Fabulous 15 Minute Organizing Fixes: a blog series from simplify 101

As you may know, for the past 12 weeks I have been training for a half marathon—my first half marathon ever. So, it has been rather exciting. Along the way, I’ve come to realize that there’s a lot more to running than simply running. I’ve also learned that running requires a lot more gear than a simple pair of running shoes. (Who knew, right?) Consequently over the course of the past twelve weeks, I’ve accumulated some gear that needed a home. So I called on one of my favorite organizing ideas: the mini zone.

If you haven’t been turned onto mini zones yet, here’s what it is. A mini zone is simply an area or container that houses everything you need to complete routine tasks or activities. So, a running mini zone was a perfect fifteen minute organizing fix for my running gear clutter. Now get this, I was planning to set up a running gear mini zone the very same day Jennifer arrived at work with this half marathon survival kit. (Isn’t she the sweetest?) More goodies for my mini zone.

half marathon survival kit

To set up my running gear mini zone I raided my container station for a suitable container. I chose (as I often do) an ITSO bin from Target. It fits perfectly in the cubbies in my laundry room, and since the laundry room is the main entry and exit to our home, this was the perfect spot for my running gear to live. Here’s a look at the running gear mini zone.

running gear mini zone

What’s inside? Well, I have a couple of hats (warm weather and cool weather), a running water bottle, sunglasses, ear buds, gloves, Coconut Water, a yoga strap (for use before or after running, not while running—just in case you were wondering), a spare key for my car, a bag (for taking gear to races), lip balm, Chamois Butt’r, and nutrition (shot bloks and a protein bar). I’m planning to add a race checklist to the mini zone as well. It’s great having everything in one place, and I’m hoping that it will make me feel a tad less nervous as I pack for the race on Saturday.

Now it’s your turn. If you don’t run, you can still play along with this 15 minute challenge. You could set up a sports gear zone or mini zone for any sport you’re into. Or, you could create a comings-and-goings zone, and load it up with all the stuff you take into and out of the house each day. If you do put this idea into action, I’d love to hear what you do and how you adapt it to suit your needs.

One more thing…if you’re a runner, am I missing anything important for the race? Obviously, I do need the basic gear like shoes, socks, etc. which I keep in my bedroom, but are there any race day necessities you use that I’m missing in my mini zone? This first-time half-marathoner would love to know! Thanks so much for sharing!

Happy organizing (and running)!


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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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