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Utility Room Ideas

Washing Machines

Having a utility room can be incredibly handy, as it allows you to separate your chores from the rest of your home. It's also where you can store all of your cleaning equipment and hide any fresh laundry that you haven't yet had time to fold or hang up.

If you're lucky enough to already have a dedicated laundry room, you'll know how easy it can be for these spaces to become incredibly messy. And, if you're thinking about creating a utility room within your home, you might be worried about it falling into disarray. To give you the best chance of keeping your space nice and tidy, you'll need to ensure that it has a practical layout, plenty of storage room, and a designated spot for everything. To help you get organised, we're going to provide you with our best utility room ideas and storage solutions that should give you plenty of inspiration. We'll cover:

How will you use your utility room?

Before you plan the layout of your utility room or buy any appliances, it’s important that you carefully consider exactly how you’re going to use the space. Traditionally, utility rooms were only really used to wash and dry clothes, and this might be all you’re looking for. But, nowadays, it’s also common for these spaces to be multi-functional, and here are just some of the other ways in which you might wish to use yours:

  • To store boots and coats
  • As somewhere to meal prep
  • As a larder
  • To store bikes and other sports equipment
  • To keep dog leads and harnesses out of the way
  • As an appliance room where you also keep a freezer or dishwasher
  • As somewhere you can iron and fold your family’s clothes

Some of these uses will require different types of utility room storage, you might need to pick out different appliances, and it could even affect how much bench space you’ll need. So, thinking about how you’re going to use your utility room is the first step in designing it.

What features should a utility room have?

Washing hands

While the features you would like for your utility room might differ depending on how you plan to use it, there are some core elements you're likely to need. And, there are some common features you might want to pick and choose from, depending on your preferences and requirements. We're going to highlight those and explain what you need to consider with each one.

Washing Machine and tumble dryer

There are multiple reasons why washing machines and tumble driers have become utility room staples: they take up a lot of space, can be unsightly, and make a lot of noise, to name just a few. So, it makes sense to move them out of your kitchen and into a separate space where they won't cause you any hassle.

If you have a relatively small utility room and are looking for ideas to maximise your space, stacking your washing machine and tumble drier can be a great idea. Just make sure you invest in a specialised stacking kit to keep everything stable.

An extra sink

If you're tired of bathing the dog or washing your family's boots in your kitchen sink, it might be worth installing an extra utility room sink that's reserved for these mucky jobs. If you do decide to go down this route, it's worth opting for one that's on the deeper side, as this will give you more space to play with when you're carrying out jobs that are a bit more heavy-duty than simply washing the dishes.

If your utility room is only going to be used for washing and drying clothes, it can still be helpful to have a sink where you can soak or handwash certain items that need special attention. Just make sure that you'll still be left with all of the bench space you need for folding and storing your clothing before it's put away.

Plenty of bench space

You're never going to feel like you have too much bench space so, regardless of how you plan to use your utility room, we would always recommend installing as many worktops as your space will allow. Whether you use this to fold clothes, store appliances, or prep your family's lunches for the week, you'll be glad you made it a priority when things get a bit hectic.

There are a whole host of ways in which you can maximise the bench space in your utility room, and a lot of this has to do with smart storage hacks, which we'll go into more detail about later. But, stacking appliances where possible, having plenty of cupboard and drawer space, and having a quick tidy of your utility room each day can help to ensure there's always some free worktop space when you need it.

Ironing board

If you devote a few hours a week ironing your family’s clothes, you’ll know how much space this can take up. The ironing board itself, along with the piles of both pre-and post-ironed clothing can take up so much room that you'll probably find it makes sense to do all of this in your utility room. Not only will this allow you to keep everything together so you can start and stop ironing whenever it fits into your schedule, but it also means you can close the door on your chores when you’ve run out of time and won't have to work around piles of clothes when you're cooking the tea or watching TV with the kids.

Extractor fan

Because most homeowners primarily use their utility rooms to wash and dry their clothes, the air can become quite humid. You won't want this to cause patches of damp or mildew, so we would always recommend installing an extractor fan if possible. They aren't just for kitchens and bathrooms: they should be added to every room where there's often a lot of moisture in the air, making your utility room a prime candidate.

Plenty of cupboard space

Utility rooms can quite cluttered over time — and this is especially true if yours is going to be a multi-purpose space here you wash, dry, and iron clothes, prep meals, and bath your dog. So, to keep your countertops free of mess and ensure there's a place for everything, you'll want to have plenty of cupboard space to play with. This is where you can keep all of your cleaning products, laundry accessories, any appliances you don't use too frequently, and non-perishables that you don't have space for in your kitchen.

Again, if your utility room is going to be a multi-functional space, it might be worth devoting a cupboard or two to each purpose. So, you could keep all of your laundry supplies in one area, general cleaning products in another cupboard, and non-perishables elsewhere. Then, when you're looking for something in particular, you'll know exactly where to go.

Coat hooks

Coat hooks are multi-functional, which means they're great for hanging in utility rooms. Whether you use them to store your dog's leads and harnesses, your family's dirty waterproof coats, or your keys so they're easy to grab on your way out the door is up to you. But, once you've added them to your utility room, you'll wonder how you ever lived without them.

An extra fridge or freezer

If you're a keen cook and have the space for it, adding an extra fridge or freezer to your utility room is a common move you might like to make. This is likely to be a particularly good idea if you often batch cook meals to keep in the fridge or freezer for later. It can also be helpful to have plenty of refrigerator space if you often entertain or host special events like your family's Christmas dinner. Having a busy kitchen is stressful in itself, but having more fridge or freezer space to work with can help to make life much easier for you.

Shoe racks or boxes

Having shoe racks or boxes in your utility room can be very handy — especially if your family enjoy long walks and often return with muddy boots or wellies that need washing straight away. If your utility room is near your front or back door, having designated racks where people can drop their shoes on the way in can also help to prevent dirt from being trudged through your house. So, if your current porch set-up isn't currently cutting it, or shoes are already being left on your utility room floor, a shoe storage solution could be the answer. We stock a selection of plastic shoe boxes that you might find useful.

Utility room storage ideas

In order to keep your utility room tidy and ensure you can always find what you're looking for at a moment's notice, you're going to need to keep it organised. And, the best way to do this is with some smart utility room storage solutions. Of course, your storage requirements might differ slightly depending on how you plan to use the room, and you might have to get creative if your space is particularly small or awkwardly shaped.

To help give you some inspiration, we're going to give you some of our best utility room storage ideas that should help you to stay organised.

Use open shelving to keep everyday items to hand

In your utility room, there will be certain products that you use day in and day out. So, having these within easy reach at all time can save you energy and also help to ensure you get all of your chores done as quickly as possible.

Open shelving is perfect for this, as the items you use most frequently won't be hidden behind drawers or cupboard doors. Of course, if you would prefer your utility room to have a sleek and incredibly tidy look, open shelving mightn't be the best choice for you, but it can be incredibly practical if you have a busy home and time is always of the essence.

Here at Plastic Box Shop, we stock a range of practical shelving that's perfect for storing all of the cleaning products you need on a daily basis. Our range also includes shelving and box combo kits that you might be interested in if you would like to minimise clutter.

Use plastic boxes to keep similar items together

As we've previously mentioned, it's a good idea to keep similar items together in the same cupboard. So, for example, you might keep all of your laundry supplies behind one door, and general household cleaning products somewhere else. This means you'll always know where to look when you need something specific.

But, if you want to be super organised, you can go one step further by creating little kits of products you tend to use together and storing them in boxes so you can grab them all at once. So, for example, you might pair up your laundry detergent and fabric conditioner, or keep all of your boot cleaning products in one container.

We stock a whole host of storage boxes in different sizes and colours that are perfect for this. Our storage baskets and plastic rattan boxes are also great for keeping your cupboards organised, and they look great too!

Opt for a laundry basket with multiple compartments

Separating your laundry before putting it in the washing machine can take a lot of time, so you could make life much easier for yourself by investing in a basket that has multiple compartments for whites, darks, and coloured clothing. Alternatively, you could simply buy separate washing baskets for each category — this can be a particularly good idea if you have a big family and your current basket is already a bit too small to cope with your weekly loads of washing.

If this is a route you would like to go down, make sure you check out our range of laundry baskets, which are available in a whole host of colourful designs.

Install tall cupboards to store larger items

You'll find that most of your utility room essentials will fit quite comfortably into your overhead and undercounter cupboards. But, there will be certain items, such as your ironing board and mops and buckets, that are more suited to a taller cupboard space. If you want to keep these out of sight and out of mind while they aren’t in use, this is something you'll need to consider.

Use a sink tidy to keep all of your cleaning essentials together

If you do decide that having a sink in your utility room will be useful, we would always recommend using a sink tidy to keep all of your essentials together and organised. If you're in a rush and need to clean your boots, for example, you won't want to have to search for a sponge or scrubbing brush. So, it's nice to know it's exactly where you need it to be.

We stock a selection of plastic sink tidies that have compartments for all of your washing up bits and pieces. They're perfect for keeping everything together.

Make the most of your doors with special storage solutions

If your utility room is quite small, or you're generally just lacking in storage space, don't fall into the trap of thinking your doors are just dead space you can't do much with. Both your cupboard doors and the main entryway to your utility room can be adapted to offer more storage.

You can buy special over the door racks with shelves and baskets where you can store any essentials you don't yet have space for. Or, you might find it useful to attach hooks to the inside of your cupboard doors.

Shoe holders that can be attached to the back of the door tend to have pockets that are perfect size for cleaning essentials like sprays and detergents. Alternatively, you could add hanging racks where you can dry or keep clothes before folding. By getting a little bit creative, you can do a great job of maximising the space you have.

Having a laundry room can be incredibly useful, but it's a space that can become very messy very quickly. But, by taking these utility room ideas on board, choosing the right features, and adding the perfect storage solutions, you can really make the most of it while keeping everything organised.

If you would like more information about how you can keep other rooms of your home in order, make sure you check out our other storage and organisation tips, too!

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