Creature clutter! If you have pets, you probably know what I’m talking about. All those toys, leashes, bowls, treats, and other pet-related items seem to take over your house. Believe me, I’ve been there! But not long ago, I decided to tackle it head-on and I came up with some simple, quick ideas that can be implemented into any pet-loving home.
1. Designate one area of your home as “pet stuff central.”
With a few exceptions, I’ve found it’s best to keep my pet supplies in one central location so the rest of the house stays organized. In my home, it’s the laundry room but you’ll probably need to experiment to find what works best for you.
We have an entire cabinet (base and overheads) devoted just to the supplies we need for our two cats, Turtle and Olivia, and our dog, Chilly.
This helps me keep the rest of the house clean and organized. Plus, it lets me see, at a glance, when I’m running out of litter or pet food. Our pet sitter, Kasey, also appreciates it because she knows she can find everything she needs in one place.
2. Make things easy to access.
Cut down on frustration by thinking about which items you need to access and how often. Then put a plan into place that will allow you to quickly and easily get to those items when you need them.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to drag a 30-pound bag of dog food off the top shelf every day. So I keep Chilly’s food in a bin on a lower shelf. There’s also room in the cabinet for heavy, oversized, or infrequently used items such as travel gear, an e-collar, and unopened bags of food. To make these easy to get to, we customized the cabinet by adding a roller drawer. Now, we just pull out the drawer and whatever we need is right at our fingertips!
3. Use bins and baskets to separate supplies.
Don’t you just love the dollar store? I sure do! That’s where I found some cute, colorful nylon bins store that I use to keep different categories of supplies separate (i.e., cat mediations, dog medications, and grooming supplies have their own bins). This makes them easy to find and prevents medication mix-ups.
I also use a large, sealed bin to keep Chilly’s food in. Not only does it fit perfectly into the cabinet, it helps the food stay fresh and prevents the Florida humidity from removing the “crunch” factor.
4. Keep often-used items where you most need them.
If there are items you use on a daily basis, save yourself time by creating a space near the location you need them most. For example, place a basket with shampoo, brush, and towels near the room where your dog gets bathed. For daily walks, hang a leash hook by your front door.
This is especially important for my husband and I when it comes to cleaning the two litter boxes. To make our least favorite pet chore super convenient, I keep extra supplies in a litter box caddy within easy reach. The caddy holds a scoop and liners, and it also has a small bucket-type reservoir in which you can put a plastic grocery bag to collect those delightful “scoopings” before discarding.
5. Keep clutter at bay by storing toys in a basket.
Have you ever actually counted your pet’s toys? If they’re anything like my dog Chilly, the stuffies, squeakies, and chewies probably run into the double digits. To keep them corralled, I bought a basket that sits next to his crate and bed in the TV room. All it takes is just a few seconds to gather them up and toss them in. As a fun bonus, if your pup enjoys having a job, you could even teach him to put away his own toys!
What’s your favorite way to keep creature clutter from taking over your home? Tell me in the comments below!