In this week's challenge we'll organize 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 Weeks To An Organized Home 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).
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:
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:
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 steps below I've listed some of these main areas you will want to organize in your home.
IRIS Airtight Pet Food Storage Container
[Click here to buy on Amazon]
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 (such as the examples to the right) 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 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.
Pet toy box shaped like dog bone
[Click here to buy on Amazon]
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.
There are additional pet supplies that also need to be organized as part of this challenge. These can include:
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.
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.
I would love to know how this week's Organize Pet Supplies Challenge is going. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you've organized the stuff you've accumulated to care for your pets in the comments below.
I also would love to see before and after pictures of your organized pet supplies, once you've completed the challenge. Submit your pictures (up to four per submission) and blog posts and get featured in the Creative Storage Solutions Hall of Fame. You've worked hard to get organized, so now here's your chance to show off!
We're working on our homes slowly, one area at a time, so don't get too distracted from the Organize Pet Supplies Challenge this week.
However, I know some of you love to know what's coming next, so I'll tell you. Next week, since it's the end of the year, we'll tackle creating and keeping a family calendar.
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I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!