How do I clean and organize my tack trunk?

Here’s my deal about tack trunks.  I love the look of them, lined up neatly at a show or in a tack room.  I find, however, that when I use on they become a black hole of partnerless gloves, hairy grooming tools, and saddle pads in various stages of clean.  I only ever need what’s at the bottom, and I never seem to be able to get all of the stuff back in.  



The classic tack trunk!


So how can you make it all organized?  For one, it takes some discipline to put things away the way you got them out.  (Perhaps this discipline I speak of is what I am missing?)  I also have a few tips for you, too!

The first thing I do is take out all of the stuff.  And I mean all of it.  Now you can vacuum the inside of your trunks, make repairs, and clean the wood (or other surface) interior.  


Now begins the sorting process - and for the first pass of sorting I lump my tack trunk items into USE and DON’T USE.  The “don’t use” things go to the trailer for storage.  The “use” things get sorted into groups and put into containers of their own.  This is the part where fans of the label maker machine can have a field day.  Compartmentalizing things make it easy for you to find when you need. 



Blanket bags and leg wrap bags are great to use again. 


You could have containers for:  

  •  Hair stuff (gel, bands, yarn, scissors, seam rippers, your own hair bands, a brush, barrettes, hair nets etc.)
  • Tack cleaning (sponges, conditioner, soap, quick wipes, etc.)
  • Horse boots and polo wraps 
  • Spurs, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, stuff you need just before you hop on.
  • Human first aid (bandages, ointments, pain relievers, etc.)
  • Saddle pads (These fit nicely into the bags that blankets come in)
  • Grooming supplies - Maybe keep your brushes separate from your products? 



Easy to pack for shows when all of your stuff is in labelled containers!


The inside of your tack trunk’s lid is great place to put critical information (phone numbers, vital signs, etc.)  if you never lock your trunk.  If you do lock your trunk, find another place for that stuff! 

When it’s all empty - grab the vacuum and get all of the dust and stuff out before you restock.  


I personally like a tack trunk with wheels - easy to move around and practical.  I also like to use vertical storage for my tack - like a chest of drawers that can be hosed out if need be.  Using drawers helps avoid the digging to the bottom scenario.  You can also switch to a different style of tack trunk.  Vertical trunks are handy, you don’t need to dig for the bottom.  You can go big budget with a custom rolling trunk, or tiny budget with a set of heavy duty vinyl drawers.   



Drawers like these are great for trailers and tack rooms! 


What’s your best tip for organizing your tack trunk?