This week we are going to get our pets organized!
This year I am doing a weekly series every Monday on organizing. There is a great book that I found on Amazon, organize now, by Jennifer Ford Berry. The thing I really love about this book is that it is broken up in to weeks. There is a project for every week of the year, plus a few more. I am doing all of the weekly challenges this year, but I am changing the order up a bit.
Any printables from the Organize Now series are available here…
I have made monthly calendars of my projects, available here…
I know some people have pets other than the ordinary dogs and cats. Some people have fish, birds, reptiles, rabbits, and more. I am not giving, as part of this challenge, detailed instructions for each type of animal, since they wouldn’t apply to everyone.
I first gathered all of my pet stuff together in one location. On the kitchen table. I was appalled at how much stuff I had that was either expired, was something that none of the pets liked, outgrown, or just down right disgusting. I do have huge dogs, you know.
Here are examples of items that should be decluttered:
Old or broken toys (or ones that are just too disgusting even for a dog to play with anymore)
Pet carriers or cages which are no longer used, or are broken
Treats or pet food your pets just don’t like or won’t eat (or are old or expired)
Items from pets you no longer own
Outgrown leashes, collars, clothing (yes, pet clothing)
Organize Your Pet Supplies Into Categories
After you’ve decluttered you can assess what you have left and begin the process of organizing everything.
To do this, sort all of your pet supplies into categories. Example categories include:
Leashes and collars
Mobile pet supplies
Once everything is categorized, I believe it works best to create storage areas to hold the various categories of supplies close to the general area where you do the corresponding activity with your pet.
Create A Pet Food Storage Area
Pet food storage is one of the biggest areas to consider when you organize pet supplies. My two monster dogs, all 220 pounds or so of them, go through some massive quantities of dog food. I am not even going to show you where I currently store their food. It is in a big, stained rubbermaid container in my laundry room. With the old rubbermaid container of cat food stacked on top of it.
Ideally you’ll keep your bowls and pet food in an area close to where you feed your pets, which is often in the kitchen, garage or laundry room. Make sure to choose a container with a tight lid to keep rodents, insects and other pests from invading the food.
Also consider where you’ll place your pet’s food and water bowls. Choose a place that is easy for them to get to, but out of the way of other activities. Place the bowls on vinyl placemats to protect your floor from water and food drips and spills.
My dogs are disgusting. They drool all over the place, and if they have been outside playing, they come inside, get a big slurp of water, then drool half of it onto their monster paws, therefore creating mud. This mud can then be tracked out of the laundry room, through the kitchen, into the living room, and onto the couch.
I am considering getting them one of these raised platforms, which hopefully will reduce some of the mess. And be much healthier for their digestion. Which is of course my first priority. All of this cute stuff is from the Ballard Designs website…
Finally, don’t forget to create a space for your pet’s treats, on your kitchen counter or in your pantry.
Pet Toys Storage & Organization
I suggest you store pet toys close to where your pet plays, and if you’ve got some indoor and some outdoor toys you may want to store them in two separate locations, like the indoor toys in the living room and the outdoor toys by the back door.
Organize Miscellaneous Pet Supplies
There are additional pet supplies that also need to be organized as part of this challenge. These can include:
Pet medications, which should be stored close to where you administer them (make sure they are stored in a safe location, and well-labeled as pet meds, not people meds).
Grooming tools and products close to where you do these activities.
Bathing supplies, which I keep separate from my grooming supplies, as we take just this bucket outside in the summer to bathe the dogs, and store it in the bathroom where we bathe them in the winter.
Keep leashes, collars, and waste disposal bags close to the door in the entryway or mud room where you can grab them when you are going out for a walk or going out to the car.
Keep cat litter and other litter disposal tools close to each litter box in your home to make litter changes easier
Organize Paperwork & Medical Information About Your Pets
Finally, the last step is to create a pet organizer for vital documents, much like you’d create for any other family member.
Create a file for each pet containing its medical history, vaccination records, license documents, and other such information. This stuff is invaluable in an emergency, when you need it quickly.
I purchased this great Pet Kit from the Clean Mama Etsy store. It coordinates with all of the other Clean Mama printables that I use in my Homekeeping binder, which I will be covering in the next few weeks.
I printed out a copy of the Pet Kit for each pet, and I paper clipped these forms to the file folders for each one.
Don’t forget to add important dates for your pets onto your family calendar, including vet appointments, grooming schedules, and when to administer medication! A Hobonichi Planner would be perfect for that…