Organize It! Tips for Keeping Tack Trunks Tidy

Organizing your horse tack keeps it looking new!

Do you frequently find yourself digging through every piece of horse tack you own, frantically searching for that one hoof pick, brush, or stray bell boot? If so, it’s time to organize your tack trunk. Sure, it started out looking tidy, but then things happened, you were in a hurry, and items eventually ended up all over the place. Here are some tips for cleaning and organizing your tack trunk – and keeping it neat so you never have to burrow through all those odds and ends again.

Begin with a Clean Slate

Start by taking everything out of your tack trunk. If it’s like most, it could do with a quick cleaning. If you have a large wooden chest-type trunk, vacuum it out and use some furniture polish to wipe the grime away from the inside. If it (or any compartments) are lined with felt, you can use a lint roller to get dirt, horse hair, etc. off. If you have a plastic tack trunk, feel free to hose it out, wash it with a little mild soap, and then dry it completely before re-packing.

Categorize

Group all the horse tack, leather care, medication, grooming products, etc. into categories. There are a couple of ways to do this – either put like items together, or put items you use daily together, things you use weekly in another spot, and things you rarely use in another place. If you have seasonal items, you may want to put them together.  Make a discard or sell pile while you’re at it.

Next, get some separate containers, unless your tack trunk came with dividers. One for meds, one for grooming products, one for bits, etc. Putting everything into its own “spot” is the easiest way to keep all of your items clean and neatly organized. Use clear bins so you can see what’s inside, or get some labels for opaque containers.

Clean

Skip this step if all of your horse tack is pristine! If not, turn on some music and start cleaning and inspecting all the odds and ends in each of the categories you just made. Wipe off the dust, check expiration dates on things like medication and supplements, and make everything look new again. Throw away expired or broken, non-repairable items.

Take your bridles apart and clean them. If you need some tips, check out this quick guide to cleaning leather, or this one for keeping nylon horse tack looking new.

Repack your Tack Trunk

Now that your horse tack, medications, and personal items are clean, it’s time to pack them back into your tack trunk. Start with things you rarely use, and place those in the bottom. If you have some extra storage space in a closet, on a shelf, or even in your horse trailer, you might consider putting these items there instead. Put the things you use frequently in the top of your tack trunk so that you’ll be able to access them quickly.  

Donate or Sell Extras

Now that you’ve got everything organized, it’s time to get rid of items you no longer want or need. Give them to a friend or pass them on to a rescue organization. If they’re valuable, consider selling them online.

Last but not least, consider taking your cleaning and organizing to the next level! Now that your tack trunk is neat and tidy, you may want to attack the horse trailer, feed room, or barn loft. Who knows what might be hiding there?