The Life-Changing Magic of Decluttering Your Running Gear

Declutter your gear

When Marie Kondo's book "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" rocketed up the bestseller list in 2015, thousands took to their closets to toss item after item in a clean-sweep frenzy.  For those of you unfamiliar with Marie Kondo and her methods, she is a Japanese organizing expert who encourages her legions of followers to declutter their homes using one very simple criteria: Does this item spark joy? 

How about runners? Can we capture some of that life changing magic? Will decluttering our running gear help us spark joy and maybe claim a new PR? I decided it couldn't hurt to try.  

Rather than tidy a bit at a time, this method (named "KonMari") has you work by category: tackling all your clothes in one go, followed by books, papers and so on.
I ruthlessly applied the KonMari method to my running gear. I gathered every single running-related item I owned (shoes, clothing, tech and accessories) and threw them into a huge pile on the floor.  

Jennifer's mountain of laundry

Part of the KonMari process is coming face to face with everything you own. By placing it all in a big pile, I was confronted with my own excess. I was also forced to ponder the age-old question: Just how many technical t-shirts does one runner need to own? (Spoiler alert: NOT THAT MANY).

After picking up each item and asking myself whether it sparked joy, I was finally down to a reasonable amount of gear.  Once folded and put away, I was very pleased at how nice everything looked. It all fit in my drawers, and with room to spare.   

Along the way I picked up a few tips for fellow runners who would like to embark on their own decluttering mission:  

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