Utility by Humphrey Munson
Utility Room Benefits
If you’re fortunate enough to have a utility room, big or small, you’ll know how useful they can be. They free-up much-needed space in the kitchen, ensure the laundry is contained to one room and provide the perfect place to store muddy boots, coats and other items that you don’t want in the rest of the house. And this is where the problems often lie.
Multi-purpose spaces can be difficult to keep tidy and organised and often end up as ‘dumping grounds’ or used to store anything from paint to tools and cleaning products. Utility rooms are hardworking spaces that really benefit from structure and organisation. Done well, they are an incredibly useful and practical space and can help to make chores that little bit more enjoyable!
Everything should have a place. This is key. If things don’t, it’s impossible to create order and to maintain an organised space. Think carefully about your vision for the utility room. Is it somewhere that you would like to dedicate only to a laundry or does it also need to double-up as a boot room? Keeping this in mind will help with the next step. Decluttering.
I can guarantee you that there will be items in the utility room that are being stored there unnecessarily. Are there children’s coats hung up that no longer fit or pots of paint that have long since dried up? Go through the cupboards one by one and really assess whether things belong. If you are keeping tools in there, could they be stored in the garage? Could outdoor games be kept in the shed? Are there winter/ summer jackets and coats hanging up which could be stored in wardrobes or vacuum bags until the appropriate season? It’s amazing how easy it is just to assume that an item needs to be there because it always has been! Ask yourself these questions and really consider whether it’s the best place for it.
A Word On Duplicates
Utility rooms are often areas which house duplicates, whether it’s spare candles, cleaning products or cloths. Whilst I love a bargain as much as anybody, think carefully before you buy. It may be a good deal but only if you need the item in the first place! Don’t buy multiples of things, just because they are on offer. It will only clog up your cupboards and if you can’t easily see what’s in them, it’s easy to forget what you have and to buy more!
If possible, it’s good to keep a section of worktop clean and clear for folding clean laundry and linens. Have a look at what’s being kept out on the tops and consider whether it’s necessary or if it could be popped away to give you that extra bit of space.
Maximise The Available Space
Whether your utility room is big or small, it’s important to maximise the space. Often clients will say to me “there just isn’t enough storage” when actually, it just needs a re-think. If you have tall cupboards and you aren’t using the full height of them, could you install some shelving and pop baskets on them? Alternatively, you could mount hooks from which to hang peg bags, spritz bottles or even the ironing board.
If drying space is an issue, wall mounted drying racks are a great solution. Door racks can often provide really useful additional storage for cloths or cleaning products too. Clever, space-saving products like these can be worth the investment if you’re trying to make the most out of a small room.
You do not need to spend a fortune on organisational products to make a utility room work efficiently. Before you go out and buy anything new, have a look at what you have at home. Baskets, glass jars and boxes can all be put to good use.
Styling Your Space
The utility room may not be your first priority when it comes to home styling but I truly believe that spaces should be both functional and stylish. Why not install some open shelving to create visual interest and additional storage space?
I love to use glass jars for storing anything from washing powder to wooden pegs and salts. Bunches of dried lavender can make the room smell gorgeous too.
I hope this blog post is useful and if you have any other tips, I would love to hear from you!