If your lucky enough to have your horse/s on livery, then you’ll also probably have more than one person to help keep your tack room clean and tidy. However if like me your able to have your horses at home, or even just on DIY livery, then the only person responsible for keeping your space tidy is you. And the only person to blame if the space looks like a disaster zone.
I always cite lack of time as an excuse for not tidying up, but it can save you a massive amount of time (and money). Take the humble hoof pick for example, they wander off all over the place, and are so easy to gather up with other stuff. I have at least seven of them, and I currently only know where two are, (in my grooming kit- for the moment). If you spend just 30 seconds a day, every day looking for a hoof pick, that adds up to a massive 3 hours a year, wasted, which definitely could be spent in the saddle. Try tying a bit of bale twine round the handle, as it not only makes it easier to see, especially if you drop them in a straw bed, but also makes them easier to hang up.
Be ruthless about your things once or twice a year. Have a good clear-out. Now is actually a really good time to do so, especially with all the very windy, and very wet weather we are having, riding is unfortunately taking a bit of a back seat. Do it bit a time, so its not a big daunting task, but also so you don’t get cold, and bored and give up half way through.
Go through the boots and bandages you have and chuck out the dead ones (which you’ve probably kept ‘just-in-case’ or ‘for an emergency’). Sell ones that don’t fit (unless you can genuinely seeing the need for you to keep them – ie new horse on the horizon). Sort out which boots/bandages you use and need handy, and store the others away. The same goes for numnahs and saddle cloths. I have a handy trunk in my tack room which contains a couple of spare numnahs and boots, which I use all the time. Others which I have bought on sale, are kept in a separate trunk, and only come out when I’ve thrown an old one away.
I keep a spare plastic bag in the corner of my feed room, which I chuck in all my wet boots/bandages/numnahs and anything else that needs a wash. It stops me picking up a wet or dirty pair of boots and then having to find another pair to put on Rio before we go out for a ride. Once the bag has one or two loads in it, it goes into the house for washing. We use a Moorland Rider Wash Bag, which means you can shove all your horse stuff into the bag, and then into the washing machine. The bag catches all the hair, shavings, etc and stops them dirtying up the machine. It saves lots of time, and money rinsing out your washing machine. It also means that you don’t have horse hair clogging up the machine!
Lastly (as I could go on all day 🙂 ) I keep a little sweeping brush in the corner of the feed room, which is really handy for giving the floor a quick sweep. It makes a massive difference to how it looks, and in 30 seconds (the time to find a hoof pick) you can really tidy up both your tack room and feed room, as well as preventing the food in the feed room from attracting little furry friends round to lunch.