Pets are clutter!

Can pets themselves be clutter? They add chores to your daily routine and they contribute virtually nothing to your living space, don’t they? Let’s get right down to it, they’re freeloaders plain and simple.

I know this is going to get me into hot water with pet lovers, but it is the truth. The thought occurred to me as I vacuumed all the cat hair off a flight of stairs in my home. Pets add clutter to your life. Whether it be their food dish and water bowl in the kitchen, the hair they leave around the house and on your clothing, the toys that you buy them, or the cat litter in the laundry room, pets clutter up your home on many levels.

I don’t consider myself a pet lover, but there are plenty of people out there that partake in the billion dollar industry of pet supplies. These “supplies” can include outfits, jewel encrusted leashes and collars, multiple baskets of toys scattered about the house, combs, brushes, beds, booties, gourmet food, scratch pads, more toys, gates, treats, car seats(!), and whatever else that’s out there. These products clutter up the home and do more for the pet owner than the pets themselves. Does a dog or cat really enjoy wearing those ridiculous outfits? If you are a pet lover, do yourself a favor and think before you buy.

Here are some tips:

  • If you buy a new toy, throw an old one away.
  • Clothing is for humans and cartoon animals only. (Yogi Bear had a cool hat.)
  • Keep the pet’s feeding area in a inconspicuous place. Don’t worry, the pet will remember where it is.
  • Keep all the pet’s non-day-to-day items in one spot. (eg. outdoor toys, carrier, leash, bath supplies)
  • Brush your pet on a regular basis to remove dead hair and cut down on shedding that ends up all over your home.

18 Comments for “Pets are clutter!”

  1. posted by Jerry Brito on

    Wow, Matt. You’re really going to get it for this post! ;o)

  2. posted by Emily on

    Are your children clutter, too? They’re freeloaders who add chores. While I agree with you on the clothing-for-pets front, I think it’s a little insulting that you’d suggest that pets add nothing to a person’s life.

    Also: if you’re not a pet lover, why do you have a cat (I’m presuming here based on the cat hair you’re vacuuming off the stairs)? That seems not only counter to logic but also potentially cruel to the cat, who won’t be treated with the love and respect a companion animal deserves.

    Count me as an animal lover, and I’ll take pets + some clutter over a totally clean house any day.

  3. posted by Jeri Dansky on

    I’ve got three and a half cats (see http://www.jdorganizer.com/cats.html) so I qualify as a pet lover – and I see your point. Pet stuff can indeed become clutter – if, as with anything:
    - there’s too much for the space you have
    - there’s stuff you never use but still keep around
    - stuff doesn’t have a home & therefore doesn’t get put away
    and so on.

    I was thinking about something similar a few days ago. By choosing to have cats, I’m also make a time management decision; the time I give to caring for them (and cleaning up after them) is time I don’t have free for other things. I’m happy to make that choice – but I’m aware that I AM making trade-offs.

  4. posted by Debre on

    My name is Debre and I am a cat lover. Still, I agree with every word you’ve said.

    I lived with the same two cats for many years. When they died within a few months of one another (at ripe ages) my immediate need was to give away all their paraphernalia. For the first time in ages, the apartment was spotless and I had a lot of time free! The difference was night and day.

    As soon as I was through mourning the loss of my furry men, I realized I missed living with cats. Now I have three and they bring tons of clutter. Wouldn’t trade them for the clean place, though.

    So, what you say is exactly true, but won’t likely convert any of us that prefer the companionship of animals.

  5. posted by summerinbrooklyn on

    Gee. I wonder if Mother Nature will partake in the view of yet another Walmart blemishing the face of the once green earth and say, Humans sure are clutter. I just clicked on this site, and I love organization and keeping clutter to a minimum, but more importantly, I love keeping my dog as a member of my family. I play with her, walk her, talk to her and take care of her. I spend as much time with her as humanly possible without neglecting both friends, family and work. She does add on at least three extra hours of the day devoted to caring for her. But she doesn’t add anything to my house and home? She lightens my emotional and psychological load everytime. She clears the clutter in my life. You suck.

  6. posted by Amie Ragan on

    My initial response is “oh you poor man.” My two dogs bring such joy to my life. I am sorry you have never experienced that; it is wonderful. How can something with a heartbeat ever be considered clutter?

  7. posted by Erin on

    Wow, Matt. Although I agree that pets can create clutter, I don’t think that THEY are actually clutter. You’re on your own with this one …

  8. posted by Jennifer on

    I just found this site through my beloved Apartment Therapy site.
    I thought,”Oh, wonderful! Another site to encourage my organized, neat side and discourage messiness.
    And then I arrived at your contribution.
    Goodbye.

  9. posted by Wife of Bath on

    i really sincerely hope you don’t have pets. and if you co-habitate with any living people you might wish to reconsider. living with dead people can *really* cut down the clutter: no food, no toilet paper, no shampoo, no winter clothing…

  10. posted by Ritz on

    I have a husband who leaves crumbs on the counter, dishes in the sink and never remembers to take out the trash or recyclables. I also share our home with 4 dogs and 2 house cats, 2 barn cats and 2 horses. The animals take up a lot of time and valuable space but they give back to us unconditionally. My husband takes up valuable time and space but I wouldn’t choose to live without him either! Stick to inanimate objects!!! I’ll take pet hair and food dishes anyday. I handled my kids when they were growing up.

  11. posted by bret on

    Wow! Sorry you’re getting bombarded here but here’s my 2 cents:

    We try to keep the heating bill down and find that the dogs (terrier, pug, and a very cold chihuahua) NEED doggie clothing in the winter!

    Otherwise, I really enjoy your blog!

  12. posted by Aidan Kehoe on

    I get on fine with animals; I grew up on a farm, and probably have a more grounded idea of their typical lives an deaths than most people posting here. And I would never adopt a pet in the city—their lives here suck too much, even when they’re well cared for. Plus, as you say, they’re clutter :-) .

  13. posted by sara on

    its sad that you will never experience or appreciate the joys of a pet…but i wanted to say one thing, i get to buy awesome modern pet bowls, pet beds, which i feel add to the decor of my home.

    cleaning up after my dog has never felt like a chore.i pick up her toys and my socks…whats the big deal? dont take life too seriously, you’re missing out on alot:P

  14. posted by Anonymous on

    Good post. I love my cats, but when they pass on I’ll be very happyy to never again deal with the annoyance of maintaining them.

  15. posted by Sean on

    I’m with Matt on this one. I have a house rabbit, which is very conducive to NOT having clutter. Let me explain. A “house rabbit” has no cage/pen/kennel. Instead, she hops around the house freely. The only real “essential” requirement for her is her litter box, with is hidden underneath a table, which has a tablecloth over it, hiding any evidence of said litter box. I keep her food & water dishes out on the balcony and she’s free to wander out there whenever she feels like it. About the only real clutter she brings is the occasional toy that she’s dragged into the room although most of the time she’s more content to play with these items underneath pieces of furniture, out of view. Very compatible with the desire to stay uncluttered.

    Additionally, the rabbit needs minimal time in terms of chores. I put out fresh food for her when I eat (veggies/hay). The litter box uses drawstring liners and shredded paper from my paper shredder (great way to recycle) and I’ve gotten the whole routine down to 1 minute.

    Of course, there’s the time needed to interact (read: snuggle) with the rabbit, but this fits naturally into my schedule. Even if I’m dead tired when I come home, crash in bed, that warm, soft furball will hop up into bed, lick my arm a few times, then settle in next to me. Pure bliss. Minimal mess.

  16. posted by Stephanie on

    Haha, I really think it’s funny how up-in-arms people are getting about this. The comment about pets being freeloaders seemed pretty tongue-in-cheek to me, and the suggestions for managing pet clutter were completely reasonable. At no point in the post was it suggested that anyone should get rid of their pets. Come on people, chill out.

  17. posted by Ariane Benefit on

    Here’s how I define “clutter” I don’t use it, love it, or want to take care of it e.g., give it a home.

    I love my 3 cats…I cuddle and play with them so I “use” them, they use their toys & stuff, and all their stuff has a home! So, no pet clutter here! I’m with Ami Ragan and Jeri Dansky on this one : )

  18. posted by Julio on

    Well, when someone is going door-to-door casing houses for a burglary, my dog’s clutter that can be seen if you peek in the window (dog toys, rawhide bones, etc) make it pretty obvious that this is not a good house to break in to!

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