Minimalist athletes wardrobe tips

Hi all,

I started to sort out my wardrobe January 2020 and found it was an amazing stress relief getting up and having stuff easy to find and ready to go. If you haven’t tried it, I heartily recommend it. :relieved:

But I’ve struggled through the year with the athletic bit - being a triathlete doesn’t help - I’ve sorted out basically three sets of everything (swim ,bike, run, tri) plus winter additions - but it still ends up as a bundle of mess and I have to hunt for a jersey or bibs or those shoe covers that were there a minute ago I’m sure…etc. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Then there’s towels, event shirts, blah blah.

Has anyone got any tips they can share for organising all their kit making it available and tidy?

I just reserved a good portion of my closet for sport stuff. (Let’s face it, I have more sports closing than regular closing :man_facepalming:t2:)
I use lots of boxes. Socks, winter stuff, jerseys. They all have separate boxes


I basically only have twos.

So two bibs, two jerseys, two pairs of bike socks, two short running shorts, one long pants, two running shirts, two pairs of running socks, and two swimming shorts.

I then also have several base layers which I wear both for running and cycling. They take most of the heat.

Overall the amount of stuff is quite easy to manage. Basically Kanban. I keep all of it in one place in drawers.

I have a fair bit of my kit stored in some cheap kit bags. I keep the rest in a drawer, and then swap things round when the seasons change. Biggest issue is during the winter when you need many more layers, jackets etc.

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I gave up on “tidy” and focused on “available” which in my case means having separate drawers/boxes for socks, bibs, SS jerseys, base layers, gloves, overshoes and arm/knee warmers, tights, LS jerseys. Each compartment is a mess of stuff that’s just chucked in there (life is too short for attempting to fold bib shorts!) but it’s a small enough mess to quickly find what I’m after. Don’t do triathlon any more but still have a separate drawer for running shorts/tights and another for swim shorts.

Does take up a lot of space. But I tried the “minimalist” approach and it just doesn’t work when I live in a country (UK) where the weather can change so much and I train every day. Need a whole range of kit options pretty much all year round.


Apart from that magical week once a year when the weather is awesome.

Step 1

Step 2

Buy less black things. Different colours let’s me find what I’m looking for faster.

Step 3

Accept that that amazing bit of kit you paid a crazy amount of money for years ago has completed its mission and should be retired.

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Ah, but you need at least 7 sets of bibs and jerseys so that you can make the most of that week without having to do laundry!

And last year I missed that week as I was having to home quarantine :man_facepalming:

Tried that, but it didn’t work since I don’t have Rapha kit :laughing:

Clearly you lack commitment :wink:

Actually, in seriousness it is good for when you are taking kit on holiday!


I have a hanger I use too but with larger compartments and shoe boxes. Maybe the smaller compartments are a better idea.

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It’s refreshing as well to wear a different colour scheme too. I’m all black just once per week. Mostly black and red, but I have a teal/orange run kit and a blue too.

That folding video and a few of the clips that follow on have made a big difference straightaway. Fold up everything you need for a bike or run session into a neat bundle, easy to see and grab what you need. I’ve already sorted a bunch of kits out like that and it’s much better. :+1:

My take as a trail runner, road runner (as infrequent as possible), gravel rider, roadie, and triathlete…

First, there’s the summer kit and there’s the winter kit, and rarely do the twain meet as one is in a box in the basement when the other is in the storage of the couch (well, except for the awkward suddenly cold/hot day). Leggings and arm warmers are in the “summer” kit collection as “winter” is generally “defined” as the normal high is at or below 10C.

Second, there’s an exception to the rotation of “summer” kit to the storage bin: summer bibs, socks, and base tops for indoor workouts.

Third, in the couch are little bins from Ikea to separate, from front left to right:
cycling deep winter socks and “mere” winter socks; trail running socks, beanies for running, neck gaiters. From right to left, squeezed between bins are deep winter cycling hats, bin above is full-length winter bibs; left of that and on top is winter jackets (generally one use before wash in winter due to mud), below that are winter jerseys, one could be a winter jacket if only around 8C depending on base, behind that underneath is long sleeve running tops that are really just for transition weather and the winter running jackets; to the right squeezed are summer bibs for the indoor sessions; above that are base layers for bike (usually gravel in winter) or run, and left are thinner base layers, to be mixed per the weather conditions, and another bin for the winter running tights (or summer). Behind that are shorts / a summer run top for weights or other training session. Too much? Yup. Easy to find what I need to mix and match per the weather? Yup.

The space obviously opens up when the bulky winter kit is replaced by the summer kit.

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Exactly this. In the UK, any given day in spring or autumn could be short sleeve jersey, long sleeve jersey, or short sleeve with arm warmers and gilet, or Gabba with arm warmers, or jacket with thin long-sleeve base layer, bib tights, bib shorts with thin leg warmers, bib shorts with knee warmers, just bib shorts, fingerless gloves or full gloves, rain jacket or no rain jacket, cap or no cap…




In an ordinary year, I spend a ton of time on the road traveling for training, racing, and events. Staying organized with kit was a gamechanger for me at home and on the road. The thing that works for me? Packing cubes. They’re cheap and easy to travel with. Each one gets one pair of bibs, one jersey, one base layer, and one pair of socks. I then have another one full of warmers, vests, and jackets. When it’s time to ride, I can just grab a bag and go. Now that I do this at home too, it makes packing for trips even easier because I can just decide how much kit I need, grab that many bags, and I’ll know I have what I need. Less time spent hunting around for kit is more time sleeping!

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