My wife and I had been cat owners for almost 30 years, until this past September when we had an opportunity to give our new little lady, Maggie, a home. Now we’re dog people, and I’m finding that that requires a little more organizing than needed for cats. But I think much of what I have to say can apply to cat supplies as well.

1) Walking Supplies

Cat owners you can ignore this one. The biggest difference here is that we don’t want dogs relieving themselves without being walked. So, this brings me to an important rule from my book, Frequency Merits Facility. The more often you do something (like dog walking) the easier it should be. Prioritizing walking supplies means deprioritizing other things. In our case, that means that on our coat rack, we dedicate two hooks to dog walking supplies. Therefore, I can only hang one coat and my wife can only hang one coat.

2) Food Storage

The next most frequently used item is, of course, food. That leads to the topic of decanting, and I’m not talking about wine. In contemporary organizing terms, decanting refers to transferring boxed items like cereal to clear containers. This enables you to get these beautiful pantries you see on places like Pinterest and Instagram.

Now one could make the argument that this is a wasted effort and expense, because the packages clearly indicate what’s inside the box. But here’s what makes sense about decanting in general, and specifically for pet supplies. First, you can clearly see when it’s time to replenish your supply. Second, the sealed lids make it easier to keep the food fresh. And third, the reason I like decanting for pet food is the structure.

On a shelf at eye level, I can hold the bowl in one hand and a scoop in the other. This allows me to not have to bother with unrolling and rolling the bag. For larger dogs, I think investing in the large bins on wheels makes sense for the same reasons. I also like how smaller bins, for the less-used treats, stack, and fill space neatly. Now you may say it only takes a few seconds to unroll a bag and roll it up again. However, when accessing the food twice a day, every day, those seconds add up. Also, you probably need to do several other things at this time of day, so every simplified action counts.

3) Assorted Supplies

Assorted supplies can be stored on a cabinet or closet shelf in clear bins. If you have adjustable shelves, adjusting the heights can be beneficial since there are many small items that don’t require height. The 8x5x10 clear bins can be great for medium sized items since they are visible and accessible.

4) Pet Toys

For kid toys, I don’t like the traditional toy box, because toys come in such a variety of sizes. However, since dog toys are all about the same size, mouth sized, I find a simple toy basket does the trick. Most of the time there is a toy assortment that just lives on the floor to keep Maggie amused. But when the floors get cleaned, it’s very easy to just chuck them all in the basket.

5) Car Organizing

I guess if I had young kids, I would want to use the side door storage for them. Since I’ve got Maggie instead, I think it’s a great spot for essentials like water, water bowl, and back-up poop bags. I find that two items are enough to keep her busy for quick shopping trips, a bone, and a chew toy. These items are stored right on the back seat for her to enjoy!

So that’s it for pet supplies; I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions in the box below!