A Case Study for Organizing Your Gear — And Keeping It That Way!

by | Nov 23, 2023 | Gear

If you’ve been here a while, you know I’m mildly obsessed with organization, especially of athletic gear. I’ve done videos about creating a home charging station, I’ve talked ad nauseam about editing one’s cycling wardrobe to make getting ready for a ride easy… and this weekend, I completely ignored my own advice and was reminded just how valuable it is. Keeping your stuff organized not only saves you time, it saves you stress and the headaches that come from doing your training without the gear that you want.

Sometimes, I realize how often I say the ‘of course, being organized saves you time’ advice. I actually start to almost doubt myself: It starts to sound spam-y or hack-y to talk about the importance of keeping your stuff organized, and I start to secretly wonder if you really can gain back hours of training time if you have your stuff in the right place.

And then, I lost my watch.

Actually, I didn’t lose my watch. I misplaced it. Saturday, we got home from a run-breakfast date-condo board meeting extravaganza. I had everything in my massive tote bag, from library books (the board meeting was right by the library) to breakfast leftovers to extra warm clothes I didn’t need to hydration packs to laundry from the run. The bag was a discombobulated mess, and I unpacked it… pretty much. I put the one airpod back in its case. I put my leftovers in the fridge and the library books on the coffee table. The next logical step, as I’ve said OVER AND OVER on this blog, would be to pop my watch and headphones onto their spots in their charging station.

I didn’t do it.

And so, my headphones remained on the kitchen counter. The watch? Well…

Flash forward to Sunday morning, when we’re already getting out of the house later than we had planned as we finished up a few things. I was getting ready to ride, and as a last thing to do, I went to grab my headphones and watch from off the counter. The headphones were still there. The watch? Not.

So, we’re already late, tension in mounting, and I cannot find my damn watch anywhere. I’m checking in the Roomba’s dust bin and rollers, under the couch, in the trash. Looking at what my phone can see via Bluetooth, I can see that it’s connected to my phone so I know it’s somewhere. Somehow that makes it even more infuriating.

After about 15 fruitless minutes of searching, Peter grumpily (rightly so) convinced me to leave it and get moving. It’s not the end of the world to miss recording a ride on that watch.

And that’s true. But the damage was already done: We’d lost 15 minutes, and more than that, my casual weekend mood was shattered. I was in a huge grump the entire drive to the trails, furious and secretly blaming Peter for clearly being the one who misplaced my watch. (Spoiler alert: He was not.)

It wasn’t until later that night that it dawned on me: Check the laundry hamper.

When we got home, I did exactly that, and shocker: the watch was right there, in with my dirty run stuff. I had done the organizing task of putting my dirty stuff in the hamper the day before, but by neglecting putting my watch and headphones on their chargers, I completely missed the fact that my watch had gotten tangled up with my dirty run stuff. So, I cost us time, wrecked my morning mood, and almost wrecked my watch (considering I was very close to just starting a load of laundry right when we got home!).

Moral of the story? You can have all the organizational tools, but if you don’t actually use them, they won’t work for you.


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