Fall has arrived and winter is on its way. With fewer hours of daylight and colder temperatures the norm for many parts of the country, it will be difficult finding enough daylight to get the chores done, let alone tackling a long to-do list for staying organized.
These 5 Clutter Busters can help you get your barn in order before the long winter season.
- Encourage clients to collaborate Horses are still moving around, and sick horses seem to pop us as freqently as frosts in fall. Last month Susie’s horse needed antibiotics. She had to buy the whole bottle, but only needed half. This month Larry’s horse needs the same medication. Ask clients to confer with their veterinarians to see if it is possible to use those drugs to cut down on clutter in your refrigerator and ensure costly medicines don’t expire. You also can ask your veterinarian if you can donate unused medications to a rescue that the veterinarian works with. Check medication expiration dates monthly and don't leave expired medications in your barn's refrigerator.
- Don’t wait for the first cold day If you’ll be blanketing the horses in your barn, don’t wait until the first cold day to get out the blankets. Ask clients to launder and hang their horses' blankets on designated hooks so that when the temperatures dip, the blankets are easily accessible.
- Spatial relationship If you use something every day, leave it easily accessible. If you use something once a week, keep it handy in the tack room. If you use something once a month, hang it on a higher hook, or in the back. If you use something less than once a month, find somewhere else to store it, or consider selling it.
- Stop before you store An item placed in storage implies it’s not something you plan on using for a while. If you’re storing a foal-sized blanket, honestly evaluate if you anticipate having another foal on the property. If not, consider selling or donating it rather than storing it.
- Use the freebies The last time you were at the tack store, were you offered a sample liniment, leather cleaner, a weight tape or other sample-sized packet. Plan on using those smaller items first in your grooming or barn so that you won't have them cluttering up your tack room. If it's something you tried and didn't like, either donate it to another boarder or a rescue, or throw it away. Open sample packs can cause messes that aren't worth the savings of the freebie.
Take control of clutter at your barn this year with these tips, and check back for more tips throughout the year.