Get Organized… For the Love of Your Pets!
A cluttered home is an obvious bummer for people: a mess makes it almost impossible to entertain, work productively or complete a project. It strains relationships and steals time and energy from the things that matter most, whether it’s spending time with our families or enjoying a favorite hobby. Excessive clutter is also a major health hazard.
Pets are no different. Here are four dangers that household clutter poses to our furry pals, with effective solutions:
The Problem: Dust. The more things we own, the more surface areas that beckon the dust to collect. If your pet shows signs of respiratory issues, then dust, mold or mildew could be the culprit, and clutter only encourages all three.

The Solution: Cleaning regularly helps, but gets repetitive or expensive. The permanentsolution for keeping dust away? Own less stuff! Gather your family or housemates, grab several large trash bags for garbage, recycling and donation and challenge yourself to get rid of as much as you can. Pets have the inability (ie, luxury) of not projecting meaning onto stuff, so no need to ask Fido’s permission to let it all go- All Fido cares about is you! You will still need to dust occasionally, but eliminating clutter will reduce your housework by a whopping 40%, leaving far more time for snuggling, play time, and all of the things that make having pets enjoyable in the first place.
The Problem: Piles and stacks, and the possibility that they might topple and hurt a pet. You don’t need to be a diagnosed hoarder to have a few precarious piles around your home. Paper is individually light, but can be harmful and even deadly in numbers if it avalanches.

The Solution: Never treat a horizontal surface as a container! Tame those piles by investing an hour or two in setting up a paper filing system. Here are more tips to eliminate piling papers:

·         Take 30 seconds to join the National Do Not Mail registry and watch those unwanted junk mailings dwindle. It’s free and secure to sign up:
·         iPhone users can download the free PaperKarma app to eliminate catalogues.
·         Going paperless can be daunting to set up with all of the bills we need to keep up with, but going digital one bill per day is easy. Online bill pay is actually more secure than the old fashioned snail mail way.
The Problem: Hidden dangerous objects amid the clutter piles, like an unsheathed knife on a kitchen counter or a bottle of household cleaner on the floor, can hurt a curious cat or dog.

The Solution: We organizers love the expression “A place for everything, and everything in its place”. Assign every single item a home, by determining the following criteria:

·         How often do I use this? If often, put it between eye level to your navel, if we’re talking about a drawer or shelving system. If rarely, put it down low or very high.
·         When/how do I use this? One of my organizing favorites is “stash like with like,” meaning that items with similar purposes should live with each other. Office supplies belong together, as do gift wrapping tools, as do mail aids (stamps, envelopes and address labels, etc).
·         Is this a dangerous item? If the item is sharp or toxic, place up high or in a pet proof drawer.

            Once everything is tucked away into an appropriate home, the opportunities for pets to get hurt by rogue clutter are rare!

The Problem: Depression. Animals can feel just as imprisoned as we do in the midst of a cluttered home. Pets that lives in unblocked homes will live longer and happier lives, and we’ve all heard the statistic that we live longer and happier lives when we own a pet.

The Solution: Some folks blow a fortune on flashy containers to corral clutter, but what we all really need here is to simply declutter. When there is space for fresh air and crisp energy to circulate throughout our homes, we feel better. When we dismiss what no longer serves us, we create room for good things to fill the space- and by things I don’t mean more stuff: I mean space for tails to wag and unsuspecting red laser beams to be pounced on (your cat will love you). So turn on some motivational music and start letting go of everything holding you and your pets back from a healthy, happy house!
Not sure where to begin? Hiring a certified professional organizer (CPO) is a great way to get a jump-start on your organizing project! We understand that the hardest part is getting started… Let us make it easy! Your pet will thank you.

After a series of adventures in developing countries after college, Eliza got inspired to create Simplicana in 2010 to help her clients find harmony is owning less crap and creating order of what’s left. Eliza is one of two Certified Professional Organizers (CPO’s) in all of KC Metro. She holds a BFA from The New School in New York City and is a member of NAPO. Forget the dressy organizers you’ve seen on TV- Eliza will show up at your home in yoga pants with a sense of humor and a plan of attack!

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