Your pet is a valued member of your household. Unfortunately, pets can’t clear their own clutter in the same way that your roommates, family members and kids can. Keeping your pet’s supplies organized in your home and your storage unit helps to ensure you don’t get frustrated by your animal friend. Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, rodent or reptile, taking a few hours to organize your pet supplies will make your home a happier, healthier place for everyone who lives there.
Step One: Clean Out the Pet Supplies
Cleaning your pet supplies is an important first step. Pull out all your pet supplies and clean the shelves where you’ve been storing them. If you keep your pet food in bins or containers, jot down a note to clean them thoroughly the next time they are emptied. If you have kids, get them involved by asking them to collect the toys that your dog or cat has scattered throughout the house. Gather everything into a big pile so you can sort them.
Organizing guru Sandy Jenney notes “the first thing you should do in organizing your supplies is to sort through them.” Sorting doesn’t need to be a tough task. To facilitate the process, separate your pet supplies into the following categories:
- Perishable chews and treats
- Chew toys
- Plush toys
- Leashes and collars
- Pet beds and blankets
If you have a bird, rodent or reptile, you should also create a separate area for that pet’s cage supplies. Items like bedding, decorations, wheels and perches can go in this pile.
As you sort through your supplies, you’re likely to find toys that are too old or worn to be of use. Throw these away so they don’t cause clutter. If you encounter toys that your pet doesn’t use that are in good condition, consider donating them to a shelter. You can also donate any unneeded food, bedding, cages and leashes to your local shelter.
Step Two: Organize Supplies Throughout Your Home
After you’ve sorted through your pet supplies, you can begin to store them in permanent locations in your home. The approach you take to this task will depend on your overall organization style and the space in your home or apartment. You might take the approach of Martha Stewart, who says that all of her litter boxes are “kept in the basement in a row.” You might just make a simple vow to keep all of your litter boxes or food dishes in one area of your home. If it’s feasible, store these items in an enclosed porch.
You can use plastic organizing towers, cupboards or a dresser to put the rest of your supplies in order. Pet guru and American Kennel Club spokesperson Lisa Peterson “stashes her pets’ goods in a tall, skinny tag-sale dresser. The top drawer is dedicated to her pets’ health―all pills and a folder for their medical records. The second drawer is for spare leashes and collars, the third for grooming supplies, and the last for bulk dog chews.” Sorting your pet supplies into a dresser makes particular sense because you’ll know exactly where everything is, cutting down on the amount of time you spend searching for pet essentials.
It’s a good idea to label each drawer or cupboard where you store your pet supplies too. Keep veterinary records and contact info for your vet in a convenient, central location. Store health records and vet info with your pet’s medicine. Not only will this help you get organized but also it will give you peace of mind if you hire a pet sitter while on vacation. Be sure to keep treats and food separate from medicines. This will prevent cross contamination and will ensure that no one accidentally gives your pet a pill thinking it was a treat.
Step Three: Store Items Your Pet Doesn’t Use Every Day
If you’re pressed for space, choosing a storage unit for your non-edible pet supplies can make a lot of sense. You can use online search tools to find a Life Storage facility in your area.
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