How to make the best use of this often-overlooked space in your house

Anya Meyerowitz
·4-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Transitions can be an unusual time. Whether it’s the changing seasons or easing lockdown restrictions, you’d be forgiven for feeling somewhat discombobulated at present. To help, a good old fashioned declutter can be just the thing to ready yourself for change. We recommend turning your attention to perhaps the most underrated room of any home: the utility room.

Often a refuge for random things - wellies, washing machines, dog beds, you name it - this little space has the potential to be so much more. Claire Armstrong-Gautier, in-house lead designer at My Bespoke Room, shares her top tips on how to create an organised and orderly utility room that Marie Kondo would be proud of. After all, a winning utility room can set you up for success.

1.Plan your space

'Even a tiny room can be fit for purpose with the right planning,' says Claire. 'Think about how you can utilise the full dimensions of your space.'

'Don’t be afraid to go vertical. Embracing the height of your room can free up prime storage real estate. Try adding shelves, pegs, or stackable boxes as you explore upwards. Drawing the eye up will also create the illusion of a larger room – perfect for neat cubbies and small spaces.

'Use a high-level rail to create some clothes hanging space and even add a small pet cubby at the base of a cupboard. It’ll keep a small bed out from under your feet – and give your pet its own chic room!'

2.Take stock and get organised

A big old sort out is worth its weight in gold. To get started, Claire recommends taking out every product, bag and box so you can see everything in one place. Yes, it may create chaos, but it’s only temporary!

'Next, you should group things by function,' says Claire. 'Grouping things into storage bins or baskets are an ideal way to keep clutter out of sight. Cleaning products, laundry, stationary – everything has its place. Just make sure the things you use regularly are earmarked for a prime spot. Nobody wants a manic scramble during a cleaning emergency!'

'If space allows, you could install counters or invest in some shelving to offer more storage solutions. Having everything neatly tucked away is guaranteed to make you feel calmer.'

3.Labels are your friend

'While there’s always the old ‘stickie-label and sharpie’ route, you can go a step further,' explains Claire. 'As any fan of The Home Edit will know, getting custom labels printed is an inexpensive but really pleasing way to keep things looking uniform. If you want to take your organisation game to the next level, labelling is your new best friend.'

4.Practical can be pretty

Keeping your utility room organised is bound to be more pleasing on the eye. However, you can go a step further, exercising your creativity with matching colour schemes and storage solutions.

'For anything on display, having storage units that complement each other is a great way to improve the look of the room,” says Claire. “A simple set of wicker/wire baskets will help create balance as well as some strong textures to anchor the room. Think about options big enough to store some of your freshly laundered clothes too - let's be honest, we don’t always have time to put them away that day!

'Large jars are an attractive way to store pasta in your kitchen - so why not try incorporating them into the utility room? More visually stimulating, they can be an ideal display for laundry detergent or tablets. Jars and boxes also act as a more sustainable storage solution, perfect for anyone looking to cut down on their plastic consumption.'

5.If in doubt, get your paintbrush out

'Given its ‘chore’ related functionality, the utility room isn’t exactly our favourite room. But that’s no reason it should be forgotten! A playful lick of paint can help boost our enjoyment of it as a room. You could even add in some funky tiles (or wallpaper) to try something a bit more daring,' says Claire.

'The trick is to go for a colour that brightens your day, that way you won’t be so inclined to avoid the chore cupboard. Your utility room offers the perfect opportunity to be a little bolder and try something you’d be too scared to have in the living room!'

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