Whether you plot it or not, you’ll end up with a bunch of things you mention and use in your story, like objects, animals, certain nicknames, food, and so on. As you plot and write out your scenes according to the plot, make a little file and start dumping all those things into that file. I have a file like that, and it’s called CHEKHOV'S RIFLES.
As you recall, Chekhov suggested that if you have a gun in the 1st act, it must go off in the 3rd act.
This concerns everything in your story. Nothing must be there without some kind of purpose. If it’s fluff for decoration, cut it out. The rest keep, and make it work. Tie it all up in the end. The reader will appreciate a neat ending where no loose ends remain, and if you have a red shoe in the beginning that helps the Hero win over the Villain in the end, the reader will love you for it.
Now, this is a convention from the Western hemisphere of fiction writing. In Japanese storytelling lots of loose ends remain in the end. And there are more styles and ways to tell a story. In Russian literature, for example, everything is tinged with pessimism, and in the end Chekhov’s rifles create doom, and sometimes that’s their sole purpose.
But since I’m teaching 12 Columns that’s geared toward the Western story consumer, and since this is what sells here in US, I suggest you strive for tying up all loose ends. Once you master it, you can go all haywire a la Murakami, or all desolate a la Dostoyevsky, or all Dada and anti-plot a la French avant-garde of the 20s, or all epic a la Homer.
I pick neat, clean, and concise. It makes me happy to write like that, and I hope it’ll make my readers happy to read it (so far they’re telling me it is).