These days pets have as many accoutrements as people do. My neighbor’s schnauzer has at least three different leashes. My aunt’s bulldog has a wardrobe most young professionals would be envious of. And my boyfriend’s golden retriever has more chew toys than a teething baby.
All of this pet gear has a tendency to take over–sometimes one room in the house, like the laundry room or the front hall. But for other people, the pup’s stuff is everywhere. It doesn’t have to be.
I’ve got a few clever solutions up my sleeve to help you take control of your pet’s gear.
- Pick a Home. One of the biggest mistakes pet owners make is trying to store all of their pet’s little extras in different places in the house. Designate one spot for all of your pet gear. A hall closet, laundry room, or even the garage are all sensible choices.
- Out With the Old. Before you even think about organizing, it’s time to come to terms with a few well-worn items. That fraying leash? Toss it. The gnarly chew toy? Chuck it. Those rain boots your dachshund is visibly embarrassed to wear? Donate them. Getting rid of the old stuff means fewer items to organize.
- Divide and Conquer. Separate your pet gear and group like items. This way you’ll be able to gauge the exact number of storage bins you’ll need and what size each one should be.
- Indulge in a Shelf. A storage shelf, that is. These units are brilliant for pet gear because they have between four and eight easy-to-access baskets and the units come in sizes that can fit everywhere from the laundry room to a coat closet. Place items you use the most (like cat nip and squeeze toys) in the middle baskets and stow less used items (ahem, those studded dog sweaters) in the top baskets.
- Use Some Hooks. Psst. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Those hooks you use in the hall to hang guests’ coats can also be used to hang leashes. But don’t try to mingle the two. Instead designate a special hook just for pet leashes.
- Camouflage. For people with small apartments, storing gear in a laundry room or closet isn’t possible. Baskets mean your pet’s gear is somewhat visible, so instead, hide it away in a storage ottoman. Pick a piece that blends in seamlessly with the rest of your furniture.
- Use Your Doors. If there’s no space for an extra piece of furniture, snag an over-the-door organizer. It keeps clutter in the closet without taking up precious floor space.
- Don’t Forget About the Food. Some owners aren’t keen on storing pet food in the laundry room or the garage. If the pantry is more your style, there are plenty of tools to help you keep food fresh and out of the way. People with cats and dogs that eat wet food can keep the two from intermingling with food dispensers. These wire organizers keep cans stacked and separated from the rest of the food in the pantry. For dry food, skip chip clipping the bag closed — it can lead to spills and spoilage — and keep those kibbles and bits in an airtight container.
Have an organizing tip–or an organizing dilemma–you’d like to share? Let us know in the space below!