With a two-year-old and a full-time job, the gym is pretty much an impossibility for us and our house isn't big enough to devote an entire room to a home gym, so here are some tips for creating a multi-functional workout space that's easy to pack away when the aerobics are over.
1. Put wheels on your ottoman or coffee table. The thought of constantly dragging furniture out of the way made a serious dent in our motivation, so putting wheels on our ottoman was a huge help in setting up a usable workout space (Read this post to find out step-by-step how we did it). Now it only takes about 30 seconds to clear a space for our fitness routine. Wheels could work on a coffee table as well, but we like that the ottoman can be pushed against the wall for extra seating and since it has storage, it's also a great place for stowing our gear.
2. Use floor pillows for extra seating. Another way to keep from having to move furniture around is to use floor pillows which can simply be tossed on the couch to get them out of the way when they aren't needed.
3. Keep the TV out of the way. We're lucky to have a built-in nook for our TV, but wall-mounting is also a great way to save space and give yourself a little extra room to move around.
4. Make sure your gear is easy to access. The beloved PS cabinet from Ikea playfully references a locker room and provides a perfect spot underneath for us to store our Wii Fit. For us, the bottom line is that if our exercise gear is buried under a pile of junk in the closet, we won't use it so we need like to keep all or our stuff easy to reach, but not out in the open.
In addition to our storage ottoman, we like to store our supplies in this sturdy wooden "milk crate" tucked away in the corner of the room.
5. Get a rug. At first we weren't sure about having a rug in our workout area, but it's turned out to be a nice cushion underfoot and carpets and rugs are essential for apartment dwellers to muffle the sound of their pattering feet to anyone living below. Just make sure you invest in a good rug pad so that it stays firmly in place.
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(Images: Sarah Rainwater)