As the beautiful weather appears to be staying (and getting warmer by the minute) we are in full Spring Cleaning mode! We find simplicity and organization essential for our brains to stay (mostly) sane. There's also such a luxurious feeling to be able to see all your clothing options in your closet or have all of your bridles neatly hung! You may not even realize how clutter is causing you un-needed stress. It can be overwhelming to have a closet of clothes you can’t see, a filled-to-the-brim tack trunk and maybe even a locker you can barely close. Truth be told, we all have our favorite items and 99% of the time we gravitate to those and leave everything else to be forgotten and tocollect dust.
The idea of a "barn spring cleaning" may sound daunting if you're a slight shopaholic and lover of the constant new array of products available (ehemmm, Karina Harris!) but that doesn't mean the extra stuff has to sit around forever. We have some easy ideas to help get you started! Take a deep breath, visualize your closet and tack trunk cleaned out and remind yourself it doesn't need to be finished in a day!
We’ve broken down our guide into several “days” to hopefully make it easy as possible to tackle without using a ton of extra spare time (does spare time even exist?), but feel free to split it up among as many days as you want.
Day 1: Your Closet
Organize all your riding clothes together, preferably all hanging so you can see everything you have. If hanging is not an option, neatly folding items into piles also works great!
Arrange all items in separate “chunks“ whether folding or hanging. We like to group together: lesson shirts, lesson pants, show pants, show shirts, belts, socks and then jackets and sweaters.
As you’re sorting, pluck out any low-hanging fruit into a “NO” pile (aka those breeches that have a massive rip in the crotch or that sweater you bought for your “skinny” days that is actually just 4 sizes too small).
Keep separate large shopping bags next to you. One for trash, one to donate and maybe one for nicer items you can resell (we may be biased but we recommend The Tried Equestrian if you don’t want the hassle of selling items yourself!).
Older ratcatcher style show shirts that button down and have a pretty collar double as great work shirts for many women. If you don’t think you’ll wear it anymore, either as a work shirt for yourself or as a beautifully tailored lesson shirt, donating to a thrift store is a great option. We have found ratcatcher style shirts are very hard to resell.
Once you have identified the “NO” pile, immediately handle it. This is typically a task that gets put off and just keeps the clutter around. If you had some items that needed to be trashed, throw those away. For anything going to the thrift store, stick them in your car for the next time you’re running errands. If you have items to sell, make a decision if you’d like to sell them yourself, using methods such as eBay or Facebook marketplaces, or put them on consignment.
If you’re interested in consigning your items, The Tried Equestrian is always available to answer any questions and help get your items sold fast so you can make some extra money! www.triedequestrian.com
Day 2: Your Tack Trunk
Like your closet, keep a trash, donation and resell bag close.
Start by cleaning out the trash. Double check any products that have expiration dates and toss anything that has expired.
Separate out items you can donate
For tack and riding items you may be interested in donating, we suggest Googling local horse rescues and letting them know the items you have. Many of them are looking for items to fill needs and if they do not need the items they may have a suggestion for who could use them.
Saddle pads work great for dogs at rescues and shelters because they can add a little cushion to their kennels. We have given many square pads to local dog rescues.
Separate out items you would want to resell.
Immediately handle your “NO” bags when finished, just like with your closet.
For reselling – The Tried Equestrian can take smaller clean and in good condition tack items on a case by case basis. Items include bridles, eq boots, martingales, higher end pads, etc. We do not take saddles, helmets, or polo wraps. Please reach out to us and we can discuss all of your items! email@example.com
We recommend creating flyers for any extra tack items you have that The Tried Equestrian cannot take. Create a flyer to hang at your barn listing the items for sale, the price and a contact number. It’s every easy for someone to quickly try something and purchase from you.
Day 3: Your Locker
If you have a locker, follow the same steps as above for a tack trunk!
Riding Days: Take Notice
Start to notice which items you have remaining in your closet, tack trunk and locker that you aren’t using. Over the next few weeks really think about each item you notice you are not wearing or using and maybe reconsider if you need it. Having a little extra cash for those items is also a nice option!
Thanks for reading and we hope this helps to spur your simplified life! Organization is something you have to upkeep so after you’ve decluttered make sure to keep it up and reconsider the importance of all items you’ve had sitting around. We will be posting more ideas for how to take organization to the next level!
Taylor @ The Tried Equestrian