Clutter is unsightly. It multiplies quickly, spiraling out of control. It can even create dangerous situations for horses and riders. The larger number of horses and riders, the more challenging it becomes to control.
Try these five clutter busting tips this spring.
1. Designate space for storage. Provide clients adequate room for saddles, blankets, brushes, etc. Tack lockers, hooks/racks, designated tack rooms and storage areas can corral equipment. If clients are allotted specific dimensions and their belongings overflow, ask them to store the excess in their trailer or off site.
2. Don't delay. It's easy for any rider to forget equipment in the arena or in the grooming stall if they get distracted. Lunge whips and crops quickly collect in the arena and bridles and brushes often get left in the grooming stall. Encourage lesson riders and all boarders to clean up before moving on to socialize.
3. Avoid "door busters." It's hard to resist "blow-out" pricing and "bonus buys." Online tack stores frequently offer, buy X and get Y free. It can be tempting, but resist the urge to buy unless the item is truly necessary. It'll cut down on clutter and as a bonus, you'll spend less, leaving more money for projects around the barn.
4. Repurpose. Reuse heavy duty plastic containers originally sold with supplements or kitty litter. The durable bins are handy for storing brushes, extra leather straps, leather cleaning supplies and more.
5. Set a goal. Tackle one cleaning project at a time. Once spring arrives, launder blankets for the barn horses and encourage boarders to do the same. Once cleaned and thoroughly dried, the blankets can be easily stowed in bins or storage bags. Space saver bags are ideal when a vacuum is used to eliminate the extra bulk.
Take control of clutter at your barn this year with these tips, and check back for more tips throughout the year.