There are a hundred blog posts that could be written about all the different ways of organising things in your home, so for my ‘Bring in Spring’ seasonal feature, where should I start?! In my opinion, the utility room is where it all begins because how can you start to spring clean your home if the place from where it commences is in chaos?! Here I am going to focus on the ways you can organise your utility area to ensure it provides the perfect foundation from where you can manage your home’s spring cleaning. I understand that we are very lucky to have a utility room, however, all of the hacks and advice I list below are completely applicable to your kitchen, garage, or cupboard under the stairs too…anywhere that you keep your home’s utility items.
Get things off the floor
How much space do clothes horses take up?! So much. Plus, if I had a pound for every time Evie had almost trapped her finger between the bars I would be a Mulberry handbag owner. We used to lean our clothes horses (yes plural, we have 2 for all of that family washing) against the radiator when they were not in use which was cluttered, messy, obstructed heat into the utility room, and tempted the little one to go play with them and try to pull herself up to a stand using them as leverage. So, I utilised space above the utility room sink to create a hanging solution for the clothes horses, it only cost a few pounds and was super easy to do.
I used the B&Q twinslot system (viewable here) for versatility. Plus, I wanted brackets that were white in colour so they would disappear into the wall rather than standing out like most metal and wood brackets would. It is possible to recreate this solution using something like a bike rack, but I found this nice white storage system the cleanest looking. Try this out for hanging the buggy, your bike, lawnmower, and other big equipment up and out of the way.
Utilise Dead Space
The space behind doors that open against the wall can easily be forgotten about and underused. But in a family home all space is needed. This inexpensive iron and ironing board bracket I picked up on Amazon (Brabantia Ironing Board Hanger and Iron Store – Black). The iron holder is teflon coated to protect your wall from burn marks caused by a hot iron being replaced here shortly after use.
Another great way to make use of very narrow spaces like those behind doors is wall hooks. Behind the utility room door here I have used wood mounted rows of hooks which you can buy from lots of retail outlets…mine are a mixture of Amazon and BM Stores. I have used the hooks to hand the family’s jackets…but what about cooking aprons, tea towels, mops, sweeping brushes, feather dusters…all of the things that lie around in utility rooms creating more clutter. Use your narrow spaces and get things off of the floor, you would be amazed at how much more useful the space can become.
Hanging hooks everywhere
You know when you move house you always end up with those boxes of items that you just don’t know where to put so you procrastinate unpacking them for as long as possible? I’m talking batteries, string, spare buttons, shoe polish, stationary, light bulbs…all households have this problem. I can’t recommend kitchen utensil hanging rails enough for solving this problem. I have used them throughout the house for different things.
The rails I have used are from Amazon (click here) but are also available to buy from Ikea and Dunelm that I have seen and will cost between £5-£8 on average for a 50-60cm rail including the hooks. Pick up these white pots for only 50p from Ikea (click here) and you have an adaptable storage system for all kinds of little nuisances. In the utility room I store the items mentioned above and more, but in Evie’s playroom these rails display her artwork and have pots containing pencils and crayons. And in the kitchen I have a rail with kitchen utensils hanging.
Underneath your shelving
Did you know that you can actually buy shelf brackets that themselves can be used to store items? These shelves were an amazing find from Wilko’s (click here). I have used some of the hooks that came with my kitchen utensil hanging rails to hang even more items from underneath my shelving, like this fluffy duster. This is particularly useful for items that get damp when using like towels and cloths, and especially if the shelving is hung above a radiator like they are in my utility room. Look for brackets that have hooks, curves and details on them.
Did you know you can also attach the kitchen hanging rails I mention above to the underside of shelves? This is what I did in my kitchen and is another way of squeezing every last inch of stage space out of your shelving systems.
Ceiling storage is a real possibility! Ikea hack solutions like this are not just great for hanging your socks up to dry, but think about it for things like storing tea towels, cloths and dusters. Even at my 5′ height I can easily reach this to bring it down from the curtain pole, but it can also be hung from a hook in the ceiling.
The next solution I would like to install is a pulley. A traditional item found in older homes, a pulley is a ceiling storage system used for hanging washing to dry or for storing pots and pans with an easy rope system access.
I have also just bought the Bittergurka storage system from Ikea (click here). My intention is to plant herbs in here and hang them in the kitchen, but this could also be a ceiling storage solution in smaller spaces for your cleaning fluids, washing powders etc, keeping them away form the reach of little hands.
Do you have any other ideas on how to organise your utility room? Leave me a comment below and let me know if you try any of these things out, it would be great to hear if they work for you.