The Current Working Plan For The Home Gym Closet Area (Gaming Station + Gym Equipment Storage + Attic/Crawl Space Access)

Ever since Matt and I decided to turn this room into a home gym, and I had our contractor open up both bedroom closets to this room to create this wide closet space, I’ve had a general plan that this space would be used to store home gym equipment. I mean, that makes sense right? A home gym closet should store home gym equipment.

But this closet is a tricky one. As you can see in the photo above, our electric panel is on the back wall of this closet, so it needs to remain accessible. And yes, I will put the cover back on it. I took it off during the work on the master bathroom. And don’t worry, our animals aren’t allowed in this room, so they’re in no danger of jumping up there and touching things while the cover is off.

Anyway, what you can’t really see in the photo above is that this closet also houses the attic access, as well as the scuttle hole access to the crawl space underneath the house. Both of those access points are on the left side of the closet where you see the metal ladder folded up and leaning against the wall.

So in addition to those challenges, Matt also suggested to Matt that he should have a gaming station in this room. If you’ve been here a while, you know that at one time, this entire room was supposed to be Matt’s gaming room. He has collected probably 20+ gaming systems, and the plan was to build a massive entertainment system type of thing on one wall where he could have all of those gaming consoles displayed and usable through a system of switches and who-knows-what. (He had it all worked out in his mind how that would work. I don’t know anything about that stuff.)

As time went on, he decided that putting more of a priority on his health was the smart thing to do, so we decided together to turn this room into a home gym in stead of a gaming room. (No, I didn’t force him into this decision or take away his dream from him. 😀 He’s a big boy and can make his own decisions, and he decided that not only is his health more important than gaming, but so is mine.)

But even with us agreeing that this room would better serve us as a home gym, I still planned to carve out some space where he could at least have two or three of his favorite gaming systems, as well as some storage space for the actual games and controllers that go with the consoles.

Coming up with a way to fit all of that into a closet with an electrical panel, attic access, and crawlspace scuttle hole doesn’t really leave me with many options that I can think of. The only way I can think of to make all of that work is to build or buy something like a small chest of drawers that he can use for his gaming storage, and place that centered in the closet space. And the on either side of that, I can build shelves for storage of home gym equipment.

But the key is that the shelves couldn’t be installed permanently. They would have to be installed in such a way that they can be lifted out if we need to access the electric panel, the attic access, or the crawlspace scuttle hole.

It would definitely be a pain to have to clear the stuff off of the shelves and remove the shelves when we access those things, but at least we’re to the point in our home remodeling projects that these things aren’t having to be accessed on a constant basis.

Our HVAC unit is in the attic, and we have someone come and do cleaning and maintenance on the twice a year. And now that the master bathroom is done, I think the only time we’d need to access the crawl space under the house is if we having a plumbing emergency. So while it would be an inconvenience when the shelves do need to be removed, I don’t foresee that being a thing that needs to happen often.

So that’s my working plan for now. You can tell me if you have a more efficient idea for this space. And really, since I’ve never had a home gym before, and I’m not quite sure what equipment I may be acquiring as time goes on (I imagine some hand weights, maybe a kettle bell or two, exercise bands, and other things like that), maybe I don’t even need shelves. If any of you have home gyms, maybe you can offer some insight on what type of storage works best for you.

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      1. I came here to suggest the same: putting the shelves on casters. but go one step further and use locking casters. This way they are locked in place, since they may be holding heavier items. Then easy to unlock if they need to be moved. 🙂

        1. I’ve always found the rolling display racks at my hardware store pretty cool – they ride on rails like barn doors. It would let things remain on the shelves while the entire shelf gets rolled to one side or the other. Matt’s game station could be to either the front or back, and your storage the other.

      2. I came here to say, put it all on wheels so you can slide it out when needed. 😃. Also, you can buy dumbbell racks that stack them into a triangle. When each weight size is a different color I think it actually looks really neat all stacked up.

      3. Unfortunately not so simple. I have some shelves on wheels in one of my closets and you really need to know how much weight you’re going put on them and how tall you need so that your shelves and casters function as you hope. If closets were deeper, it wouldn’t be a problem. My rolling shelves work but I underestimated the weight of the things on them a bit and they are tall so even with 4″ wheels, they have to be rolled out slowly and carefully. Dumbbells, kettlebells, and other exercise paraphernalia weigh a lot and even gaming equipment parts and game boxes start to add up. You can do it, it just takes some thought and math.

    1. I came here to say this exact thing! Like a whole storage/shelving system that’s on casters where you can just unplug it from the electrical and roll it out of the way. Maybe folding sides and top that can clear the edges (using piano hinges, like gull wing doors on equipment or something).

  1. I’m excited for you to have a home gym. It seems you could have your equipment out in the room closer to where you’ll be using it like in front of the mirrors?
    I hate to cram all of Matt’s stuff in here. Is there some cool way you can incorporate his gaming and display into the family room?

    1. I would like for him to have two or three in there if he wants, but that’s still a long way out. Also, he spends so much time on his exercise bike each day, so it even after we have the addition built and usable, it would still be nice to have one or two in here so that he can have those games to occupy his mind while he’s using his exercise bike. Since it’s not really a normal exercise bike, hands are completely free while he’s on the bike.

      1. Sounds like a recumbent bike, which is what mine is. I do use 8 lb barbells (,very small ones) to exercise my arms while on it cuz theres nothing to do for your arms while riding. It’s great for me though, with my copd cuz I’m still getting exercise.

    2. I agree, a big entertainment center in the new family room that can house all of his gaming stuff would be awesome! Then he wouldn’t be holed up in one small room to game, too, plus there would be comfy seating for others to watch the games and play if they want. And the home gym could JUST be a home gym.

  2. What if you made roll out carts on the side with the access holes. The middle and electrical side could be permanently placed storage and therefore anything that needs to be plugged in or has cords or cables could go on the non-moveable storage. While the other side could have 2 shelving systems on wheels that house the games and anything that could easily be moved with the carts. I’d make 2 separate carts so they could easily be maneuvered to really fill the space and maximize storage.

  3. All great ideas! We don’t have any shelves in our current home gym hit I do have an entry-type bench with baskets underneath where I keep hand weights, exercise bands, and any other small things I don’t want out all of the time. Convenient and a minimal of clutter!

  4. Just yesterday, I was looking at garage storage cabinets online (Home Depot) and they come in several shapes, sizes, and colors – many have casters available. That might be more convenient than unloading and removing shelves.

  5. We have a similar problem. I would build the side shelves independent of the drawers. If you put them all on wheels you don’t have to remove anything. Just pull forward and over. You can hide the wheels if to industrial for you.

  6. 1) TV mount that can swing out of the way (for easy access to the electrical panel)

    2) Your storage/shelves/drawers built as three separate units on wheels that fit together as if one, but can easily be rolled out of the way when you need access to the closet. Maybe even with a removable top that unifies the three when they are in place to make it look more cohesive.

    Regardless, I have all the faith in the world you will come up with something that is custom to you, functional and beautiful. Looking forward to seeing your solution!

    1. We were just talking about attic access. Why do the builders always put in a tiny ceiling hole access in a closet?? We are thinking about putting in a larger pull down attic step unit. They fit between the ceiling joists. When trimmed out & painted like the ceiling they are not noticeable. I would love to see how you would install one of those

  7. I don’t think you need a lot of room for handheld gym equipment. Hooks on the wall can hold bands, straps and tubing. I put mine in a basket. A shelf for hand weights. I like the idea of rolling storage for the closet. A perfect solution.

  8. That’s a tough one with all the access space needed and weights being heavy as well. Might need very quick access to the electric panel if something were to happen or to the plumbing in case of a leak, doable but takes some time to move things. Maybe plan it so light stuff is on the left and on the top area near the electric box.

    Also the TV might make it tough to get into the attic, easier to avoid going down, but not going up. Have you considered moving the attic access? Maybe into the hallway going into the home gym or in the hallway right outside where the bathroom access is.

    What about putting the gaming equipment in the breakfast area since there will be fewer.

  9. well my idea is that same shelving but on casters and not affixed to the wall? so it can just be rolled in and out of that same space and any type of electronics can just be unplugged and rolled out and moved with it! thats my 2 cents.

  10. We turned a bedroom into a home gym as soon as we moved into our house. There is a closet in there with three shelves. Primarily we use the shelf over the area that would be for long hanging clothes. The only things on that shelf are a box for my gym shoes, the barbell pad, wrist wraps, and a couple hand weights. Under the shelf I mounted command hooks to hang the resistance bands, their attachments, a jumprope, and my lifting gloves. My husband uses one other shelf for his exercise notebook and the over the door pull-up bar. That’s all the accessories we have that aren’t actually in the room. We have a dumbbell rack with various pairs of dumbbells and kettlebells on it, a rowing machine, a Maxpro Trainer and a bench with a barbell rack in the room. There is a large digital clock with seconds, a 4′ X 8′ mirror, and a TV on the walls. That’s pretty much it and we feel that we get pretty close to the same workouts we would get in a commercial gym.
    Realistically, we could put all the shelf items on one shelf and it wouldn’t be crowded at all. You probably don’t need as much shelf space as you think. The rolling cabinet/shelf mentioned by Brenda is an excellent idea to address your storage and access requirements.

  11. What about shelves on the inside of the closet to the right of the electrical box for your hand weights, dumbbells etc. I can tell from the pic if there is enough room there to do it. We have them this shelves in two of our closets and makes a difference for me. Just a thought

  12. We have metal shelves with rolling casters (sold at Costco) and a substantial rolling cart in front of large electrical panels and access points. That way, we can quickly and easily move them without a lot of work.

  13. I’d put the chest on wheels and move it to the left as well as the TV with a piece of art (lightweight) the same size as the TV on the right with open shelves the same size as the chest below. Symmetry and you have easy access to attic, below, and breaker box. Or just do two chests on wheels and store workout stuff in the chest on the right.

  14. Would you consider putting the shelves and drawers on wheels? Maybe you can have a kick plate to cover them, but it would make life easier when and if you have to move things to gain access.

  15. Krisiti,

    What about some sort of cart-on-wheels that could be rolled out [with the game equipment in tact], opening up the access points, and then rolling it back in. Seems like it might be less “labor-intensive” than having to unload all the game equipment from removable shelves.

    Just a thought…

  16. I went to look at the floor plan for the gym to see where all the stuffs would go (bike, weights, ect) because my brain kept thinking there may be an opportunity in the room itself for additional equipment (versus the closet). I saw the original, but not an update. If you don’t have one yet, maybe starting there with the gaming in the closet would help the creative process? Or help you see a solution?

    As for access, my vote is 2-3 sets of rolling shelves so you can take out as much or as little as needed from the closet.

    These walls still make my heart happy. So pretty!

  17. One option would be 3 units on casters. Two units would be pushed through the opening and slid sideways, one to each side and the third then pushed into the middle. The units could be weight racks, cabinets, open shelves or desk for gaming. I’ve seen cabinets with the top that pivots upside down so one console is on the top suface and one on the underside of the top. In workshops one tool is on the top and one on the underside.
    I would keep the electrical panel clearly visible and easy to reach for emergencies.

  18. I’d opt for equipment storage outside the closet. There’s a lot goi g in in that closet space as it is. Can you store dumbbells on one of those triangular things I see in some gyms? I do like the cabinet and shelves though perhaps game storage and maybe some small towels for when you’re exercising?

  19. What about shelving units on large industrial wheels? Any cords could be made to the accomodating length for possible moving of the units out the distance necessary to access those crawl and attic spaces…🤔

  20. How about a hidden doorway that has a bookcase in front? Do you go through that area routinely?

    I’m fascinated by how they are built.

  21. What about something like carts from the container or store or something similar that have wheels? Then you could pull them out when you need to access those things, you can just pull the carts out.

  22. I can’t wait to see this room. It is going to be so great! As for the shelves and having to move all the things to access the attic and/or crawl space . . . that would be too much hassle for this girl. I would have to utilize some sort of rolling cabinet or shelving unit on each side of the TV instead. Wheels would be the key for me. 🙂

  23. I think you’ll find that you’ll have plenty of room for a weight rack. As mentioned in the other comment you’ll love the color of the hand weights along with the contrast of black from barbells,etc. You’ll probably want your tv on a wall so you can access the million free workout videos on you tube or other apps. I would leave the closet area for minimal storage of hand towels, antibacterial cleaning stuff, maybe an extra mat. If doing yoga and stretching, you’ll need hooks for straps, a shelf for blocks and maybe space for foam rollers. But you could probably store the rollers in a bucket or basket. There’s only two of you, so you won’t need as much as you think. I’d leave the access area open of easy access. The last thing you need to worry about with a plumbing emergency is moving shelves! Can’t wait to see how you finish this space 🙂

  24. There is so much going on in that closet, everything needs to be accessible so anything built-in or that needs to be disassembled would be a deal breaker. Wheels, wheels, and more wheels. I see industrial carts with locking casters, possibly store-bought, or like the sewing table in the studio. Put the large screen TV on a swivel mount to get it out of the way of the electrical panel. Everything could be moved with the least amount of effort, and quickly.

  25. Well my very first thought was to hire someone to put a pull down attic access in the hallway if possible. You may even gain some minor storage if the roof is higher at this point. I can’t tell. You how wonderful this type of access is. I had an oversized one in my last house that I could actually put large furniture through that I wanted to hang onto since my attic was climatized.

  26. I don’t have a home gym, but I’m wondering how much storage you need for Matt? I’m looking at IKEA storage right now, and there are many office options with drawers and on wheels. I used some of their cube storage in my craft/office room, and my husband put a platform under, and a very big “table” on top to make a work table. Then he put on wheels. So handy to use, and then push out of the way in between projects. AND I have cubes with doors, and drawers underneath. Now I am looking at a desk that has two cabinets on either side, and some drawers with wheels for more storage. I’m sure you could do better than I can buy, but I have been happy with my IKEA pieces so far. I have bookcases that are 15 years old…still great. Good luck with this project…I know it will be great!

  27. What about shelves on rollers? Rather than hang shelves, make your own shelving units that can moved easily when necessary. (At least on the left side to get to both access hatches.)
    Looking forward to following your progress on this room whatever you decide 🙂

  28. That`s what I was thinking, a unit with cupboard at the bottom and open shelving on top that simply swings out as and when needed, cupboard for putting things away and shelve,s for display items,