Step by step help on how to declutter your pet supplies and set up a pet hub in your home.
In our home, our dog is one of the family.
He is the perfect lap dog and we enjoy having him around. He makes us laugh at his silliness, roll our eyes at some of his unique antics, he frustrates us especially when he insists on barking at bees, he keeps us up and moving and active.
Another place where he is similar to a family member is the amount of clutter that he has. I kid you not, the toys our dog has would rival any toddlers. And sure we try to keep things contained in a basket and that does help, but what about all the other things? His extra leashes, his collars, his bandanas, his festive holiday hats, his medications, brushes, shampoos, dog trimming supplies, I could seriously go on and on.
Maybe you are like we used to be and have all your supplies scattered around your home. Pet food in the pantry, leashes in the front closet, treats in the kitchen, and sure for some people that might make sense. In our home, however, we have found that keeping everything as close together as possible is not only easier to find the supplies we need it is also easier for us to keep things put away and off the counters.
We call this our pet Hub. It is where we keep our pet’s food, treats, and other supplies. Items that we use on a daily basis.
A pet hub can be located just about anywhere. We have ours in a cabinet above where the dog food is. This location is also right next to the door where we let our pup in and out to do his business. Just a few shelves in a cabinet and room for feed bowls and dog food down below is all we need to hold his massive amount of supplies.
If you were looking for a way to keep things organized for your beloved pet, whether it’s a dog, cat, hamster, bird, or one of those potbelly pigs, we are going to walk through the easiest way to do that today.
Setting Up a Pet Hub in Your Home
Step #1. Gather your Supplies
Before you begin, you will want to gather up your supplies. Markers, post-it notes, index cards, baggies, and a few sorting boxes and bags. this will keep you from getting distracted and losing focus because you need to keep running off to grab supplies.
Step #2. Set Up a Sorting Area
I find the more I can prep before I actually begin a decluttering and organizing project the more successful I will be. This includes a fast and temporary sorting area where I can toss things as I am sorting through them.
- A bag for trash
- A bin to put old or expired products and/or medications to dispose of later
- A box for donations
- A box for items you would like to give away to a family or friend
D/M Pro Tip: If you are looking for a place to donate unwanted pet toys, blankets, and supplies why not contact your local pet shelter? They are always in need of items and would most likely welcome what you have to give them.
Step #3. Gather Up What you Have Now
Before we get started you will first need to know just how many supplies you have. Take a few minutes to gather up all the things you need to take care of your pet. I find it is easiest to do this with a laundry basket, walk your home and pick up any toys, medications, treats, leashes, collars, Etc, and bring it all to an open area so you can more easily sort through these things.
I find a kitchen table works best for this, but you can also use the floor, or a bed if that is easier for you.
Lay everything out, and start going through items one at a time.
- If it is broken put it in the trash
- if it is expired put it in the trash
D/M Pro Tip: Be sure you follow guidelines before disposing of any medications whether they are expired or not. Find out more here.
- If you no longer need it, put it into the donation box
- If you know someone that has a pet that may like an item you no longer need, put it in the giveaway box. Be sure to attach a Post-It note for who the item is for so you do not forget later on.
Continue doing this until the only items left are what you plan to keep.
Step #4. Sort Out What You are Keeping
Make piles of all the items you are keeping. Sort them into categorizing them as you go along.
A few ideas to consider for categories are:
- Leashes and collars
- Doo-doo bags
- Kitty litter
- Litter box supplies
- Animal and/or birdcage bedding
- Bandanas and/or clothing
Your list is going to differ depending on the type of pet and how many pets you have.
Step #5. Choose a Location for Your Pet Hub
As I mentioned earlier, we chose to keep our Pet Hub close to the door where we let our dog out to do his business. In the beginning, we had our hub in our front mudroom but we found ourselves walking to that location every time we needed something for our dog. By housing things close to where we use the items it makes it easier to not only find what we need quickly but to then also put everything all the way away.
D/M Pro Tip: Putting things all the way away is a great habit to adopt and practice routinely. Remember clutter is anything that is not in its home, AKA put away. So the more items you can put all the way away the less cluttered your home will be. What do I mean by “all the way away”? How many times have you set things close to their home with the full intention of putting those things away later? Only to find a pile of things growing in size weeks later? By creating a habit of putting things all the way away, every single time you use a tool, you will stop most of the clutter that is driving you crazy today. Simple habits that result in big changes.
Walk your home and check out any prospective areas that might work as a pet hub for your pet. Remember if you have more than one pet you will quite possibly need more than one hub. These are all decisions that you will have to make and it will all depend on you, and the situation you have in your own home.
Once you’ve chosen your location scope it out. Take a look at the room that you have to store the supplies for your pet. Consider a few things before making a final commitment.
- Is there enough room to house all of your pet’s supplies?
- Is the location a convenient one?
- Do you need to move things around to make more space?
- Do you need to do a little DIY to allow the area to set up more easily?
Take some time to prep the area before you start putting things away.
Step #6. Use Containers to Hold Supplies
Before you begin to put things into your new pet Hub you will want to use containers to keep like supplies together. This will make it easier for you to not only find what you need quickly but to also put things all the way away when you are done using them.
When you are deciding what container will work best to hold a collection of items take a look at the amount you have first. The trick is to fit your container to the number of supplies that you have or plan to have. You also need to be sure that any containers you choose will fit in the space available in your new pet hub.
Make a wish list of the different containers you need, and remember to shop your home first. What does that mean? Well, every home typically has a supply of containers stashed somewhere in their home. Containers they thought would work great but ended up being an organizing flop. This stash is your very own organizing store! The place where you should always go before buying any containers you feel you need. Take your wish list of containers and see if you have something that will fill any of those needs.
Cross off any that you have found from your list.
Once you are done, take a look and see what containers are left on your list. Ask yourself if you can DIY a temporary solution until you are able to buy a more permanent one. In most cases when a newly organized area is set up there are usually a few tweaks that need to be done before the final solution is created. Call this your test run of your new pet hub. Until you know how things are going to work I suggest using boxes as a DIY solution. As you solidify things more permanently you can reward yourself with a shopping trip to an organizing store. A great treat to give yourself for a job well done.
Step #7. Use Clear and Bold Labels
Once you’re done setting up your pet hub you will want to use great big in-your-face labels. Now, these are not your permanent labels, instead, these are labels that you were going to use as a reminder to both you and your family as to where they can find what they are looking for. And, even more importantly, where to put those items away when they are done using them.
Why is this step important? When we are organizing we tend to get excited by our project and the goal we have for our new space we can clearly see in our mind playing out. Sure, at the time you are convinced you will remember where everything goes but trust me on this, you will not. Labels are the easiest way to map out a reminder system of what goes where so you are not frustrated because you don’t remember risking abandoning your new system altogether.
Do not trust yourself to remember what your plan was when you set up this area going forward. Take a few minutes to create temporary labels. A simple index card with a big bold title printed on it clipped to a sorting bin is all you need to set yourself up for success.
Step #8. Create a Streamlined System
Another temporary step you may want to incorporate in your new pet hub is a list of steps done for any activities that involve your pet. This will just ensure that you learn a new series of habits that will help to keep your pet hub neat and orderly going forward.
A few ideas are:
- Steps needed to bathe your pet
- Steps needed to groom your pet
- Steps to brush your pet’s teeth
- Steps for medicating your pet
- Steps for supplements and your pet
You can just write these steps on an index card and keep them in the container where the tools are found. Again this is just a shortcut, a reminder of what all needs to be done until you learn to do it second nature without thinking.
It’s these systems that you set into place that will allow your pet hub to remain a helpful tool and not just another storage space for excess pet supplies
Setting up a pet hub in your home is not only beneficial for keeping things neat and orderly but also for keeping your pets happy and healthy. Use these tips to set up an area just for your pet’s care today.