I Got A Second Dog — Here’s How I’ve Managed to Keep My Pets’ Supplies Organized
We knew it sounded like a questionable decision, but it just felt right. We’d always planned to get a canine sibling for our Red, a 104-pound Rhodesian Ridgeback, and we hoped that a new puppy would help ease the pain of saying goodbye to our old home and the loved ones we were leaving.
Scarlett joined our family a month before our move-out date — and she’s brought so much joy to our household! We love watching her play with her big brother Red. She’s feisty, bossy, and whip-smart — and she brings out a tender, protective side of him, even while giving him ample opportunity to play fight and wrestle and get all his zoomies out. Every dog lover knows what I’m talking about.
And every dog owner knows that having dogs also means having a lot of dog stuff around. When we added a second puppy, the stuff multiplied, but because we already had a pretty good pet supply organization system, it wasn’t hard to add her things to the mix.
Here’s how we keep our pet supplies accessible and in order:
Keep items where you use them.
As much as possible, keep pet supplies near where you need to use them. For instance, we keep dog food in the pantry, close to the dogs’ food dishes. (We keep backstock in sealed containers in the garage.) Additionally, we keep leashes in the top drawer of our shoe rack, which sits in the front hallway, right along our route to take the dogs out for walks. Storing things where they get used ensures that they’re accessible when you need them, and also helps encourage you to put them back where they belong when you’re done with them.
Store items that aren’t used daily all in the same place.
When it comes to items like extra doggie poop bags, flea shampoo, nail clippers, or heartworm medication, pick one spot in a cabinet or a storage bin that you keep on a closet shelf and store all pet items together. This way, you’ll know exactly where to look for something when you need it.
Stash toys in an easy-access container.
Whether it’s a basket with a lid, like the one we have, or a simple plastic bin that you keep under the coffee table, designate one spot as the place you’ll keep toys. When it’s time to clean up, you have somewhere to toss them, and when it’s playtime, you know exactly where to find them.
Accept that not everything will always be put away.
This applies mainly to toys, but also to other gear like pet beds and crates. If you have a pet in your life, signs of that pet are going to show up in your home — and that’s OK! Just like it’s okay that people have kids’ drawings pinned to the fridge with magnets or a half-built set of blocks on the living room floor. Yeah, the dead squirrel toy might look like a biohazard on your entryway floor, but it’s part of what comes along with the family, furry or not, that lives in your home. The same goes for the crate, if you use one. It’s furniture for your furry family. Embrace it.
Don’t get too many extras.
Items such as training pads, rags to clean messes, and fun stuff like toys and fancy collars can quickly take over your space. Be intentional about what and how much you bring into your home. Implement the same decluttering strategies you would use for human stuff, such as the “one in, one out” policy to help make sure that pet supplies don’t take over or become too much to manage.