The Fitness Drawer

This post is sponsored by Old Navy. Check out Old Navy’s Active wear in stores or at #GetYourActiveON


I’m ten days into my 365 day project for body, mind, and spirit. The fitness component, the one area where I thought I would struggle, is going well. Every day I walk farther…by choice! I feel more energetic, more relaxed, and more clear-headed. I’m also out of pants.

In October I cleaned out my mom drawer, the drawer where my many pairs of sweatpants went to collect dust. I whittled my collection down to what I used regularly, but because I was so inactive, the sweats that survived were for lounging or DIY projects. I kept a pair of very loose jersey lounge pants from Old Navy that I bought last year to wear post surgery, my painting sweats, and one very old pair of compression pants.

This is not my mom drawer. This is a drawer that was empty until my husband, bless his heart, tried to help me by putting away the laundry a couple of weeks ago. His technique is straightforward: upend the basket into an empty drawer. I had no idea this drawer had laundry until this post. I was wondering where all my socks went!

I put everything back where it belonged and was left with an empty drawer. (Again.)

One of the best pieces of advice I received from a reader was to fight the urge to fill empty drawers after a good decluttering. Leave the drawers empty, she said, and the right use will eventually become obvious. When it does, you’ll be glad you have the extra room.

She was right. It took me a couple of months and my 365 project to realize I needed a fitness drawer.

My compression pants were looking threadbare before, but after 8 days of constant use and washing, they started to come apart at the seams. After that, I had to wear my Old Navy lounge pants. They are incredibly comfortable, but they aren’t for walking. They are too big and loose; they drag on the pavement when I walk. It’s hard to tell in that picture, but the pants almost cover the toes of my sneakers.

I mentioned my need for workout clothing on instagram/Twitter/Facebook and asked for suggestions on inexpensive workout clothing good enough for daily use. Many of you recommended Old Navy which, you know, turned out to be quite convenient.

I went to Old Navy this week and took advantage of their 40% off Active sale–another tip many of you mentioned. I spent just under $100 on two running tops (Silver Blaze and Catch a Wave), two GoDRY tank tops (Electric Neon Salmon and Black Jack), and two pairs of compression leggings in black.

I’m not sure about the leggings. They are incredibly comfortable. They are slimming and flatten my tummy. They sit high on my waist, so there is no muffin top situation. They are perfect for daily walks but…they are leggings and leave very little to the imagination. I’m self conscious of my lumps and bumps and had a moment of blargh when I tried them on. (Must those dressing room lights be beacons?!) I preferred the yoga pants, but they are far, far too long for me. I would ruin them dragging them all over the city streets. My store doesn’t carry petites, and I needed something immediately. I bought the leggings.

I allowed myself a moment of blargh and then focused on everything good I am doing for my health. Who knows, by the end of the 365 project those lumps and bumps could turn into quadriceps and hamstrings.

I haven’t done a good job explaining how I organized my fitness drawer because the pictures make it pretty self explanatory. Storage bins: socks/pedometer/HR monitor; tops; bottoms; swimsuit/miscellaneous.

I also haven’t done a good job explaining why I needed a fitness drawer. I noticed the other day that everything of importance has a space. We have kitchens to make food and rooms to watch TV. Our computers have their own desk, and even if you use a laptop you tend to sit in the same spot in the house. Our toothbrushes, an item that costs no more than $10, sit in a designated area.

Eating and brushing your teeth are the only nonnegotiable activities, and yet TV and the internet have their own carved out spaces, which suggests they are nonnegotiable, too.

I have a wall of books in my home because reading is my nonnegotiable. It is important enough for me to designate an area for reading and displaying books. That says something about me.

I am hoping my fitness drawer and proper active wear hammers home the point–to me, my family–that I am serious about adopting an active lifestyle. I decided to make exercise important enough for me to designate an area of my home to its equipment. I like what that says.


This post was part of The William Morris Project, a weekly series that details the steps I am taking to create an intentional home. You can see more of my goals and completed projects here. To learn more about this project, start here.


Now it’s your turn! Feel free to share how you have lived according to the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Made a plan? Cleaned a drawer? Bought a sofa? Tell us about it with a link or comment. A few guidelines:

  • Please link to a specific post, not a general blog address.
  • Your post must relate to your efforts to create an intentional home. I have a delete button, and I’m not afraid to use it.
  • No links to giveaways, please.
  • Let’s use this weekly link up as an opportunity to gather inspiration and motivation. Click links. Discover new people. Say hi and good job. I know I will.
  • //////////////////////////////////

    Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    Another use for an empty drawer / shelf is to help unclutter. I find that if as I use something I put it not back where it was but in another place (the empty place) then over time I find out what I actually use and what I don’t. A step further is to use the second place as a source as much as possible, going only to the old place when needed. This shows what one actually needs, not just what one uses. I have a fitness drawer that I really need to do both these things with!

  2. Katie says

    I also have a fitness drawer – and thanks for the tip about the Old Navy sale :)

    Are you logging your walking anywhere? I log miles and pace on (I’m also a daily walker) and it’s a nice motivation. Let me know if you join so we can connect!

    I also log my walking in conjunction with my reading at – audiobooks are part of what helps motivate me to get out there and move!

    Good luck with your goals – I’m enjoying tagging along with your updates!

  3. says

    “Everything of importance has a space.” Yes. Something I hadn’t thought of before, but is very true. And I think it’s when we don’t give a space to things that are important that it feels like our homes aren’t working right. You’ve got me thinking about what things I’m giving (and not giving) importance to. Thanks.

    And good for you on making space for workout gear. And for getting the right stuff. I’ve found it makes a difference in my own efforts to be physically active.

  4. Carlin says

    I am doing the WHOLE house, one week at a time. Last week and this week, I am unpacking from our 6 months overseas. Next week (if not this weekend), I am attacking our front hall closet. I even managed to get my hubby and 2 preschoolers excited about “giving away what is in our way.”

  5. Susan G says

    Awesome! I love that you articulated the concept of how are physical spaces reflect our emotional/mental/spiritual spaces. Thank you – so often you make clear to me what I knew only in some undefined murky way. I have been going to the gym for a little over a month, and needed some clothes for it so I just ordered from ON. BTW – on the leggings/lumps and bumps issue – I wear long T-shirts. I like really big shirts anyway when I’m exercising, and they are then usually long enough to cover.

  6. says

    I have the compression leggings and capris and I really love them. Don’t think that I’m cute and sassy in them either. They are so comfy and feels like I’m pulled in and my bellers doesn’t flop the way it flops without support. When I get dressed to go to the gym, I apologize in my head to the patrons that have to endure me wearing some tee-ight pants! Oh and yes, my husband loves them.

  7. says


    You are doing things to make yourself strong and healthy. When you’re all sweaty and whatnot, you’re focused on you. Same thing with other people. We’re all paranoid the world is judging is when truth is, the rest of the world is worried about how they look, if their kid is going to make it to practice on time, etc. Give yourself a break and enjoy those comfortable leggings!

  8. says

    I’ve also started trying to do more exercise, and have been having real problems fitting it into my schedule. Reading your post made me realise I am also having problems fitting the items into my space . . . quite possibly these things go together. That will be this weekend’s project, to make physical and metaphysical space for proper exercise…

  9. Karen says

    Another interesting and thoughtful post. I’m glad the daily walking is working so well for you! Having the right clothes/gear (and a place to keep it!) definitely makes exercising easier and more pleasant. A note on too long yoga pants … I’ve had good luck with neatly cutting off the extra length on pants that are at least part cotton. The edge rolls slightly, which I don’t mind, but the fabric does not fray.

  10. says

    So glad that you are enjoying the walks, and that you’re building-up stamina for longer walks. It is amazing how quickly it can happen, yet so hard to get started and committed to these kind of changes. Well done. I wish I had a drawer for fitness clothes, maybe something can be managed, it seems like a great idea, and right to make it an area worthy of the space.
    Off for a lunch time walk. It is a beautiful day today.

  11. roni says

    So inspired!!! Follow you on Instagram and the daily walk pics are great! Also, I just made use of a Gap card credit and $20 coupon. Thanks for the push!

  12. says

    Good on ya with the sponsored post!

    Nothing like having an actual drawer devoted to a project (any project) to get motivated. I’m not sure I have ANY such drawer, for any of my plans, in such an organized fashion. I am so unfit, I have no idea what “compression leggings” officially are, but sounds like I need some.

    • says

      Eh. You know how I am with the sponsored posts. I have mixed feelings.

      I didn’t know they were called compression leggings/pants, either. I just thought they were super supportive stretchy pants! It wasn’t until I looked at the names of all the pants that I figured out it was an actual type of workout gear.

  13. says

    I actually strongly prefer Old Navy workout clothes to Lululemon or similar brands. I feel incredibly smug wearing my $20 ($12 on sale) yoga pants next to someone wearing $80 ones. They both get the job done!

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