The Real Secret To An Organized Tack Room


A tack room can become unorganized and messy very quickly if you don’t stay on top of cleaning the room and keeping each item in a designated area.

With a variety of cleaning products, tack, and saddle pads, your tack room can look cluttered, and you’d be surprised how much a tack room transformation can help you to find and utilize more of your kit.

If you’re tired of the clutter in your tack room and are looking for a long-term solution, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, I will cover the real secret to an organized tack room, providing you with tips on storage, decluttering, and staying organized.

Keep reading to find out more. 

Step One – Declutter Your Tack Room 

As the years go by, it’s natural for horse owners to acquire more than they need in their tack room. Before you know it, your collection has turned into more of a hoard that you need to sort through before it gets out of hand. 

When it comes to decluttering any room, let alone your tack room, you can find yourself getting sentimental over items you don’t even use anymore. It can be difficult to get rid of old possessions for a number of reasons. When it comes to keeping horses, you might be struck with the thought ‘But I could use it someday’ about a useful piece of kit.

However, this is a hurdle you need to get over if you’re going to declutter your tack room. And you need to get over it fast.

If you’ve not used something in over a year, the likelihood is that you do not need it in your life anymore. All it’s going to do is continue to clutter your space and your mind. 

To help you declutter, you will first need to begin by removing everything out of your tack room. Yes, you read that right. Remove everything, even if you know that you’re likely or are definitely going to keep something. 

It’s good to get everything out of the room to not only see how much stuff you have, but also to give your tack room a good clean whilst it is empty.

You can bet that dust, dirt, and hay are in hard to reach places when all of your tack is inside your tack room, so this is the perfect opportunity to start again and have a good deep clean.

Removing everything is the first step to getting rid of the unnecessary clutter. Purges are necessary every now and then.

There are a few ways to decide how to purge your clutter. However, making piles is a super common way to figure out what you need, want, and definitely need to get rid of.

Depending on your preferences, a few good organization piles to make are:

  • Keep 
  • Donate or sell
  • Undecided
  • Trash

When you’re making your trash pile, you might find it easiest to have a large trash can out with you to make the trash part easier if you’re struggling to chuck anything away.

Now, let’s break down each of the piles.

Keep 

The keep pile is likely to be your largest pile, depending on the condition of your tack and other possessions. 

We all know how this goes. However, you need to go through your possessions with your ruthless hat on, otherwise there’s no point in you having a clear out in the first place.

The key is to throw sentimentality out of the window when you’re choosing what to keep. Although this is easier said than done, when you’re making your keep pile, make sure that you don’t allow yourself to keep adding possessions you know that you won’t be frequently using.

On the other hand, you don’t want to throw away anything that you know you’re instantly going to regret giving away or selling. It’s hard to get the balance right, and some items might take you giving yourself a pep talk.

It can help to ask a friend to help you, as they can be the voice of reason when you’re trying to keep things that you have absolutely no use for.

However, if you’re having a clear out on your own and are struggling to decide what to throw away and what to keep when sorting through your clutter, then you should try asking yourself these questions:

  • Am I likely to use this item?
  • Is this item enhancing my life?
  • Do I already have five of these?
  • Would I move this to a new home?
  • Could I make some money selling this?

If you’re a sentimental person or indecisive by nature, these questions are designed to help you really consider each item and whether or not you should place them in your keep pile. 

While this process won’t be necessary for every item, as it will be easier to decide between some items than others, it’s a useful process to have in your back pocket. 

Once you have carefully considered each item you’re not sure about, you will have a better idea of whether it deserves to be in your keep pile.

When it comes to your donate or sell pile, you may also run into a few troubles. Whether you donate or sell your possessions will depend on your preferences and how good condition your possessions are in. 

What you decide to do with your possessions also depends on what you’re getting rid of and how old it is. For instance, you might decide that you don’t need multiple saddles.

If it’s quite a recent purchase that you know you could get some money for, there’s no harm in putting it up for auction to make some of the money that you spent on it back.

While donating is the preferable option if you’re able to, there’s no denying that horse tack can be expensive. You might need to make some money back off the possessions that you’re getting rid of to purchase new tack. \

If you were to donate a lot of the horse tack you’d bought over the years, you might not have the money to replace the tack you’d previously purchased.

If you’re unsure of the value of an item, it doesn’t harm to do some research on the items you’re thinking of selling.

Undecided 

Clearing out your tack room can be trickier for some people than others, and you might find that some items leave a question mark in your mind.

If you do find that you’re undecided on what to do with certain items, there’s no harm in having a small undecided pile. However, the emphasis for this pile is that it remains small.

The reason you should try to keep this pile to a minimum is that it can lead to you keeping unnecessary items that walk the line between valuable items and clutter.

You don’t want to be in a position where you are placing items that you know that you should really get rid of in the undecided pile just because you can’t bring yourself to put them in the donate or sell pile.

Trash

If you’ve had some of your horse tack for years, then it might be time to chuck some of it away. 

I know what you’re thinking, why would you throw something away when I know I can use it as a back-up? Well, if the only purpose of old items is to be a back-up after you’ve replaced it with a new one, it’s probably time that you got rid of it. After all, there was a reason that you replaced it in the first place.

If your tack room has become the dumping ground for storage, then it’s likely that you have a lot of old containers that you will need to get rid of.

If you have a lot of old spray bottles, or supplement containers, you can repurpose these or recycle them. However, make sure that you actually do the recycling and don’t keep putting it off, as this beats the purpose! 

What you want to avoid is keeping unnecessary items with the intention to recycle them and having them piling up in your barn instead. Either put them to use if you want to repurpose them, or throw it out. It can be that simple, you just have to be strict with yourself!

Step Two – Clean Your Tack Room

Once you have emptied your tack room and sorted through all of your possessions into piles, it’s time to clean your tack room. 

Your tack room should be looking very empty at this point, which is the perfect opportunity for you to thoroughly clean the place from top to bottom.

Regularly cleaning your tack room is a must anyway, but when it is empty it is important to do a thorough job. Keeping everything clean is not only important to keep germs at bay, but is also essential for your health when you’re out in your tack room.

A lot of dust can accumulate in a fast way, and breathing in dust isn’t good for you. Dust particles that are small enough to be inhaled can lodge in the lungs and make it harder to breathe, and may also irritate your eyes.

As a result, it’s important to stay on top of dusting. When you’re cleaning, make sure that you dust the walls, the ceiling if you can, the floors, as well as any fixtures you may have in your tack room. 

You will also need to sweep the floors and make sure that you get into all those hard to reach places that you usually wouldn’t be able to when the room is full of tack.

Step Three – Figure Out An Organization Solution

To prevent letting things get unorganized and cluttered again, it is a good idea to figure out an organization solution that suits you.

Organization is important because if everything that you keep in your tack room doesn’t have a specific place to live, then you will find that more and more items are overlooked and aren’t being used as they should be.

If you’re not using the items that you’ve just sorted through to keep, what was the point in keeping them?

It’s likely that you already have items such as saddle racks and hooks for your bridles. However, if you’re looking for a place to store all of your cleaning supplies, you could try hanging them up on the wall or placing them in designated plastic bins in shelving units.

Doing this makes all of your cleaning gear more accessible, in turn allowing you to browse and reach for what you need easily.

In addition, if you find that you’re not able to see all of your saddle pads, why not opt for a hanging blanket rack on the wall so you can conveniently stack them all on top of each other? 

Tack rooms can feel quite small and busy even after a clear out as taking care of horses requires a lot of gear!

The great thing about having organization solutions that are on the wall is that it means that you are utilizing the wall space, while making everything more organized, and still having plenty of floor space to work with.

The result means that you’re not constantly struggling to move around within the space, and can easily access everything that you need on the wall without the floor feeling cluttered.

Making sure you have the appropriate organization solution is important as it allows you to note the equipment that you are actually using. If you find that you aren’t reaching for certain items anymore, then you can make a mental note of it and do another clear out in the near future.

Step Four – Clean Your Tack

Once you have a clean tack room, you will want to make sure that your tack is as clean as possible before you pack it all away again.

When I say you need to clean all of your tack, I mean everything! This includes bridles, saddles, horse boots, leather boots, spray bottles, and saddle pads. Cleaning everything before you put it back in its place is a great way of making sure that everything is fresh and sanitized in your clean tack room.

After all, there wouldn’t be much point in doing all of that work to clean your tack room if you were going to put dirty tack straight back into it!

Cleaning Tips

  • Make sure that when you’re cleaning leather, whether it be your saddle, bridle, or boots, that you don’t get the leather too wet. To avoid this, always wring out your cleaning cloth or sponge so that they’re damp and not soaking wet before applying saddle soap.
  • Get yourself a good quality leather conditioner. This will help you keep your leather tack in the best possible condition for as long as possible. It works great on saddles, girths, bridles, boots, and any other leather products that you have!
  • Horse tackle can get dirty very quickly from the sweat, dirt, and dust that is acquired when you’re out on your ride. To keep your tack in the best condition, make sure that you’re cleaning it on a regular basis if not after every use. 
  • When applying saddle soap to your sponge, make sure that your sponge isn’t too wet. This can result in the saddle soap becoming lathery and can therefore leave soap suds on your leather tack if you’re not careful.
  • When cleaning your tackle with saddle soap, make sure that you rub it in properly and work in sections. This will ensure that you are thoroughly rubbing it in and aren’t forgetting about any spots that will later dry without you rubbing it in.

Step Five – Place Everything Back Into Its Proper Place

Now that you have organized and cleaned your tack room, it’s time to put everything back into its proper place.

To make sure that you’re not going to end up in the same position again, every item must have a home. Keep consistent with making sure each item goes back into its rightful place after every ride, as this will enable you to stay on top of it for as long as possible.

In Summary

So, there you have it – the real secret to an organized tack room!

Make sure that you find the balance between being ruthless and keeping the things that you know you will regret throwing away.

It’s a good habit to clean out your tack room regularly, especially if you notice that you aren’t using some of the items that you kept after your first sort out.

Keeping your tack room organized with all of your items readily available to you will make it easier to access and ensure that you know whether you have use for certain items or need to get rid of them at a later date.

Good luck and happy tidying!

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