If you are like us, you are looking for ways to keep that motivation alive. One of the simplest ways we have found to keep those exercise habits going, is to create an exercise area that is thoughtfully planned out, well organized and conveniently placed so you can finally have a space that will help you keep your exercise habits all year long!
STEP 1 – Redefine the “Home Gym”
When I used to think of a “home gym” I would picture a pristine gym setup complete with a weight rack, lots of home gym equipment, and a large space dedicated solely to working out. Obviously I knew that wasn’t in the cards for my home gym, BUT I also knew I could still create a great space… I just needed to let go of the fact that it was not going to be a state-of-the-art gym… and thats ok!
Don’t let your definition of a “home gym” get the best of you. Remember, the space doesn’t need to be fancy – keep it simple and create a space that gets YOU excited to hang out in!
STEP 2 – Determine You Home Gym Needs
Even if you only have a few items now, there may be equipment that you want to have in the future. In an effort to be efficient (you know us 🙃) we recommend taking a few minutes to write down your fitness goals. By doing this you will have a better understanding of:
- what equipment you may need to find or buy
- how much space you will need
- the best way to organize your space
Planning for the future will allow you to, not only maximize your space, but also avoid you having to move items later. You can use our handy checklist below to help you think through your different exercise equipment needs… remember your home gym doesn’t have to break the bank! Start small and keep in mind – many exercises can be done with just your body weight. Also be mindful of the space you have when choosing your gym equipment and be sure to measure carefully to ensure the equipment will be able to fit properly in your space.
STEP 3 – Locate The Best Spot!
There are a couple of things you need to consider when scoping out a space to exercise. The space needs to be:
- Suitable for your preferred style of exercise
- i.e. if you need a place to do barbell squats and olympic lifts, well, then you’re probably not going to set up shop in your living room… but if you love following along to exercise videos and only need minimal gym equipment, then your living room may be the perfect spot!
- As out of the way as possible, BUT in a location that will be used
- The goal is to find a place where you look forward to being, and a place that makes it easy and convenient for you to continue your exercise habit.
Here are a few spaces to consider:
- Spare Bedroom
- Living Room
- Basement (finished or unfinished)
- Master Bedroom** I would use this option as a last resort! This space should be used for rest and relaxation… and lets be honest, most gym equipment in the bedroom tends to become an armchair for people to put their halfway clean, halfway dirty clothes (we all have that spot…)
STEP 4 – Put It All Together & Make It Fun!
- Clear Out The Space – prior to 2020 it was so easy to close the door on clutter and ignore disorganized spaces, but now you are stuck at home and facing it every single day. Do yourself a favor and start your home workout journey on the right foot by tackling the clutter. Clear it all out, make those tough decisions about what goes and what stays, and create a blank canvas ready to be organized into a wonderful home gym!
- Gather All Of Your Equipment – just like packing the trunk of a car, it is hard to make sure it will all fit if you don’t have all of the items in front of you. Be sure to gather all of the items you plan to use OR create an all-encompassing list of items you have & plan to purchase in the future so you can easily map out an organizational action plan.
- Decide How To Store/Organize Your Items – There are so many household items that can be reused to help store & contain your exercise equipment. Remember, If your exercise space is a dual-purpose space (i.e. living room, spare bedroom, or at-home office) make sure you can store your essential equipment in a way that allows the space to look and feel as it did before you exercised. You can do this by maximizing the items you already have, such as hollow ottomans, cabinets, closets, or under-the-bed space.
Here are some other suggestions for other items to help you get organized & create a fun home gym space:
- Shelving Units/Book Shelves – great storage for dumbbells, kettle bells, etc.
- Peg Board & S Hooks – Awesome for hanging exercise bands & jump ropes – can even add small hanging baskets to organize other small exercise equipment.
- Bungee Cords – great for corralling exercise balls!
- Baskets/bins – baskets are great for storing items like yoga mats or foam rollers – they not only keep your gear neatly organized and easily accessible, but also give the space some texture!
- Mirrors – don’t have to be large, but are super helpful to make sure you are keeping correct form during your exercises
- Don’t forget to add some Motivation – maybe create an inspiration board to track your progress or write out your favorite quotes. Spruce up the decorations with a few plants or paint the area a fun color!
STEP 5 – Use it & keep it fresh!
I know it should be obvious, but sometimes we all need a little reminder – especially since it can be tempting to not want to “mess up” your freshly organized space, but don’t let your new home gym go to waste collecting dust… get to work enjoying your new space!
Here are a few of our suggestions to keep you motivated to that beautiful home gym of yours!
- Make a plan – it is hard to stay motivated when you don’t have an exercise plan. Youtube can be a great option for streaming a variety of free workout videos! You can also look into the app subscription route – I have personally found a lot of success with Kayla Itsines Sweat App, Fitbod, and am currently enjoying Madeline Moves!
- Keep Track of your Progress – Use a Whiteboard or Chalkboard to write out your plan & keep track of your progress to help keep you motivated
- Continue to tweak – remember this is a starting point. Maybe you’ll find that you need to work out with kiddos, so you’ll need to keep a basket of toys nearby… stay flexible, but committed, and you will find success!
- Keep it Clean – no one gets motivated in a dirty, dingy home gym – take a few minutes to wipe down your equipment after your session!
If you set up your own home gym, take a photo and tag us on Instagram (@efficientlyneat). I am excited to see what you’ve accomplished!