In this week’s challenge we’ll be organizing pet supplies, including pet food, treats, toys, paperwork and information and more. If you own a pet (or multiple pets) you know how quickly they each become a part of the family. Of course, like any member of the family they seem to accumulate lots of stuff, which can quickly overtake your home if you don’t keep it under control. So this week we’re going to get all the supplies, gear and food for your pets organized and ready for use.
Because each person’s pets are so unique, and there are many varieties, from dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles 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. Instead, I’ll be speaking in more general terms to make sure you think of all the areas of your home that need to be organized for your pets.
Are you new here? The Organize Pet Supplies Challenge is part of the 52 Week Home Organization Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren’t already a regular reader).
Step 1: Declutter Your Pet Supplies
The first step in organizing pet supplies is to declutter all the stuff you don’t need or want anymore.
Gather up all your supplies into one location to see what you’ve really got, and think about what you no longer should keep in your home.
Here are examples of items that should be decluttered:
- Old or broken toys (or ones that are just too gross 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
Step 2: Organizing 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:
- Food and bowls
- Grooming supplies
- Leashes and collars
- Waste disposal items
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.
Therefore, in the Organize Pet Supplies Challenge steps below I’ve listed some of these main areas you will want to organize in your home.
Step 3: Create A Pet Food Storage Area
Pet food storage is one of the biggest areas to consider when you organize pet supplies, especially if you purchase pet food in bulk since it can take up quite a bit of room.
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. If that is the case, you may even want to make a place in your pantry for some or all of your pet’s food.
If, for example, you do have large containers of pet food consider getting a smaller container that can hold a week’s worth of food and refilling it each week, and keeping the larger container elsewhere.
Make sure to choose a container with a tight lid to keep rodents, insects and other pests from invading the food.
If you have space to hold all the food together consider getting a storage container on wheels (such as one of the ones shown below) which can be a real back saver.
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.
Further, consider placing the bowls on vinyl placemats to protect your floor from water and food drips and spills.
Finally, don’t forget to create a space for your pet’s treats, perhaps on your kitchen counter or in your pantry.
Step 4: Pet Toys Storage & Organization
Next, in the Organize Pet Supplies Challenge, we’ll organize and create a storage area for pet toys.
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.
You can either choose a container that your pet can easily get into, so they can play with their toys whenever they want, or you could place them in a closed container so they only play with toys when you help them.
Which is a better choice for you and your pets is something you’ve got to decide for yourself, since there are pros and cons to each type of container.
Step 5: 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)
- 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 playing with your pets
- Keep cat litter and other litter disposal tools close to each litter box in your home to make litter changes easier
- Grooming tools and products close to where you do these activities
You can place these pet supplies in all kinds of containers, and hold them in many different places throughout your home. Don’t forget about over the door or on a wall, such as with the pet organizer shown on the right above.
Step 6: Organize Paperwork & Medical Information About Your Pets
Finally, the last step in the Organize Pet Supplies Challenge 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.
You may also want to add veterinarian information to your emergency contact form that you created during the Contact Information Challenge.
If you don’t want to create your own pet organizer you can use an organizer that has already been created for you, such as the one from Buttoned Up, shown to the left.
Also, don’t forget to add important dates for your pets onto your family calendar, including vet appointments, grooming schedules, and when to administer medication, etc.