A well-organised utility room can be a wonderful addition to your home. A designated space for all your laundry paraphernalia, household tools and cleaning products can make your home feel calmer and tidier. If you’re building an extension, or want to make the most out of an existing utility room, we have some utility room storage ideas that will help you make the most of the space available.
1. Include a tall utility cupboard and ironing board holder
Your utility room will be home to tall items, such as a mop, broom, vacuum cleaner, and ironing board. Make sure that when you’re designing the storage in your utility room that you include a cupboard that’s tall enough for these items to stand up.
If possible, attach an ironing board holder to the inside of the cupboard door so that your ironing board is always easy to reach and doesn’t take up too much room in the cupboard.
2. No room for a tall utility cupboard?
If you have no room for a tall utility cupboard due to lack of floorspace, use your walls to store tall items. There are hooks that you can use to hold these vertically but if the only wall space you have is above your appliances and worktop, these might be difficult for you to use. Instead, opt for a couple of ladder hooks - screw them into your wall about a metre apart and balance your broom and mop on them.
If you have an upright vacuum cleaner, you might need to squirrel it away in the understairs cupboard, or even stand it on a worktop if it would otherwise block access to your cupboard doors.
Use the back of your door for your ironing board holder to square everything away neatly and easy to access, with no trip hazards!
3. Use utility room shelving creatively
Utility cupboards are great, because they can hide a lot of mess! Utility room shelving, though, can be more practical for storing items you use every day.
Your utility room shelves need to be easy to reach, and ideally they should be adjustable so that you can position them to perfectly accommodate whatever you need to store. There are basket shelves that can be adjusted along a rack, which are ideal for placing on the back of your door or the external of a tall utility cupboard.
Alternatively, you can use shelves that fit around and above your utility sink - these are usually marketed as kitchen sink storage, but they are also perfect for storing cleaning and laundry supplies in your utility room.
4. Stack your appliances
Most people put their washing machine and dryer next to each other, with a worktop surface above. If you have the space for that, then that’s great - but if not, consider stacking your dryer on top of your washing machine. Two points to remember, though:
a. Be very careful not to overload either of them with laundry as they can move considerably when on full spin, and
b. Make sure that you can still reach the dials and switches of the highest machine! (If you need a boost, you could buy a folding step stool that would be easy to tuck away between uses.)
5. Grab a bag of cup hooks!
Organise smaller items in your cupboards, such as a dustpan and brush, using cup hooks that can be easily screwed into the inside of your utility cupboards. Anything that has a hole at the top (many household tools do), can be hung onto the hook, either directly or by threading and tying a piece of string through the hole to make a loop. Cup hooks are cheap and have sharp screws at the end, making them very easy to insert into any type of wooden cupboard.
6. Keep countertops as clear as possible
Your countertops are very useful in a utility room. At some point in any given week, someone in your family will find another way to stain their clothes, and will need to use the countertops to scrub them with stain remover. Someone else will probably decide that the countertop is the perfect place to leave their muddy football boots - and perhaps that’s better than on the hall carpet.
If space is at a premium in your utility room, though, consider using a basic shoe cupboard to store things you use often, such as laundry detergent, fabric softener, stain remover and surface sprays. These are designed to be narrow and will fit flush against any wall or tall utility cupboard and are one of the simplest, yet effective utility room storage ideas ever, and won’t take up too much of your worktop space.
7. Dry your clothes without taking up floor space
During the winter months, drying clothes indoors can be a trial. Traditional clothes horses take up a lot of space and don’t make use of the fact that heat rises - trying to dry clothes at below hip-height takes ages. Whilst hardly innovative, a drying rack hung from the ceiling is extremely efficient and puts clothes high up out of the way while they dry. Hang yours above a radiator, and your clothes will be dry in no time!
If you’re not confident that you can install one of these yourself, you could opt for a more modern version of the same idea - a wall-mounted airer works well and can be folded flat against the wall when not in use.
8. Make use of baskets to organise your cupboards
The key to successful utility room storage (even in a small space) is to organise it properly. Utility cupboards and shelves need to be zoned according to function. So, you could have a shelf or cupboard for laundry supplies, another for household tools, another for spare lightbulbs, pegs, or decorating equipment - whatever you decide to store in your utility room, give it a place of its own.
Using baskets will prevent bottles toppling over and rolling around. Be sure to organise your baskets so that the ones you use most frequently are the easiest to access.
Alternatives to utility room storage
If you lack enough space in your utility room even after arranging it to reach its full potential, you could use your understairs cupboard for your dryer, laundry baskets, vacuum cleaner and ironing board. If there are items that you don’t use often, such as decorating equipment, you could consider investing in external storage solutions, such as a shed or garden storage box.
If there are items that might perish, become mouldy, or be at risk of theft outdoors (such as camping or sports equipment), you could consider renting a small self storage unit
to keep these safe and dry without taking up valuable space in your utility room.
Whichever utility storage room ideas you use, you’ll come to really appreciate that extra space for the housework essentials - and whilst doing the laundry will never be fun, it can at least be less of a chore.