Organisational hack: my car boot gym cupboard

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My friends and family laugh, but this is one of the organisational hacks I use every week to make sure my excuses around exercise don’t get too much air time.

Excuses like:

“I didn’t have time to pack my gym bag.”

“I’ve got no clean workout clothes.”

“I can’t be bothered today.”

“I’ve got too much other stuff to do.”

“I’m going out later so I can’t go the gym first.”

I’ve been exercising most days for 16 months now and whether it’s a workout in the gym, a class, training with Chris or any of yoga, body balance or Pilates – there is activity every day.

For someone who is rather partial to pretty frocks, I spend an awful lot of time in tights and runners.


The before

Pre-intervention, I didn’t do any exercise at all. None.

When I lived in London I walked everywhere as I didn’t have a car. But I was there for so many years that I don’t think walking everywhere was of any particular benefit anyway. Or it would have been, if not for all the time I spent walking to pubs and restaurants. Good times.

I had a gym membership, but I hadn’t yet learned the lesson whereby one must actually show up at the gym for said membership to have any sort of impact.  Paying the fortnightly fees alone didn’t actually burn fat, just my cash.

But I was always, definitely, planning to go. Sometime. Eventually. (Never).

Needless to say, my new lifestyle is rather different from my old one, and coming up with organisational hacks like this have been a really important part of keeping my healthy living project together over a long period of time.


My organisational hack: the car boot gym cupboard

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Every Sunday night I pack a week’s worth of gym clothes into separate zip lock bags. There’s a whole outfit in each bag, including tights, a top, socks, a sports bra and seamless knickers. Side note – I recommend these to all – especially those yogis in their stripy bonds, lacy g-string or going commando. Seriously. Test out your tights in downward dog. There’s a lot of thin tights on the market. And sometimes it’s just way too early in the morning to be behind the person who chose to have a no pants day wearing see through tights.

I realise that the initial outlay to have multiples of your gym kit can be expensive, but firstly, there’s no need to buy expensive stuff and secondly, your investment will pay off if you actually use it.

I then have my gym bag that contains my heart rate monitor, hair ties, a lock for the gym lockers,  a water bottle, hydralyte and runners, so it’s a just a matter of throwing a ziplock bag of clothes and a hand towel into my gym bag  and I’m good to go.

My car boot also has various other bits of exercise kit: hand towels, swimming gear (bathers, swim cap, goggles, towel, shower gels, deodorant and shampoo), hats, jumpers and tops for pre and post workout, spare socks and underwear, water bottles, sunscreen, my yoga mat and a frock in case I end up wanting to go somewhere unexpectedly post workout.


The benefits

Having it all sorted and in the car at the beginning of the week means that I never need to go home after work (couch danger) to get my gym gear and then go out again.

And in the morning rush, I already have a handbag and work bag to organise, as well as a healthy lunch to pack, so its good to not have to assemble a gym bag as well.

This simple organisational hack is one of the (many) ways I make my healthy living project achievable every day and over the long term as well.

By being organised, I’ve been better able to commit to making my training a given, not an option –  my excuses don’t have a chance and I very rarely miss a workout.

My friends and family may laugh at the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ in my car and the OCD styled ziplock bag system, but the system is working for me.

I’d love to hear the ways the other people get organised. I am a huge fan of organisational systems and processes that make living a healthy life easier, so if you have a suggestion, do share in the comments.

  • Phillipa Gilfillan

    Hi I love the idea! I don’t do it quite that well but I have a bag with everything in it that I pack up every night so it’s ready for the next day. I shall have to rethink!