Conquer Your Pet Clutter!
Easy organizational tips for pet owners.
For both pets and their owners, getting organized is essential to health and well-being. A de-cluttering strategy will help to keep a pet happy and healthy -- and a pet parent sane.
As the owner of recently adopted terrier mix, Cecil Armstrong noticed that in less than a month, his home had become messy. However, he wants to maintain a pet--friendly but clean home.
"Lola is family. Like my friends with children, I now have toys, pet clothing and other items scattered throughout my home," said Armstrong.
Owner of Organizing Goddess, Inc. and president of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers, Sharon Lowenheim, MBA, MSE recommends that in order for owners like Armstrong to eliminate the pet clutter, they should find a place for everything.
Like Armstrong, Karla Johnston needed to tackle her pet organizational problems. She was tired of coming home from work and becoming frustrated because she could not find her dog's walking gear. Her solution was to transform a hanging pocket shoe organizer into a pet organizer.
"The organizer can be hung on the back of an apartment front door, inside a closet or on a wall so that toys, leashes, and grooming supplies can easily become accessible and orderly, fitting neatly into the various sized pockets," she explained. "Best part, an organizer can be purchased for less than $20.00."
"Although it is important to store items where you use them, another organization strategy is to store like items together," recommends Organizing Goddess Lowenheim.
For toys around the house, Johnson uses a clear, storage crate with wheels as a pet toy box. She found the ideal storage item at IKEA for $5.99, and the matching lid is $1.50. "The top, curved edge serves as a handle, which makes the storage crate easy to lift and carry. When guests come, I push the wheeled crate into the closet."
Generally, she leaves the crate uncovered so that her dog, Abby, can easily pick out the toys that she wants to play with.
Pet industry experts agree that other than pet food storage containers, few pet organizational products currently exist on the market. According to Beth Cronk, a dog groomer with 23 years of experience and an expert on AllExperts, dog owners have to be resourceful and improvise when dealing with pet storage issues.
Cronk encourages her clients to use a children's art caddy, which can be purchased for about $6.95, to store grooming products. "Use the smaller compartments for combs, brushes, nail clippers, and scissors, and the larger one to hold store bottles of shampoo and conditioner," says Cronk.
Other than grooming tools, pet apparel can be stored in a method similar to that for human clothing. Prior to storing sweaters and coats, these items "should be cleaned and placed in a canvas bag [about $14.99] to keep them dust-free," says Lowenheim. To prevent moths or other insects, cedar blocks or balls should also be placed in the storage containers.
With helpful organization tips and product suggestions, pet owners like Cecil Armstrong -- and you -- can develop and maintain a pet organizational strategy for the new year and beyond.
What tips do you have for keeping households with pets organized? Share them below!
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