Take this 7-day equestrian spring cleaning challenge: Day 5

A perfect example of an impeccable tack room. Photo via @holland_hill on Instagram.

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Take this 7-day equestrian spring cleaning challenge: Day 5

Spring has sprung so it is time for you to get your rear in gear for the 2018 season. Some riders have already begun their competition seasons, others are just preparing to start and some are relocating from their Southern winter bases to their Northern homes. Regardless of whether or not you even compete your horse, spring is the perfect time for cleaning and organizing. Spring cleaning can be a little daunting for equestrians because we tend to have heaps of stuff spread out over various locations. From your tack room to horse trailer to garage – there are horsey items in desperate need of cleaning and organizing. Fortunately for you, I have broken down your spring cleaning tasks into a straightforward seven-day challenge. We will be publishing spring cleaning tips every second day because let’s face it, no equestrian has seven days straight to clean! Simply dedicate seven days that suit your schedule to complete these tasks and you will thank yourself for it…

Don’t forget to start the challenge from the beginning: 

Stay tuned for the next eight days (we are publishing spring cleaning tips every second day) to tackle your spring cleaning done like a pro.

Day 5: Transform your tack room into a spotless and organized space

Equestrians tend to spend heaps of time in their tack rooms. This is mostly because their most valuable and prized possessions (horse tack) live in these tack rooms. Tack rooms can also make for a great barn social gathering area. During the winter months, tack rooms tend to be the only heated space in barns. Lots of things that don’t usually belong in the tack room end up getting stored there making for some serious clutter. To top things off, things get extra dirty thanks to all of the human and pet traffic that drags in mud, snow and other forms of filth. I’m sure many tack rooms look like a bit of war zone by the time winter comes to an end. The good news is, you can clean and organize your tack room with ease by following the steps below. Everyone at the barn will appreciate a spotless tack room and keeping it tidy will be simple if you stay on top of it.

1) Get out some giant trash bags: Tack rooms can become a giant resting place for garbage. Sure there will be some obvious garbage like empty feed bags but there are also less obvious things that need to be thrown out. Some things to look for that should be in the garbage:

  • Expired medications, supplements, wormers, etc.
  • Old horse treats
  • Old human snacks
  • Broken tack that isn’t worth repairing
  • Boots or wraps that have lost their partners
  • Insanely dirty rags that are beyond washing
  • Broken pitchforks and overused brooms
  • Empty containers of shampoo, fly spray, ointments, etc.
  • Random old newspapers, magazines, flyers and so on

Don’t spend a lot of time determining whether or not things are garbage. If it looks like it belongs in the trash it probably does. You don’t want to be a hoarder!

2) Decide what doesn’t belong in the tack room: There will be things that shouldn’t be in the tack room but definitely don’t deserve to be in the trash. You will have to use your judgment for this and put everything in their appropriate places. These things commonly end up making their way into the tack room but don’t belong:

  • Blankets that aren’t suitable for the current season
  • Human clothing (extra coats, breeches, etc.)
  • Tack that is never used
  • Leftover items from boarders who are long gone
  • Empty containers

3) Clean all of the items in the tack room: Now that you have cleared all of the clutter out of your tack room, it is time to clean the remaining items. Refer to day 2 of this challenge to guide you through this job if you have not already done so.

4) Now clean the tack room itself. Alas, it is time to actually clean the tack room. Start by removing EVERYTHING out of the tack room. Next, grab a broom and give the floor a good old sweeping then mop and dry the floor. If there are windows in your tack room, wash them and clean the window sills. Grab a bottle of Windex and some paper towels to clean off all the surfaces in the tack room. Leave no surface untouched! Now you should have a sparkling tack room and your job is nearly done.

5) Put everything in a logical place and consider investing in better storage options. The last step is putting everything back in a perfectly organized way. Start by making sure there are enough saddle racks and bridle hooks for every peice of tack that is needed. If you need more saddle racks and/or hooks then grab a screw driver and hang some up. The same applies to any blankets if you keep them in the tack room. For saddle pads, you can use either shelving or a large plastic bin. Brushes should all be kept neatly in grooming totes. Shampoo and batheing supplies should all be in a bucket or tub togehter. Boots and wraps can be put neatly in a bin. If you are struggling to find enough space in your tack room for everything or just want to organize things a bit better refer to the guide below for some extra tips.

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