Easy Ways To Organize Your Pet’s Belongings
Let’s face it; our pets take over our hearts and our homes. Between the pet toys, beds, grooming supplies, leashes, litter boxes — the list goes on and on — you might feel like your pet needs their own room. Don’t give up the spare bedroom just yet. Instead, use these tips for organizing your pet’s belongings.
Organize your pet’s belongings using zones for different categories. Keep items near where you use them for more convenience and easier clean-up. Pare down excess toys, supplies, and treats to maintain a manageable amount of items. Create a file folder so all your pet’s records are in one place, and go digital where possible.
Pets don’t really ask for much. They need the basics and are content with your affection and attention. But, they still seem to accumulate a lot of stuff, so what do you do with it all?
Organizing Your Pet’s Stuff Makes Life Easier
Creating an organized space comes with many benefits, from saving time and money to reducing stress and frustration. Even if your pets don’t care too much about how messy their stuff is, you do.
Setting up your pet’s belongings in a manageable way helps you find things more quickly and ensures you know what you have. No more buying more dog shampoo when you already have three bottles stuffed under the sink. Say goodbye to being late for vet visits because you can’t get to the cat carrier.
Here are 8 helpful tips for organizing your pet’s belongings (and making life easier).
1. Pare Down Pet Items
No matter what you’re organizing, the first step is always going to be to reduce the amount of stuff you have. It’s time to declutter and free up some space. Most of the time, we don’t need everything we think we do, and this sentiment applies to pets, too.
Gather all of your pet’s belongings into one place and start sorting them into categories. Get rid of any unnecessary duplicates. For example, you don't need three identical pet brushes, four pairs of nail clippers, and three different types of dog beds.
Toss anything that is worn down and broken. These items aren't safe for your pet, anyway. Donate items in good condition to an animal shelter or someone with pets looking for a helping hand.
2. Make Outings Easy With An On-The-Go Station
Being organized is all about making life easier. Therefore, set up a station near the front door or your main entry point for the things you need when you bring your pet for a walk or a ride.
Hang decorative hooks for your dog’s leash and harness. Get a poop bag container with a clip so you can keep it on the leash. If you spend a lot of time outdoors on walks with your pet, include some pet-friendly bug spray or sunscreen in this area, too.
For frequent car rides, keep a doggy seat belt in your car. But if your pet uses a kennel or carrier, store it somewhere handy. Perhaps there’s a hall closet near your main entry. Or you could use an armoire to set up in an entryway for all your on-the-go needs. If you’re really pressed for space, consider keeping the carrier in your car.
3. Use A Grooming Caddy
If you have one designated spot where you bathe your pup or brush your cat, set up a drawer, shelf, or cabinet for all of their grooming supplies. Place shampoo, conditioner, and detangler on a shelf. Add hooks below to hang a grooming mitt, towel, brush, nail clippers, etc.
But if you sometimes need to groom your pet in different places, use a grooming caddy. You can purchase specific grooming caddies at pet supply stores, but any type of caddy will do. Set up your supplies as you wish in the caddy to easily tote them wherever you plan to groom your furry friend.
4. Hide Pet Toys In A Pretty Basket
This tip may seem simple, but you’d be surprised how often it gets overlooked or implemented in a less-than-ideal way. Skip the pet bins with pictures of paws and bones. Instead, find a decorative basket to hide unsightly pet toys in plain sight.
Make sure all of your pet’s toys fit in easily without spilling over the sides. However, also ensure the basket is short enough for your pet to access their toys. Look for a basket with a washable liner, so it's easy to keep clean in case muddy toys make their way to it from outside.
5. Never Forget Pet Medication
Stow all of your pet’s medication in a container near your other medication. Or, if it’s something you need to give your pet every day, keep it somewhere easy to remember, like near your pet’s food. This way, whenever you feed your pet, it’s simple to give them their medicine at the same time.
For monthly medications, like flea and heartworm prevention, write the date you need to give it to your pet on the back of the packet. This way, you know at a glance if your pet’s had their medication that month.
Make sure to store medicine in a cool, dry place to maintain its effectiveness. Also, pay attention to expiration dates. Dispose of expired medicine responsibly with drug recycling programs at your local pharmacy. Or ask your vet if they will dispose of unused medications.
6. Create A Designated Travel Bag For Your Pet
Does your fur baby take lots of trips with you? It can be a pain to pack up all of their stuff every time you travel, especially when you’re trying to gather your own items together. Have a travel bag ready to go for your dog or cat.
Keep basic grooming supplies, like a comb and brush, a small pet first-aid kit, and a collapsible travel dish for their food and water. It’s also wise to keep copies of your pet’s vaccination records and any other necessary paperwork. Add a container for pet food, a pouch for medications, and any other items you’ll need for your journey.
When it’s time to take your trip, you just need to add your pet’s food and medication and a couple of their favorite toys. Then, grab their carrier or leash from your on-the-go station as you head out the door.
7. Keep All Of Your Pet Paperwork In One Place
Anytime you bring your pet to the vet, get an updated rabies certificate, etc., keep the records in one designated file. If you already have a place for your important papers, it makes sense to keep this file with the rest of them. Go digital whenever possible to cut back on the amount of paper you need to keep.
Having everything in one spot makes it much easier to get your hands on things when you need them. It’s also useful if you need to leave town in a hurry, for example, an evacuation or a family emergency. You know you have everything you need for traveling with your pet if you need to show proof of vaccinations or get set up with a new vet.
8. Limit Your Backstock Items
It’s understandable to stock up on items when there’s a special deal. Everyone loves to save money. However, extra supplies can quickly take over your space if you’re not careful.
First, don't buy too much of something that will expire soon. For example, your dog can only eat so many treats in a given time, so buying them in bulk might not be the best option if they expire within a few months.
However, it can make sense to purchase items like dog shampoo, cat litter, and products with a longer shelf life in multi-packs. Set up a designated area for these surplus items and confine your backstock to this location.
It could be one set of shelves in your garage or a single shelf in a hallway closet. Maybe you only have enough room for one large bin. Whatever space you have, once it’s full, that’s it. You don’t get to purchase any more backstock until you use some and free up space in the container.
You And Your Pet Will Appreciate An Organized Space
Both you and your pet benefit from an organized space. Even though your dog or cat might not stress about a cluttered house, you will. So when you organize your pet’s stuff, you feel better, get things done faster, and are calmer. And when you’re calmer, your pet definitely notices.
So, don’t let your pet’s toys, bed grooming supplies, and other odds and ends start crowding you out of your home. You don’t need a bigger house. You just need these simple tips for storing your pet’s things in a more manageable way.
Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.
More by Stacy Randall