Over the Labor Day weekend, I finally organized my home office. The Spectathlete and I moved in a new house six months ago, and the room reserved as “my office” was a complete disaster of boxes of holiday decorations, piles of pictures needing to be hung and any other oddball item we couldn’t find a place for in the house. Tired of using our living room coffee table as my desk, I finally decided to organize the office.
One of my biggest projects for the room was to organize the ridiculous amount of race swag I have accumulated over the years. Everything from medals and bibs to photos and posters. A self-admitted pack rat, I had nearly 80 race bibs tucked away in a drawer along with more than 20 medals. The number of race photos is also an embarassingly high number. Not wanting to part with any of them, I needed to figure out a way to organize the swag without it looking too cluttered. I dug deep and channeled my inner Martha Stewart to figure out a plan.
For the medals, I decided to use a $20 coat rack from Target. I could have spent nearly $100 on a custom medal display, but this works just as well.
I chose to put two of my favorite medals in shadow boxes – 2009 Nation’s Triathlon (my first Olympic race) and 2002 Country Music Half Marathon (my first 13.1).
For the race bibs, I turned them into wall art. I bought a bunch of $2 and $3 frames from Michael’s along with scrapbook paper and went to town. (Please ignore the fact that the bottom row isn’t exactly straight – I need to fix that!)
Just a few of the bibs I selected for frames:
Lastly, for the remaining bibs I hung them on this nifty $13 metal curtain wire from IKEA.
After spending most of weekend organizing this space, I can tell you it feels wonderful to have everything out of boxes and drawers. I’m not totally finished with the room as I need to figure out how to display some of my race photos. But that will have to wait for another free weekend to roll around. I also want to do something with the box of cotton race t-shirts in my closest. My mom has offered to make a quilt out of them, and I believe that may be the best option.
As I was cleaning, organizing and arranging, I ran across a picture of someone else’s race medals on Instagram. The person who posted it said she was donating her medals to Good Will because they had no sentimental value for her. I found that to be really interesting – not in a negative way – but in a “I didn’t realize people could do that” way. I assumed all runners and endurance athletes coveted their medals, and I couldn’t imagine parting with any mine. In fact, I became a little upset when I realized that one of my precious medals was missing (2003 Little Rock Marathon – relay).
So that begs the question: how sentimental are you about your race swag? Do you save your bibs or medals or is the memory of the race enough? Drop me a comment and let me know!