How To Live Clutter Free With Pets
Any pet owner knows that, along with the pet, comes their stuff. Believe it or not, my pets take up a huge amount of space. Especially storage space.
I’ve got a ton of animals. So it might be different for me, but I had two entire cabinets dedicated to animal meds and snacks. On top of that, I had leashes and collars, clothes, diapers, cones, toys… you name it, we had it.
Here are some ways I have learned to live clutter free with pets. Or at least somewhat clutter free…
Understanding what your new pet is going to need is very important. However, the world is going to try and sell you things that are absolutely not necessary.
Food and Water
One of the most important and basic needs for your pet is a source of food and a source of water. A good quality food is important. Before switching brands, I always check with Dog Food Advisor . It is important to understand what your pet is eating.
Your pet will also need access to a clean water source at all times.
To reduce the clutter in your home, don’t feel pressured into buying fancy automatic dog feeders or a water fountain. A basic bowl for food and water is perfectly fine.
Having a dedicated space to store food is very helpful in reducing the amount of pet clutter in your home. I have two totes in the linen closet that holds a 50lb bag or dog food and a 50lb bag of cat food. These stay neat and tucked out of the way.
Shelter and Bed
Your pet will have to have proper shelter, wherever you plan on putting them. If they’re living indoors it might not be as much of a hassle, but if you plan to leave your pet outdoors, then a proper, safe, and weather appropriate shelter is a must for them.
Your pet will also need a place to sleep. Dedicate an area that you plan to have the pet sleep, whether that is a crate, or just a bed on the floor.
That being said, you don’t need a bed for your pet in every room. One bed will do. One bed in the dedicated spot for your pet to sleep.
While having those cute donut beds all over the place is intriguing, it’s not practical for those of us that can’t maintain a home with that much clutter. Don’t feel like a bad pet parent if you don’t have them.
You will want to have first aid supplies on hand for your pets. I have a Chicken First Aid BASKET because chickens like to try and die a lot and I have a first aid kit for everything else.
Your pets likely won’t need tons of vitamins and supplements if you are feeding them quality food. But, as always, speak with your vet about it.
Make sure you check expiration dates for your medical supplies, too. When it is time for me to go through my medical supplies, I significantly reduce the amount of stuff that I have just due to expiration dates. Doing this regularly will keep that clutter down to a minimum.
Leashes and Collars
Your pet doesn’t need collars for every holiday. And it certainly doesn’t need the matching leash to go with it. Reduce your pet clutter by only owning one or two leashes and collars per pet. I say two collars so that if one breaks you immediately have a backup. Lily likes to “go on adventures” in our neighborhood. Since she is deaf, we have a tag on her collar that states she is deaf and a number to call if she is found. We don’t have time to wait for a new collar and tag to come in.
We have one leash for each animal. This was very helpful for us when our house flooded during Hurricane Ida. We were able to leash everyone up and get them in the boat with ease. Then we were able to tie them off. (We did have that one mishap where Addie decided she’d had enough of the boat and jumped out into the flood water… she learned real quick that she’d messed up and didn’t try that again.)
Not only do you need leashes to walk your animals, but they are important in the case of an emergency.
Your pet will need some form of exercise, whether that is walking or running, maybe throwing the ball in the backyard. It doesn’t matter the kind, just that he’s getting it.
Exercise plays a vital role in keeping your pet’s weight under control and keeping them healthy.
There are many exercise devices and equipment out there aimed at helping your pet get enough exercise that are definitely not necessary. These things add to the clutter in your home. When it turns into clutter, it becomes useless.
Unnecessary Pet Products
If you search Google for pet products you will find thousands and thousands of items that people want to sell you. They claim you need these items for your pet to prosper. The truth is, your pet doesn’t need all the extra. Basic necessities are all you need for a happy and healthy pet.
Your pets don’t need clothes. Period. Your dog has fur to keep him warm, our chickens have feathers to keep warm. Animals are perfectly fine without clothes. Pet clothes are a huge contributing factor to clutter from your pets.
Toss out the pajamas for your dog and the Halloween costume that broke your cat. You don’t need it. Get rid of the clutter.
The only exception here, obviously, is that goats need sweaters. They just do. No exceptions.
Also, Santa hats for chickens. Just get one.
Don’t we just love bringing home our new baby puppy all of the toys that we find at every single store we walk into? The puppy plays with it for a few minutes and then it’s long forgotten.
So we buy another toy thinking, “maybe he didn’t like the squeak”. Only to find out that he didn’t want that toy, either. Instead he wants to chew shoes and eat your underwear.
But as we are adding toys to the collection, we aren’t getting rid of the ones that they didn’t like. Instead, they are piling up under the couch and are scattered on the floor.
Get a little basket that can fit under a table and put the toys that your dog actually plays with in that basket.
Let go of the ones that he has destroyed. That ripped teddy bear he’s been chewing on forever can cause big issues if it gets ingested. Keep the toys that your dog loves.
Your dog needs boredom busters, sure, but he doesn’t need the excess that people make you think he does.
When I say grooming supplies, I am not referring to all grooming supplies. In order to keep your home tidy, you will need to keep your pets tidy. That includes pet shampoo, a brush, a nail trimmer, etc…
What you don’t need is that deshedding vacuum or the zappy electric flea comb thing. (this item is not sitting in my Amazon cart right now, I swear.)
Keep the grooming supplies to a minimum. Keep what you actually use and let the rest of it go. That includes the baby powder spray you got from Petco, that one time, that you planned on using the next time company comes over five years ago.
This one is kind of specific to dogs. I have tried it all. I had the automatic vibrating collars, the vibrating collars with remotes, the anti-bark device that you hang that is supposed to stop your dog from barking..
I’ve tried shock mats and spikey mats.
Nothing worked to stop the behavior I was trying to correct. Training tools aren’t going to be the thing that helps you to break bad habits. You are what you need to break bad habits.
Instead of investing in all these devices that promise to train your dog, invest in a good dog trainer. One that will work one on one with you and your pet. A good dog trainer will teach you how to properly interact with your dog and teach you his cues. It is well worth the money and you won’t have the clutter.
Cleaning Supplies and Devices
My cleaning supply stock was the biggest source of clutter for me. I had every single spray that was “made for pets”. If there was a dog on the label, I owned it.
Turns out.. I didn’t need any of it. I got this stuff because I wanted my cleaning products to be safe for the animals.
But all I actually needed was one multipurpose cleaner, Odoban. It’s safe for animals, humans and most surfaces. It works to knock out the odors that accompany our pets and it disinfects.
Furniture Brushes and Pet Vacuums
I’ve seen so many furniture brush ads. Part of owning a pet is understanding that they will come with messes. But these messes don’t necessarily mean you need specific cleaning devices.
A basic vacuum will pick up dog hair off of a sofa. You don’t have to have a special one for pet hair. And buying every furniture brush that Facebook tells you that you need isn’t necessary.
A rubber glove works pretty well to get dog hair off of the couch.
This goes for steam cleaners, too. I spent an extra $60 or so on a steam cleaner (made with pets in mind) only to find out that it did the same thing as the cheap steam cleaner at Walmart.
Look, I am the first to admit that I love how cute pet furniture is. Little end tables and TV stands with built-in dog crates are so aesthetically pleasing to me.
I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t have it if it won’t be adding to a cluttered space. If you are replacing end tables with this or replacing your entertainment center with it, then by all means go for it.
I’m just saying it isn’t a must and certainly don’t clutter up your home with these furnishings.
The same goes for cat trees, fancy litter boxes, cat wall furniture (ask me how I know).. Things like this aren’t necessary to keep your pets happy and clutter up your home.
Don’t Let Pet Stuff Take Over Your Clutter Free Home
Understanding basic needs is essential in living clutter free with pets. I learned the hard way. I went from two full cabinets and scattered items all over the house down to one small cabinet in the laundry room. That cabinet contains all my pet needs.
It is a relief to have that pet clutter gone from my home. A little less clutter is always a win in my book.
It is easy to become overwhelmed with pet things. But there are ways to live clutter free with pets.