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  • Olivia Hartley

How to make the most of your utility room

The utility room. One of the hardest working rooms in the home. So if you are lucky enough to have one, this blog covers some little organisational tips. It’s not the most glamorous of posts but function is as important as form to a good interior designer! I’m going to assume that we are not working with a lot of square footage here, so apologies if your utility room is of gargantuan proportions. But you can still apply the main concepts.

Washer/Dryers

Noisy things, not particularly attractive and so great if you can get these beasts out of your kitchen. I shall make another assumption that like most you keep your washing machine and tumble dryer in here. One way of instantly improving space is by stacking your appliances one on top of the other. Point to mention here is that it’s better for your machines if there is a shelf/worktop for your dryer to sit on, to stop if from throwing itself kamikaze style onto the floor when the vibrations get too much. You may even consider raising both to counter height if like me you do a LOT of washing and hence more bending and stretching than an extra in a Jane Fonda workout video. Use that bit of wasted space at the top of the appliances for the laundry basket (if you are vertically challenged, keep one of those cheap Ikea steps in the room).





Clothing and smaller items

Folding wall hangers are great as airers or for hanging freshly ironed clothes, but if your space is literally a corridor then consider hanging a rail above worktop height, most DIY shops sell them and they can fit between adjacent walls or sides of cabinets. Remember your old woodwork room at school? Well Pegboard is the in thing, and if you buy the hardboard version it’s cheap and can be brightened up with a coat of hard wearing eggshell paint. Make sure it is securely fastened to the wall and you should be able to hang your ironing board off here too. For lighter weight items such as feather dusters and dust pan and brush, IKEA have an updated version of pegboard in white powder coated metal that can be customised with shelves for small items like your pan scrubbers and linen sprays. Cover a whole wall in them for added impact/storage!





Storage

It is quite likely you have some kitchen units in there which is always handy, especially under the sink for cleaning products. Remember if you have small children in the home, use safety catches on any cupboards containing cleaning or washing chemicals. If you don’t like their appearance, change the doors or paint, but always use a strong primer first such as Zinsser if you are painting a glossy or melamine finish. If you don’t have units in there, and you have the space. Look on EBay. There are tons of entire kitchens on there where people are replacing and you have the perfect chance to prevent it all from ending up in landfill.

Look at your room and see if you can neatly fit any more cupboards in there, having items behind cupboard doors will essentially give you a more streamlined look and keep things looking tidy. If you haven’t got space for extra kitchen units then look at bathroom cabinets, they tend to be slimmer and have less depth, a great one to look at is the ‘godmorgen' from IKEA as it has a narrow and tall shape that will fit into the slimmest of spaces. Use mirrored cabinets too as they will bounce light around and make the space feel larger. Those with locks are perfect for keeping dangerous items like super glue and matches etc.



Of course you could go for open shelving, its cost effective, you’ll have everything to hand and you can run it up to the ceiling to make every mm of space count. This space could be useful for keeping kitchen appliances that you don’t want cluttering surfaces such as juicers, food processors and that spiraliser you bought on Amazon but only used 3 times etc. You could use the shelving as a pantry space, filling Kilner jars with dried pulses, rice and pasta if you need to free up cupboard space. Paint the wall behind with blackboard paint as I have in my own utility and you have a handy notice board for the week ahead (or a space to leave passive aggressive comments about who does all the cleaning).




As for organising all the products that go with a utility room, washing powder, cloths, cleaning materials etc. consider using caddies. Baskets with handles that contain all the items for the job in hand. E.g. Your bathroom caddy might contain a couple of cloths, cleaning spray, a soft cloth for buffing metallic surfaces and toilet cleaner. Do the same for the other cleaning jobs in the house and you’ll never be rummaging to find the items you need again!




Consider using refills for cleaning products, Sheaf street health store in Daventry have a good selection. Aside from the fact that the environment will thank you, labelled jars and tins can look so much prettier than all that garish packaging. Just again (sorry to be an old nag) but be careful to keep cleaning items out of reach and NEVER store chemicals and cleaning products in old food packaging. Label clearly.

You could save on lots of space by making your own multi purpose cleaning spray that is environmentally friendly, smells amazing and isn’t harmful to pets or aquatic life. Plus it makes your home smell amazing. Courtesy of Do Terra Essential earth tribe , Recipe below;


You will need an old refillable spray bottle ideally;


Equal Parts white wine vinegar and water

5 drops lemon or orange essential oil

5 drops of peppermint essential oil


Shake vigorously before use.

Typically under sink cupboards are a bit rubbish for storage as you have a lot of pipework and the trap, so consider corner shelves specifically for these types of cupboards from companies such as Lakeland to use the wasted height and make things easier to reach.

Decor

Now, the décor bit. If you have read my previous post on Hallway décor then you’ll know I’m a big advocate for not skimping on inventive décor in the smallest areas of the home. If you have any other questions or simply found this useful in any way then feel free to comment below and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter so you don’t miss out on our upcoming posts!




Thanks for reading, I'm off to put another load on.

Olivia Hartley

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