I’m a busy girl. I work a full time job and spend many hours each week at Balance. I often get asked, ‘How do you do it?’ and the short answer is Organization. My fellow Balance instructors are often teasing me about this trait but in my busy life, it’s essential! So I’m going to share with you some of the gym bag secrets that keep me organized and prepared.
1. Get a good gym bag.
My current bag has a removable shoulder strap and handles, two small inside pockets, two outside side pockets, and two zipper pockets on the front, one of which is lined with felt (perfect for protecting my jewelry). It’s not so big that I lose things but not so small that I can’t carry everything I need. I found my bag at TJMaxx, paid about $40 for it but have had it for several years and it still looks brand new. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good bag.
2. Clothing essentials.
Of course you’re going to pack a top, bottom, socks, and shoes; those are obvious. I consider the essentials to be more than that. You should always have an extra pair of socks. Sometimes we forget our socks so it’s nice to have an extra pair in your bag at all times. I also like to keep a jacket or long sleeve top in there just in case it’s a little cool when I leave all sweaty.
Sometimes life gets even more crazy than normal and I don’t have time to eat. So I like to keep some small snacks in my bag. At any point in time, you might find some almonds, pistachios, fruit strips, granola bars, or protein bars in the side pocket of my bag. When I start getting low on supplies, I just stock it back up. And don’t forget about your water bottle. I bring a water bottle to work every day but if you aren’t in that habit, you’ll definitely want to toss one in your bag.
4. Beauty Essentials.
I’m a real basic girl when it comes to beauty products but I have a few tricks up my sleeve here. I decided that I should have a small make-up bag in my gym bag at all times. Rather than trying to remember to pack it every morning after I get ready, I created a new one. You may be thinking ‘that sounds expensive for something I won’t use very often.’ That’s where my tricks come in. I started by getting a small, inexpensive make-up bag. As I started running low on things like my favorite eye shadows, bronzers, mascara, eyeliner, and powder, rather than using it until it was gone, I put it in my gym bag stash and bought a new one for home. Before long, I had a complete back up make-up bag that didn’t cost me a fortune.
5. Smelly Essentials.
We all know gym bags can get stinky. I found these amazing odor reducing pouches called Odor Out Sport. I keep one pouch in each gym shoe. When I think they aren’t absorbing the odor anymore, I simply put them outside and the sunshine reactivates them (don’t ask me how it works; it just does). As long as I don’t keep sweaty clothes in my bag for long periods of time, it stays smelling fresh thanks to those little pouches. And since we can get stinky too, I like to keep deodorant and perfume in my bag as well. If you don’t have an extra bottle of perfume lying around, grab a sample of something new next time you’re at the mall and that should last you for a while.
6. Emergency Night Out.
Sometimes I end up going straight from the studio to some sort of gathering with family or friends. Since this is often unplanned and I don’t live close by, I keep a few more back up supplies in my bag:
- Extra pair of underwear,
- Body Lotion,
- Face Wipes,
- Hair ties, bobby pins, and hair clips.
All these things plus the deodorant, perfume, and make-up I already mentioned and I’m typically able to get by.
My last gym bag secret: I always pack my bag the night before and put it by the door. I’m less likely to forget something if I prepare ahead of time.
If you love the purple bag featured above, check out lululemon‘s online store.
Stephanie Hohenshell is a fitness instructor at Balance Fitness Studio. She teaches TRX, Barre and Private Group Classes. Working a full time job outside of Balance, Stephanie knows how to stay organized. She loves Michael Jackson, her family and being a part of someone’s physical and spiritual growth. To learn more about Stephanie, click here.