One of my New Year's resolutions is to clean out and organize my closets and drawers and, like many runners, I have a lot of "running clutter." Running shoes, old race T-shirts, and race memorabilia are taking up valuable space in my closets and drawers. If you're also looking to de-clutter, here are some ways to give your running stuff a new life:
Sell or donate your running clothes. If you have piles of running clothes that no longer fit you (thanks to weight loss - congrats!), you can sell your used running clothes at a local consignment shop or on sites like eBay or Craiglist. Or, if you have a stack of race T-shirts that you know you'll never wear, donate them to charities such as Goodwill or Salvation Army, or list them on Freecycle.org.
Recycle your electronic gadgets. If you just got a new Garmin Forerunner for Christmas, make sure your older model gets a good home. You can donate electronic goods such as watches, MP3 players, and cell phones. Or, if they no longer work, check out Earth 911's website for information on how you can recycle them.
Recycle your used running shoes. There are lots of shoe recycling or donation programs that will put your used shoes to good use. For example, Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program collects worn-out athletic shoes (any brand, not just Nike) and recycles them (rather than going into landfills) into material used in sports surfaces like basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields, running tracks and playgrounds for kids around the world.
Donate your race medals. Not sure what to do with your collection of medals? Medals4Mettle (M4M) is a non-profit organization that collects marathon, half-marathon, and triathlon medals from runners around the world and distributes them to children and adults who have demonstrated courage by dealing with disease, handicaps or any similar challenge. The Indianapolis-based organization has a nationwide network of doctors and others who award the medals to deserving, courageous people who are running their own race.