Mine is pretty nuts.


My workout drawer spills over to TWO drawers, and they are positively stuffed.  When I do laundry, I can’t completely close the drawers.  Surprisingly, I purchased a very small percentage of my workout gear; most of my stuff are free race shirts, hand-me-downs from friends, and old workout clothes from the 1980s (thanks, Mom).  And, of course, since everything is so disorganized, there’s also many socks with no pair, shirts with stains and holes, and shorts that are too-tight, too-shirt, or just too-worn out. 


Here’s exactly how crazy my workout drawer is was:


Two running skirts

Eight shorts

Three bike shorts

Two bike jerseys

Seven pants, including one pair of fleece tights

Fourteen shirts

Two long-sleeved shirts

Twelve race shirts

Three long-sleeved race shirts


Trust me – I DON’T need all that gear.  I probably wear the same five outfits in rotation (i.e. whatever shirt, short, and pants are on top!).  When I pulled out half of the items, I explained, “Hey! I forgot all about this shirt!”


After a callous slash-and-burn, I got rid of at least 1/3 of the gear – I’ll admit, I’m pretty attached to many of the race shirts.  Despite being too short, I’d NEVER toss my first half marathon shirt.  I did, however, get rid of nearly everything that was too small.   There’s no sense in keeping shorts that I can’t get into anymore.


But now I can close the drawers.  And actually find socks with pairs.  It feels pretty good.


So – are you more organized than I am?  Do you keep race shirts for sentimental purposes?



  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) October 29, 2011, 12:41 pm

    Ugh, that’s how my clothes look and I wear a rotation of very few of them. I am so unorganized. I keep saying that’s the one thing I wish they taught in school as a basic skill!

  • dana October 29, 2011, 12:46 pm

    dont throw away your race shirts! you can have them made into a quilt eventually if you save enough. i’m planning on doing that with old college shirts that im too sentimental about to toss.

    • Caitlin October 29, 2011, 12:49 pm

      Dana, don’t enable my hoarding!!! LOL 🙂 But that is an excellent idea.

      • Dana P. October 29, 2011, 12:50 pm

        Oh my goodness, I was just going to reply this same thing! My first roommate and her husband ran track all through school. At their rehearsal dinner, she presented him with a quilt of all their old race shirts. It was so them and such a great way to hold on to the sentimental shirts!

      • Cindi October 29, 2011, 12:52 pm

        I have a tshirt quilt my mom made from my high school / college years. It is the best! You need a race quilt!

  • Kris October 29, 2011, 12:46 pm

    I wish I had race shirts; haven’t done a race in at least five years. Maybe this year 🙂 I might be a little more organized, but unfortunately, I have way more stuff including a whole drawer of workout bras. Gotta tame the tatas (I used to do a lot of running). Hopefully, your post will give me the impetus to go through my workout clothes.

    • Caitlin October 29, 2011, 12:48 pm

      A whole drawer of sports bras? I am so jealous. I have four that I rotate. I should really buy some new ones.

  • Lindsay Loves Veggies October 29, 2011, 12:54 pm

    My workout drawer is nuts as well! Most of the bulk consists of old college/sorority function t-shirts that I have resigned to be workout shirts. I should probably go through and decide which ones I’m most attached to and ditch the rest.

  • shelly October 29, 2011, 12:56 pm

    My workout drawer is cray-cray, but since I work at home I justify it by saying it’s also work clothes! That being said, I try to maintain a little sex appeal by regularly going through it and tossing out the stuff that gets worn out and replace it with semi cute stuff. I aim for an “off duty ballerina” look- haha.

  • hippierunner October 29, 2011, 1:00 pm

    That’s great that you’re keeping only what you need! Donating the rest?

    • Caitlin October 29, 2011, 1:07 pm

      I’m donating a few of the shorts but most of the stuff I tossed is too old and worn out to donate.

  • katie @ KatieDid October 29, 2011, 1:01 pm

    I keep old skating competition sweatshirts and shirts to someday make a quilt out of. I think a race blanket would be awesome too!

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb October 29, 2011, 1:12 pm

    i used to keep race shirts but it got to be too much. i was a swimmer growing up and had, literally, over 100 swim meet shirts that got tossed (well, donated) when i moved out of my parents. i pared down my workout drawer to just the essentials last year — 8 running shorts, 6-ish running leggins, and a bunch of dry fit tops.

  • Sarah October 29, 2011, 1:14 pm

    I have a ton of stuff, mostly hand me downs from my younger (but taller-6’4″) brother and my mom. All my friends think its weird that I have my mom’s old sports bras but I think its cheap! I have a huge drawer full but I definitely wear all of it…including the hot pink spandex.

  • Errign October 29, 2011, 1:23 pm

    I my workout gear in those little canvas buckets on top of my bureau (which is my closet) and I have a bucket for bras/bra tops, shorts/pants, and one that has a bunch of cotton tank tops from Old Navy that I wear to yoga or strength training.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen October 29, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I don’t have that attachment to race shirts, but I can’t throw out soccer jerseys and tournament shirts from high school, go figure! They’ve been in my closet for over 10 years now…

  • Linz October 29, 2011, 1:34 pm

    since most race shirts are t-shirts and i dislike wearing t-shirts to work out in, i have a plastic tub in our basement that i put all my old race shirts in. i just can’t throw them out!!! long sleeve race shirts are different… i love those!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 29, 2011, 1:35 pm

    My drawer is out of control!!!

  • Erin October 29, 2011, 1:36 pm

    My drawer looks pretty much the same! And sometimes I stuff it so full that items fall behind the drawer and I don’t find them for months.

    I do try to swap out the winter stuff for the summer stuff but considering I only own two pairs of running tights it doesn’t really help much 🙂

    I keep most race shirts if they are small enough but so many are men’s sizes (i.e. too big on me) that I just give those away.

  • Heather October 29, 2011, 1:38 pm

    I still have all my half marathon and full marathon shirts, and most of my 5k shirts. I have some shelves in my closet and 3 of them are workout clothes, not including socks or bras. Not to mention, a half rack of my closet is all running skirts brand stuff (what can I say, I work for them!) So yes, I have WAY to much workout gear and a lot of it I never wear. I need to reorganize badly!

  • Tracy October 29, 2011, 1:41 pm

    Oh yeah, I know about this. I think what makes it so hard is that Target and Kohls sell work-out gear for so cheap, it’s hard to pass up. I’ve been racing since the late 80s, so my Tshirt collection would exceed 100 if I had kept them all. I used to order size XL because big was the “done thing” in the 90s. Those shirts are all gone now (except a couple I keep as night shirts). I have kept a few of the lower quality shirts from back in the day because they are thin cotton that shrunk up nicely. Sometimes I *want* a low quality cotton T because they are cooler for the summer. Anyway, yeah, I have a whole dresser for workout gear… what’s hard now is so many of the race shirts are good tech fiber, so I don’t want to give them up. I’ve recently been ordering S or XS and giving the shirts to my kids. Fun post! And, seriously – this is such a First World Problem! Laughing at our own excess is a healthy thing though.

    • CaitlinHTP October 31, 2011, 10:44 am

      Hahah total first world problem 🙂

  • Tami October 29, 2011, 1:46 pm

    i actually have a whole separate dresser with all my workout stuff in my basement. with the winter coming, i just added in all my winter tights etc

  • Lauren October 29, 2011, 1:52 pm

    I just read “workout drawer” and thought hmm that’s a good idea. Clearly I’m more disorganized than you are 🙂

  • Laura October 29, 2011, 1:57 pm

    My race t-shirt collection is just beginning…. I ran my first 5K this morning! I was super slow (38 minutes, baby) but I ran the entire time with no walk breaks which is what I was shooting for overall. Thanks for all the great running/racing tips and encouragement you post on HTP!

  • skinnyrunner October 29, 2011, 1:58 pm

    unless its a nice long sleeve shirt or i like the fit/design, i give all my race shirts to goodwill. like you, i have so many workout clothes that i forget what i have. i guess at least i dont have to do laundry until the stuff starts to stink. awesome.

  • Emily October 29, 2011, 1:59 pm

    I’ve got a pretty disorganized drawer myself! It’s got eleven pairs of shorts, one pair of capris, one pair of pants, one pair of workout tights (yes, that means that I have fourteen options for workout bottoms), thirteen short-sleeved shirts, three long-sleeved shirts, one jacket, two sweat-shirts, five pairs of socks, and four sports bras.

    The thing is, though, that I wear the running shorts ALL THE TIME. I’ll wear one pair for a run. Get home, shower, change into a clean pair. Then I’ll wear another pair of running shorts as pajama bottoms. It’s crazy.

  • Laine October 29, 2011, 2:00 pm

    Mine is all yoga clothes and bike shorts. I have 2 drawers for them all and try to keep them grouped by “outfit” or at least tanks in one pile, capris in another, long pants in another.

    In another apartment, I had a closet to hang them all up in and I loved that.

  • Axel October 29, 2011, 2:43 pm

    Pretty much the same situation here. My two strategies for being able to close the drawer are:
    1.) Keep working out so that there’s always some in the laundry hamper instead of the drawer
    2.) Move the off-season stuff to the basement (long sleeves and tights in summer, running shorts & t-shirts in winter).

  • Nicole October 29, 2011, 2:52 pm

    My drawer currently looks like your unorganized drawer. About 1x a season I organize, bring out the warmer clothes and such. It usually last a few cycles of laundry but eventually turns into a mess once again.

  • Moni'sMeals October 29, 2011, 2:59 pm

    Girl, my drawer is just like yours. I usually get to keep clothes from photo shoots too so it is always building no matter how much I try to get down size, plus I am an athlete who does everything under the sun so I need yoga, bike shorts, pants, etc. and on top of that… I a trainer too. bananas!

    • Eliza October 30, 2011, 2:10 am

      Free clothes from shoots? Sounds amazing!!

  • Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries October 29, 2011, 3:06 pm

    Haha my workout drawer is the same exact way. It’s been a forever item on my to-do list, but it never seems to get done.

  • Jamie October 29, 2011, 3:15 pm

    I keep all my race t-shirts, I write my time and the date if it’s not on the shirt in black permanant marker then I cut out the front (or back depending on where the race info is on the shirt) and I’m sewing them together to make a t-shirt quilt. It will be a fun reminder of all my accomplishments when I’m old (“grandma did you really run a marathon?” lol) and I get to keep my memories without keeping a lot of “junk”.

  • Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel October 29, 2011, 3:20 pm

    I actually don’t have a workout gear drawer–I just keep everything with their respective clothing type. My big (mostly free) t-shirts have their own pile in my shirt drawer, my workout shorts/pants have their pile in my pants drawer, my sports bras are in the underwear drawer, etc. Maybe if I get a dresser with more drawers, though, I’ll keep all that together!

  • Sara October 29, 2011, 3:25 pm

    I have that same Amica 19.7 Sprint Tri shirt. (I did my tri in Knoxville, TN) The shirt is huge but I’m not throwing that baby away because I loved that race.

    My workout gear drawer is stuffed too. I’ve gone through it but not enough. I need to pitch at least ten more items…

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 29, 2011, 3:35 pm

    I don’t have a washer dryer in my unit, so I actually go through all my workout gear, and then that’s when I do my laundry! So all my stuff gets used up!

  • Rebecca October 29, 2011, 3:39 pm

    My exercise clothes are just as crazy! I have gotten a lot better about race shirts. I used to keep every one, but now just keep the ones that fit well & will be worn to work out. (I won’t throw out my first marathon short though!) I do have some yoga pants and even some running bras that are paste their prime, but I worry that one day everything else will be in the laundry and will need a back up. I also hold out hope for way too long that missing socks will somehow be found. You have inspired me to do a little purging….

  • Alaina October 29, 2011, 4:00 pm

    I had a drawer full for racing shirts, too. I have a hard time parting with them. I took the one’s that are cotton and put them in a separate bag. I rarely wear those when I run; I like the tech shirts. And I only have two pairs of shorts and one set of long pants.

  • Gracie (How I Complicated My Life Today) October 29, 2011, 4:03 pm

    I have done SO well with cheap-o workout clothes: I’ve never bought a shirt (I ran my first race in one of my regular tank tops, and have been wearing race T’s ever since!) and I have gotten fabulous deals on shorts and tights. I got some Nike tempos new on Ebay for $7.99, and the tights I wore in my half marathon this morning were on Target clearance for $1.99!!! Nike tights are like $80!!!
    I am in the process of getting together a charity that will take race T donations for needy countries. I think it will be a hit in the blogging community! I bet a lot of us have race shirts we have literally never worn.

  • cookie October 29, 2011, 4:50 pm

    I don’t even have a workout drawer. I don’t even have enough workout clothes to fill one.

  • kate October 29, 2011, 4:51 pm

    this has nothing to do with your post but


    • Eliza October 30, 2011, 2:17 am

      I want a dachshund!
      I am going to end up a crazy dog lady with 385034 dogs at the age of 25

    • CaitlinHTP October 31, 2011, 10:46 am

      Aw that kind of looks like a Margaret!

  • AmandaonMaui October 29, 2011, 5:12 pm

    What’s hilarious about your post is that I was just wondering what you consider to be good running clothes. Specifically undergarments actually. No, I’m not being creepy stalker girl. I’m just wondering what runners typically wear underneath. I’m kind of a granny panties girl for exercise. I like the cotton, and the room in them. I have two sports bras, and one of them is a little tighter than I’d like it to be. I have a pair of athletic cotton capris from Old Navy (a friend gave them to me), a pair of black cotton pants, a pair of polyester black pants (I don’t wear them for anything cardio intensive), and that’s pretty much it. I need to get some better active wear bottoms. I have plenty of old t-shirts, but it’s the pants that need help.

    Perhaps you wouldn’t mind doing a post on athletic bras or something like that sometime.

  • Anna October 29, 2011, 5:19 pm

    be VERY careful, especially since you’ve only been racing a few years, heh. My dad has been a competitive road runner for about 30 years and he is a compulsive hoarder. We have ENDLESS BOXES of race shirts that we’ve had to tote from house to house over the years, and in my fam’s current basement he built a trophy case that takes up an ENTIRE WALL. and is full. and has his old worn out vintage shoes on top. My mom is starting to talk about passing out trophies as favors at his funeral….seriously. So that’s my PSA warning 😉

  • Amanda October 29, 2011, 5:32 pm

    I am very organized (borderline OCD) when it comes to my home. I do, however, have a tougher time getting rid of clothes because I always think “but what if I want to wear this later?” My general rule is that if I haven’t worn it in a year, I should donate it. And most of the time, I completely forget about it.

    For me, clutter = stress.

    • Eliza October 30, 2011, 2:15 am

      Me too. I feel kind of out of control when I have too much stuff. I am only 20, so hopefully I can cope more with clutter when I have my own house/kids

  • Deva @ Deva by Definition October 29, 2011, 5:56 pm

    I have two shelves of workout gear in my closet, not too crazy: 3 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of pants, 3 short-sleeved tech tees, 2 long-sleeved tech tees, 2 tanks and an underarmour pullover. It gets me through what I need it all for 🙂

  • Lindsey October 29, 2011, 6:43 pm

    I do keep them! I usually try and replace ones if I run the same race twice, so toss 2010 after the 2011 race and shirt! I just recently bought fabric bins to organize my workout clothes better and it is so much better!

  • Hillary October 29, 2011, 6:43 pm

    I have the same problem: I don’t want to throw anything away, so I can barely keep that drawer shut. I can’t throw away my high school seniors shirt! Are you nuts?! ; )

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 29, 2011, 6:58 pm

    My workout drawer is a mess but that’s only because I keep my PJs in that drawer too… I need more space! 😛

  • Sarah October 29, 2011, 7:00 pm

    My dresser has this middle section that has a door and it’s pretty large, contains two shelves and I have that thing stuffed with workout clothes 🙂

  • Julz October 29, 2011, 7:23 pm

    Um, I have a Nike Shorts problem. Can’t stop buying them! Check out this pic of my 30 pairs:

  • Nancy @ Beyoutiful Fitstyle October 29, 2011, 7:39 pm

    I have three drawers dedicated to workout gear. two drawers full of shirts and one full of shorts. my crops and pants are in a tall cabinet thing I have. This is after I have downsized too. I’ve played softball all my life so I have tshirts GALORE! And no I will not throw them out. I have a bunch of championship tshirts from college and refuse to get rid of them, no matter how worn out or ugly or whatever. I have at least 2 containers in the basement full of tshirts. With all of my college softball shirts I plan to make a quilt with them, eventually. Maybe you could do that with all of your race shirts?? It’s a good way to show them off without wearing them. 🙂

  • Nancy @ Beyoutiful Fitstyle October 29, 2011, 7:43 pm

    Well after I commented I decided to read the others… and everyone else told you about shirt quilts…hahaha my bad!

    but seriously… do it 🙂

  • Crystal October 29, 2011, 7:47 pm

    I’m so glad to see that someone else’s workout drawer looks just like mine! And you’re so right – I always re-wear the same few things on top. I’ve started rotating the shirts every month or so to change it up. It’s amazing how sentimental our race t-shirts are!

  • Kari @ human, MD October 29, 2011, 8:16 pm

    I keep everything in different places… tech shirts/long sleeve shirts/ sweatshirts in one drawer, shorts, tights, and sweatpants in another, a drawer full of workout socks, a dresser full of regular t-shirts, and all my cycling clothes are in the basement workout area!

  • Lizz @ Leading the Good Life October 29, 2011, 10:34 pm

    Mine was getting pretty nuts but I recently found a good solution. Instead of devoting a drawer to running clothes in my dresser, I got 2 sets of those plastic drawers to stash in my closet (where they can’t be seen.) I dedicated 1 drawer to running tops, 1 to running bottoms, 1 to running socks/sports bras/swim suits, and 1 to yoga/lounge clothes. I love that I don’t have to fold any of those clothes and I know exactly where to reach for what I’m looking for!

  • Jamie October 30, 2011, 1:00 am

    I have 3 pairs of shorts, 2 skirts, 1 pair of capris, and 1 pair of long tights. 3 race shirts and 3 tanks. that’s it! I realized today that I have 6 sports bras and I thought that was a lot, and only 3 of them are suitable for running (yay for C cups?).. ha! I’m hoping to acquire more race shirts but I’m too broke to afford race entries. Tricky, isn’t it?

    • Eliza October 30, 2011, 2:16 am

      I always think of C cups as the perfect size- I wouldn’t mine growing a bit from a B.

      • Kim November 8, 2011, 9:46 am

        I wouldn’t mind growing a bit from a teeny tiny A!

  • Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count October 30, 2011, 9:56 am

    Don’t you feel better when you do that? No, I am not that organized but I’m working through my whole house in preparation for a move and I’m doing it bit by bit. Feels so good when you conquer a drawer!

  • Rae October 30, 2011, 11:21 am

    You should save those shirts and have them turned into a t shirt quilt….good way to be sentimental without taking up closet space 😀

  • Joey October 30, 2011, 11:28 am

    Ahh, I came over to tell you to make a blanket out of your old shirts but it looks like everyone had the same idea! 🙂

  • Amber K October 30, 2011, 12:53 pm

    I actually don’t have a workout clothes drawer. All of my workout shorts are on one side of my “shorts” drawer and the t-shirts are hung up in the closet. Socks, bras and underwear all share a drawer. I guess I don’t have enough clothes to actually go through them. Although I do still have some clothes I saved back from when I weighed 100 lbs more. I want to remember how big they are.

  • Chelsea October 30, 2011, 10:47 pm

    Oh gosh my workout drawer is crazy packed! Mine is mainly sports bras and spandex more than anything though.

  • Charlie (therunnerbeans) October 31, 2011, 6:17 am

    My workout stuff is a mixture of old school track outfits, my boyfriends old t-shirts and a few new pieces. I am taking part in my first race in November and I can’t wait to build up a nice collection of race stash. Unfortunately it is a reindeer run so might have to be a rather seasonal workout top! Reindeers in July is not a good look.

  • Alison October 31, 2011, 8:33 am

    My husband told me the other day… he has no room for his workout clothes in his drawers and wants them left hung up in the laundry room (Drying room)… A friend of mine is making race shirt quilt for her mother.. this will allow her to keep all the memories for her past races.

  • Lisa October 31, 2011, 3:22 pm

    This post reminded me I need to get rid of some of my workout gear! Some of it is too big now and there’s no reason to keep it too.

  • Sophie @ threetimesf October 31, 2011, 6:24 pm

    Mine is pretty crazy too – I always think I should try and cut down and get rid of some stuff but I hate doing laundry so it’s much easier this way!

    I love all your colourful shorts 🙂

  • Katy November 6, 2011, 4:30 am

    I wish I had that problem! I have one old pair of tracksuit bottoms and about two t-shirts. I never have any money to spend on workout gear.

  • Kim November 8, 2011, 9:43 am

    Mine is really organized! I have two drawers actually, and the top one holds pants and tights on the left, capris in the center, and then shorts folded up on the right with running socks above them. The second drawer has long sleeve shirts on the left, short sleeve shirts in the middle, and tanks and sports bras taking up half respectively of the right section. I have favorite items and things that get worn more often, but I really do wear everything. Cotton race shirts and free tech tees that don’t fit very well go in my “bummy clothes” drawer instead of my workout drawers though.

Previous post:

Next post:

Healthy Tipping Point