I found the love of my life in my early twenties: a tall, dark, 80-pound Mastiff mix.

That’s right: he’s a dog. Much to my dismay, my sweetheart is the messiest, hairiest fella a girl could ever imagine. Even though he has great hygiene, there is forever a trail of hair in his wake, leaving my place an untidy mess. He even leaves puddles of drool on the couch cushions when he naps.

Living with pets makes it a little harder to maintain a clean home, but thankfully there are a number of things you can do to ensure your home stays clean and organized. Here are five tried-and-true tips that I’ve found to help the pet parents of the world keep a clean house despite their furry friends.

 1. Get Hardwood Flooring

Coop 15, PC - Weimariner in kitchenPhoto courtesy of Coop 15, PC

Wood or laminate flooring is much easier to maintain than carpet when it comes to picking up pet hair and managing potty training accidents. Hardwood floors can easily be swept, and dirt that gets tracked in during the fall and winter months can easily be mopped up.

 2. Declutter with Organizational Storage

Siemasko + Verbridge - Golden in mudroomPhoto courtesy of Siemasko + Verbridge

Local pet stores and home improvement shops sell storage bins in all shapes and sizes that can keep leashes, bags, toys, and accessories out of the way. It’s ideal to have a few of these near each of your home’s entryways so you can throw items in as you enter or run out the door. Adding a few hooks to hang leashes or dog coats can be a time saver when you’re rushing out the door for your morning run, and keeping a towel in a storage container near the door to wipe off your dog’s paws before you enter can save your flooring.

 3. Dedicate a Space for Treats

This Old House - Treat SpacePhoto courtesy of This Old House

Having a space in your kitchen dedicated as the treat station helps keep your pet’s food items separate from human food, and avoids any cross contamination. If their treats are nicely arranged in one spot, it also allows for easy access, so you can reward good behavior and keep your kitchen organized.

 4. Make a Bath Time Caddy

BHG - dog bath caddyPhoto courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Remember that shower caddy you took with you to college? The same tool can be applied to your pet’s grooming supplies. Fill a caddy with pet shampoo, combs, brushes, nail trimmers, and hygiene cleaning wipes. This will help save you time in the bath, and declutter your bathroom.

 5. Create a Feeding Nook

Gelotte Hommas - Dog bed in laundry room

Dog bowls and water dishes can be an eyesore in a beautifully designed and organized kitchen. Create a feeding nook in the laundry room or basement that’s out of the general walkway and where mess won’t make you stress. Use the utility sink to easily rinse bowls and to keep water dishes full, and take advantage of concrete or hardwood flooring for cleaning up spills after meals Laundry rooms and basements are also the perfect space to set up a kitty litter nook.

Top Image Credit: Hopedale Builders, Inc. 

Pet parents, how do you keep your house clean, even with furry friends?