How to Store Workout Equipment in a Small Apartment (And Which Ones To Get)

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If you live in a small apartment, a home gym might seem like an unnecessary use of space. Depending on your equipment, it can be a bitch to set up, make your place look clunky, and ruin whatever aesthetic you have going on.

But there are perks and advantages of having a home gym, particularly if you live very far from one, and running is just not your thing (or it is your thing, but you don’t want that to be your only form of exercise). 

home gym concept, room with dumbbells kettlebell foam roller and push-up handles on yoga mat to workout from home

During the pandemic, one of my best impulse-buys was a doorway pull-up bar and a set of adjustable dumbbells. I was over running at that stage, and my energy and motivation were low (whose wasn’t?). 

Having some gym equipment around made it easier for me to get some movement in, even if it was just for 10-15 minutes a day. The pull-up bar also motivated me to do micro-movements throughout the day, because I’ll do a pull-up (or a negative if I don’t have it in me to do a full one) whenever I walk under the bar. Side note—this is a fantastic way to increase your pull-ups or even work towards your first one.

The key is finding (or creating) storage space. And if you’re wondering how on earth you will do that in your tiny space, keep reading to find out. 

1. Opt for adjustable/foldable/portable equipment 

The easiest space-saving hack for your equipment is to buy stuff that’s adjustable, fordable, or portable.

If weights are your thing, I recommend looking into a pair of adjustable dumbbells or kettlebells. Provided that they don’t clash too much with your color palette (which shouldn’t be hard since most of them come in black or grey), you can just use them as decor when you’re not using them.

Cardio machines are a bit trickier, but you can get foldable treadmills, rowing machines, and stationary bikes such as a Peloton these days. Personally, I think the best placement for these is facing your TV…for obvious reasons. 

2. Utilize wall spaces 

If lack of floor space is an issue, then one easy solution is to use vertical space. No, I don’t mean buying a new set of drawers or cabinets you don’t have room for. I meant mounting shelves (or even just one if you don’t have very much equipment) to the wall.

Consider investing in a pegboard if you want a dedicated workout storage space. This allows you to create more storage space and arrange it in a tidy (and even aesthetically) pleasing way. 

Wall Control 30-P-3232GV Galvanized Steel Pegboard Pack

3. Take advantage of any outdoor space you might have 

Do you have a balcony or a little outdoor area that isn’t big enough for a chill-out area? If you’d rather keep your living space free of gym equipment, then consider storing it in your outdoor area—whether that’s a balcony or backyard. Just be mindful that your equipment might get wet on rainy or snowy days.

4. Under (or behind) furniture 

Perhaps you just want to work within your existing storage system. I get it. While mounting stuff to the wall is a great way to create extra space, it can give maximalist vibes to a small apartment, and that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. 

The easiest thing to do in that case would be to put it under (or behind) any furniture that isn’t occupied with other stuff already. Whether that’s under your bed or dining table, or behind your couch or mirror, you might have more space than you think. 

5. Opt for a bench with built-in storage 

If you don’t have any space under or behind your furniture, and you have a liiiiiitle bit of space to buy another one, one of the best things you can invest in is a bench with a built-in storage unit underneath. 

A bench is also a great multi-purpose fitness tool. If you look up ‘exercises you can do with a bench,’ you’ll find an entire workout routine with exercises you might not have thought of. 

Related: Tips for storing a stroller in a small apartment

6. Multi-level shelving unit 

If a bench with built-in storage isn’t enough to store all your equipment (and you have space with another piece of furniture), it might be time to invest in a multi-shelving unit. Both cabinets and drawers can technically work, but if your workout equipment is a weight-training device, a cabinet works a lot better. 

7. Invest in a smart home gym system 

Lastly, if your budget allows, you can invest in a smart home gym system like Tonal or MaxPro. A Tonal just looks like a slick black screen when you’re not using it, while MaxPro’s size allows you to fold it up when you’re not using it and tuck it somewhere out of sight. 

A home gym or workout space can feel like a luxury that small space dwellers don’t have. But you can have it. You just need to be choosy when deciding which equipment to buy and, more importantly, be crafty and creative about storing your equipment. 

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