Corralling clutter is essential for safety. Aisles and work areas littered with unnecessary equipment create dangerous spaces for even the calmest horses and most skilled riders. Cutting down on clutter also creates a more pleasant environment for boarders, lesson riders and visitors.
Try these five clutter busting tips at your barn this fall.
Keep flat spaces clear Ledges, windowsills and counter tops are easy places to quickly set temporarily set miscellaneous items. Before you know it ledge is bursting with stuff. Fight the urge to empty pockets or leave any objects, even temporarily in these areas. Once filled it takes precious time to sort and purge.
Group like items Store all grooming tools, bridles, ointments, etc. in one location. Larger barns may have multiple work areas that require similar equipment. Designate an area within each space to store tools and tack. When a helper assists with chores it will save time providing instructions on finding items and in emergency situations it will be easier to find needed supplies.
Use storage systems Shelves and storage containers are designed to consolidate and organize gear of all shapes and sizes. Depending on your facility, storage units specifically designed for equestrian facilities might be a better fit than those available at big box stores.
Sort the mail The volume of junk mail sent these days is overwhelming. As soon as the mail is collected, deposit any junk mail into the recycling bin, making sure to shred anything that might be useful to someone wanting to steal your identity. Purging unnecessary flyers and catalogs immediately eliminates unsightly messes and eliminates sorting time. Make piles of items that need immediate attention, and those you can peruse later.
File it Three ring binders and plastic page protectors are excellent for corralling registration papers, medical certificates, liability releases, boarding contracts and more. Dedicate one binder for barn owned horses, one for boarder’s horses, another for contracts, etc. Clearly label each binder and store on a shelf. Flip through the pages once a year and remove any out of date documents. It also is a good idea to scan these documents and back them up with your computer files.
Take control of clutter at your barn with these tips and others offered throughout the year.