When it comes to exercising, sometimes sweating it out at home is best.

After all, it’s more affordable and convenient than a gym or workout studio, and you don’t have to worry about what you look like when you’re sprinting (or dying) on the treadmill.

Ready to get in shape?

Woman exercising in front of television

1. Determine How Much Space You Need

Before you start rearranging furniture, decide what types of exercises you’ll actually be doing.

Do you want to pump iron, do cardio, or practice yoga? Do you prefer free weights or weight machines? Do you need a treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical?

Once you have a good idea of your regular workout routine, you can determine whether you’ll need a big space or just a small corner of your living room.

“Depending on what your needs are, you generally want enough room to move your body comfortably and not bump into a wall or machine, plus the size of your equipment,” according to Amy Trager, a professional organizer based in Chicago.

Father and son (4-5) exercising with skipping rope in house

2. Choose the Right Room.

“It’s a matter of making sure there’s room to do the activities you want — both for exercise purposes and for whatever else the room functions are,” says Trager.

Trager says to think about where you’ll be most comfortable exercising, and to consider things like temperature, lighting, and even flooring when deciding how to arrange your workout space.

Keep large machines parallel to the walls or tucked into corner spots to maximize your space. Other items like mats, resistance bands, free weights, and balls can all be stored away in nearby closets or bins.

Houston-based pro organizer Ellen Delap says garages, offices, and guest rooms can all double as home gyms with the right set-up.

Several Yoga Mats in a Basket. Copy Space.

3. Smartly Store Gym Equipment.

Delap recommends making use of vertical wall space by installing shelves or hanging hooks for jump ropes and resistance bands. She also suggests rolling your yoga and exercise mats to stick in a stylish wicker basket, and using small bins or stacking shelves to store hand weights and gym shoes.

Utilize the space under your chairs and benches to hold free weights in matching baskets.

“The main goal is to keep the items together and in an accessible place,” says Trager.

Beautiful young girl exercising with dumbbells

4. Hang a Mirror.

Delap suggests hanging a mirror near your workout zone — it’ll open up your space and come in handy when you need to check out your form during squats.

5. Hang a TV Too.

A TV mounted on the wall also serves a dual purpose: it’ll give your space a homey feel and distract you during grueling sets of bicep curls. It will make it easy to watch your favorite workout videos too.

6. Clear a Path.

Trager says you shouldn’t be afraid to move small furniture around, either. If you need to push aside an end table or accent chair so you have space to lunge properly, do it. After all, your home gym should make it easier to exercise, not harder.

Young Man Lifting Weights

7. Keep it Organized.

Give all your exercise equipment a designated home, whether it’s on a shelf, in a basket, or in the closet.

“If the items have a home right away, you’ll not only know where to find what you’re looking for, but you’ll be able to put everything away easily,” says Trager.


Paige Smith