What do you have?
A Utility Space, Utility Closet, Laundry Room, or Utility Room? I thought I had a Laundry Room with a utility closet in it, but I was wrong. I guess I have a Utility Room.
What exactly is a Utility Room?
A utility room is a room within a house where equipment not used in day-to-day activities is kept. Utility refers to an item that is designed for usefulness or practical use, so in turn, most of the items kept in this room have functional attributes. A utility room is generally the area where laundry is done and is the descendant of the scullery. The word utility is more commonly used in British English, while North American and Australian English generally refer to this room as a laundry room.
I have been in a number of homes over the years. Some people have Laundry Rooms, and some have Laundry Spaces. Basically it just means some people have more room in their space than others.
Regardless of which they have, I generally recommend they keep the same type of items in these spaces unless they absolutely will not fit. In that case, we come up with an alternative space for their utilitarian items.
The reason for this is because I think it is imperative to store like things with like things. If you know me, you have heard me say this a lot. If you are getting to know me, just warning you, you will hear it a lot. This is always going to make it easier to find what you need when you need it. In this case, the “like things” are utilitarian things that are used on occasion, but not all of the time.
These are the things to keep in your Utility Space:
I am lucky enough to have a pretty good-sized room that holds the washer and dryer, a sink, and has several cupboards. I store the utilitarian items I use inside my home in this space.
There are always alternatives and I will note those under the items that might apply. I like to have all of these in one place, so I don’t have to remember if I put them in a specific room. However, you and your housemates may think differently than I, so I always try and include options. Note: these are all items that are used in the interior of the home. Exterior items should live in the garage or a shed.
- light bulbs
- if there is a room, such as a bathroom with bulbs that only fit in that room, you could store them in that bathroom
- extra cleaning supplies
- these are generally the larger containers that we refill the smaller containers with
- things we rarely use like shoe cleaners, shoe protectors, shoe polish, silver polish, etc
- empty spray bottles and storage containers
- larger rolls of tape
- generally packing tape and utility tape, not scotch tape
- extra rolls of paper towels
- iron and ironing board
- if you iron elsewhere, you may want to keep these in that space
- extension cords
- laundry supplies
- if your utility space is not in the laundry area, this of course won’t apply
You may ask, what are the best containers to use to store the items in my Utility Space?
You may already have storage containers lying around the home that you could use. As always, before buying any containers, know what you have and what you will need to store. So, go through your things first, get rid of the things you don’t use, and purchase containers for what you do use and need to contain.
I don’t think you have to buy anything special to hold anything, but I have included some ideas that might work for you. (these may contain affiliate links – no additional cost to you, I promise)
These are not necessarily easy to store as they come in all shapes and sizes. My suggestion is to keep them in their original container and stack them or store them in a bin like this, or, if you don’t have a lot of bulbs, they make a specialty box like this.
Broom, mop, duster, etc.
I like to hang my brooms and mops as it keeps them from falling out of the closet when I open the door, and it keeps the floor free for other items. Something like this works great to hang these items from and it has hooks for hanging other items.
I keep a minimal number of rags in the utility room. The ones I keep in there are generally for large cleanups. I keep the smaller rags in the bath cleaning caddy in each bathroom. I like to throw mine into something simple, like a small wicker basket.
I love shoebox-size storage containers for smaller items. Clothespins, small extension cords, shoelaces, etc.
The most important thing to remember is to never keep more than you need.
I recently did a cleanout of my Utility Space and was surprised by the number of cleaners I owned. Things I purchased in bulk for a great deal, and then never used them. It’s a good thing we have moved to a natural, all-purpose cleaner and don’t feel the need for all of those cleaners anymore. We do have a couple of specialty cleaners for the floor and the furniture, but other than that, it’s pretty minimal.
I would love to hear what you store in your Utility Space. If you use any of my ideas, let me know how it goes. And, if you have any great ideas to share, please do in the comment section below.
I always love what I learn from others.