap metal.
However, in most cases items, even if they need a tune up, are still salvageable. If that's the case the decision you need to make is whether to sell or donate these items.
Ideas Of Places To Sell Used Fitness Equipment & Sports Gear
It is much more difficult to sell non-working or outdated equipment, so keep that in mind when choosing whether to sell or donate items. However, I understand that this gear often cost you a fair amount of money, so selling can make you feel better about getting rid of it than just giving it away.
As always you need to weigh the cost benefit analysis about selling things, because it often takes a lot more effort to sell items than just donate them.
You need to consider how much you'll get for the equipment, and how much effort it will take, when deciding if it is worth your while to sell it.
It is much easier to sell these types of items locally, especially the big stuff like home gym and exercise equipment, because of the difficulties of transporting these items.
For sports equipment, especially, you can sell to specialty stores in your area, such as Play It Again Sports, or Sports Replay, which are chain stores specializing in buying and reselling these types of items.
In addition, you can try to sell these items in a garage or yard sale, on Craigslist, Facebook buy and sell groups, and if you don't mind dealing with shipping, places like eBay or Amazon.
Ideas Of Places To Donate Exercise Equipment & Sports Equipment
Sometimes you don't have the desire to sell items because it will take too much time, or it is a bigger benefit to you to just get these items out of your home quickly instead of waiting, trying to sell them for a bit of extra cash. You might also want to bless others who would appreciate the item more than you do.
If that's the case many of these pieces of equipment can be donated to general thrift stores, like Salvation Army and Goodwill. However, I understand many people like to give this equipment to someone who both really needs it and will appreciate it, specifically for what it is.
Therefore, I suggest doing a bit of research in your area to figure out who could use these items. Possible places to inquire include school sports programs, churches, and after school programs for kids.
In addition, you may also get the word out to friends and family, some of whom might be more than happy to take what you consider clutter, and they consider a treasure, off your hand.
This can be especially true with families with younger children that would appreciate not having to shell out so much money for sports equipment and gear.
I'd love for you to give me more ideas and suggestions for places to both sell and donate these types of items below, in the comments.
Are You Ready To Declutter Your Home?
I hope seeing this mission has inspired you to declutter fitness and sports equipment from your home.
When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!