Laundry and household tasks can be fun in a well-organized space. (Well, almost.) A clutter-free utility room that stores everything from tools to laundry baskets will simplify your life and add value to your home. See how this utility room does it all with space-saving ideas and clever storage solutions.
This galley-style utility room keeps an abundance of work zones and supplies neatly hidden. Toward the front, striped curtains hide a laundry center. Back by the door, a freestanding armoire holds bins filled with small household necessities. Opposite the armoire, a row of hooks keeps jackets off the floor.
A front-loading washer and dryer make it possible to install a folding counter with plenty of elbowroom. (If floor space is at a premium, front-loaders can also be stacked.) Storage in this tiny space is enhanced by open shelves on the wall.
Open shelves above the washer and dryer take advantage of otherwise ignored space. Laundry and household supplies stay accessible to adults, yet out of small children's reach. A harder-working option: adjustable wire shelving with an optional hanging bar for drip-drying.
Even the smallest space can be put to work. Next to the armoire, retractable valet rods provide much-needed hanging space. When not in use, they add a decorative accent.
At the opposite end of the utility room, a built-in wall cabinet maximizes storage because it doesn't steal valued floor space. The cabinet stands opposite the laundry center.
At 5 1/2 inches deep, the built-in floor-to-ceiling cabinet (in a location unsuitable for protruding storage) holds spray paint, car wax, and extra laundry detergent. Note that paint should be stored away from direct sunlight, and never put it next to a water heater or furnace.
Vertical storage is great for space-hogging tools. Hang them on metal hooks on a pegboard from any home center or hardware store. Group tools by function, and keep the most-often-used ones at eye level. Better yet, trace the outline of each tool with black marker to ensure tools get put back every time. A custom door keeps these tools out of sight when they're not being used.
Nothing organizes clutter like a great piece of furniture. Put an old armoire to work by fitting it with containers, hooks, and other organizing items. An inexpensive screen or curtain hanging from metal wire or a curtain rod can also disguise work supplies.
Instead of plastic containers, look for unique bins and baskets that reflect your style. In the utility room's hardworking armoire, old metal toolboxes with grab-and-go handles and labels on each bin reduce hunting time. No shelves? Use wire-mesh bins and hang them right on the wall.
A row of simple coat hooks or wooden pegs is a great clutter buster. Putting hooks at different heights means everyone in the family can reach one. If space allows, it's smart to add a second row of hooks (above the coat hooks) for less bulky items, such as hats or umbrellas.