Putting ‘Utility’ Back into Your (Tiny) Utility Room



hooks,shelving,storage and organization,wall shelving

A utility room (or closet)  is one of the most challenging spaces to reengineer for more efficient use, and it’s true that in some of these “rooms” it’s impossible; usually filled to the gills with the water heater, random piping and cobwebs.

But, sometimes there’s room for improvement – literally. So, how do you get from here to there?

Have a plan.

Chances are good you won’t be working with a ton of extra space, so consider first how you want to use it. For example, if you want to add extra storage, have an idea about what you want to store before installing the shelving.

Beware of temperature and humidity.

Utility rooms have been known to create their own weather systems, especially when they’re on the small side and share space with a home appliance. An old water heater can make things tricky if it gets too hot, leaks or sweats a lot.

If that situation sounds familiar, just keep it in mind during the planning phase with regard to what you want to store.

Complement the room’s location.

One great way to maximize utility (ahem) is to use the space to support adjacent areas.

If your utility room is near the kitchen, you may want to think about a pantry expansion. If it’s near the bathroom, maybe it’d be a good spot to store extra toilet paper and bath linens.

Remove and replace the door.

In spaces this small, accessibility becomes a valued feature. Increase it in your utility room by taking the door off of it, if there is one.

You can then conceal the space with an easier-to-access track enclosure or even a decorative curtain. (As a matter of convenience and aesthetics, this is an option you may want to consider if it’s the only upgrade you make.)

Measure before you mount.

Finally, if you do decide to add shelving to your utility room, make sure you measure the clearance in areas that are especially cramped. You want to avoid installing shelving and then not being able to use it because items won’t fit or they’re too hard to reach once you have them stored.

Try out these tips and you just might be able to add a few extra square feet of useful space to your home, and if you need help don't be afraid to consult a local pro through Porch.com.

A simple, all-natural bamboo curtain like this design by Bamboo 54 in the place of a door can improve access and add style to your utility area. 

This durable, low-profile storage by Cheung's can add a little more utility to your utility closet.  

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