A tack box is a necessity for all equestrians to help stay organized and declutter the tack room. It is the most effective and stylish way to keep your horse riding equipment clean and organized at the barn or horse shows. But as time goes on, each time you use your equipment and put it back into your tack box, gloves may get mismatched, saddle pads will get worn, and the inside of your tack box will get disorganized so that it will become time-consuming when you need to retrieve something. You may have to organize your tack box once or twice a year, but you can use our recommendations below to help guide you through this process efficiently.
Read below to find out how to organize & declutter your tack box.
1. Empty your Tack Box
The very first thing you’ll want to do is empty your tack box. Remove everything and make sure it’s empty. Clean the inside walls thoroughly with a non-toxic cleaner and vacuum the bottom floor. Check to see if your tack box needs any vinyl replaced. Clean all of your horse tack as well; you want to be thorough and start everything off fresh and clean.
2. Sort your Horse Tack
Look through everything and decide what is useful. Make two piles, items that you use and the other pile items you don’t use. Are you using everything in your tack box? Or are there some things you could let go of? When you’ve decided what to keep, sort it into groups to put into smaller plastic containers.
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Sort the remaining horse tack into groups:
- Cleaning supplies (shampoo, conditioner, soap, sponges, wet wipes)
- Standing wraps, polo wraps, and horse boots
- Hair supplies (rubber bands, gel, tail sack, hair detangler, scissors, a brush, barrettes, hair nets)
- Human first aid (bandages, cold packs, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen, etc.)
- Saddle pads
- Grooming supplies (brushes, hoof picks, sweat scrapers)
- Last-minute tack right before riding (spurs, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen)
3. Put Smaller items into Bags
If you have any unused bags, such as old makeup bags or purses, use them to store some of your smaller horse tack. You can also use ziplock baggies for this. Put small items that can easily get tossed around and lost at the bottom of the tack box into bags. Also, it would help if you put any liquids into bags to prevent spills from dripping onto your equipment. (No one wants to spend hours cleaning the hair gel that leaked all over the tack!)
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4. Label Containers and Bags
Put labels on all of the plastic containers and pouches to easily find items in the future. Not only will this help you keep your tack box more organized, but it will also save you time. Next time you’re getting ready to ride, you’ll be able to quickly skim through the contents of your tack and pull out exactly what you need without a hassle.
5. Tack Box Lid
If your tack box includes a bandage lid, this provides more storage in the lid area. You can store several sets of bandages and boots in a deep lid. So don’t forget to use the inside of your tack box lid to help save space. If your current tack box doesn’t include a bandage lid, Tack Trunks sells large tack trunks with options of having a bandage lid.
6. Use Tack Box Dividers
Usually, tack boxes don’t have dividers built-in, but you can purchase them online on eBay or Amazon. There are many different types of dividers you can buy, plastic, wooden or grid, etc. You can use as many or as few dividers as you want, whatever works best for you and your horse tack.
Image credit: Ranjeetdighe / Wikimedia Commons
7. Attach Hooks
Attach hooks to the unused upper space around your tack box walls. You can nail metal hooks into the sides of your tack box and make it look stylish, or you can use 3M command hooks which are very hardy and do not require any nails if you’re worried about damaging the sides of your tack box. Hooks are a great way to utilize all space inside your tack box.
8. Use a Pocket Organizer
Hang one or two pocket organizers on the sides of your tack box. Hanging pocket organizers provide tons of extra storage for your tack. They are ideal for items you need to grab quickly and also can be moved and hung nearby.
9. Put Things Back Where You Got Them
After riding, you’re tired, and it’s tempting to throw things back in your tack box unorganized; I feel you on that. But try to make it a habit to put items back into your tack box exactly where you found them. By doing this, you’re saving yourself time. When things are organized, and you know exactly where they are, you can get ready for riding quickly and have minimal cleaning to do when it comes time to organize your tack box again. You’ll thank yourself later for taking the extra minute to put things away correctly.
Overall, organizing your tack box may be time-consuming, but it is essential and will help destress your riding times. Hopefully, these recommendations will be helpful to keep your horse tack neat and organized. Let us know what method helped you out, or if you have any suggestions of your own to share, we’d love to hear from you.