Laundry rooms are notorious for becoming a catch-all space for nomadic household odds and ends. The stuff around our house without a designated home collects here, turning what should be a functional space into an unorganized disaster. Whether you call it the Laundry Room or Utility Room, you probably have a space that houses your washing machine, dryer, and an assortment of other miscellaneous things. Figuring out creative space solutions for this area can be a challenge.


Recently, Vicki was featured on a More Good Day Oregon segment where she gave a tour of her own family’s laundry room at her farm, Dream Acres. At Vicki’s house her laundry room serves as a breezeway connecting their mudroom (leading outside) and their kitchen. This simple design fact inspired Vicki’s biggest piece of advice about organizing your laundry room: plan and organize the room based on the adjacent spaces.


Since laundry rooms are commonly attached to kitchens, here are a few ways you can organize your utility room to not only maximize the space in there better, but to also keep your kitchen less cluttered and more organized:


1.     Move the trash. A lot of people keep their trash under the sink. While this works OK for small trash bins, that cupboard space usually isn’t enough room to also manage a recycle bin and returnable bottles. Moving everything related to garbage into your laundry room allows you to use kitchen under-sink space for other items (for example: cleaning products and bags) while keeping all your trash, recycling, and bottle return items together.

2.     Corral household “et ceteras.” Light bulbs, extra garbage bags, shoe cleaning supplies, furniture pads, parts, pet supplies, picture hanging hooks,… Where does it all go? The laundry room is a great place for these “et cetera” household supplies, where you can create a system to keep it under control. In Vicki’s home, she uses repurposed vintage gym baskets to organize these types of supplies by category.

3.     Organize cleaning supplies. While keeping a few cleaning supplies in strategic locations around your house can be smart, it’s good to gather all your other, less-frequently used supplies in one central spot: the laundry room.


Tools of the trade: Built-in cabinets are perfect, but if you don’t have those shelving units or even bookcases with bins will do the trick perfectly.


Laundry rooms also tend to be one of the last places you walk through when leaving the house, as many are adjacent to the garage. Similar to a mudroom, it’s a strategic spot to keep those items you need before you walk out the door.


Here are a few things Vicki found space for in her utility room:


1.     Keys. All those key racks you see in shops are so cute – but who really only has three sets of keys? There are never enough hooks! Vicki’s key rack is a frame backed with chicken wire with multiple hooks on it to accommodate all the Norris’ keys.

2.     Outgoing mail. Most family’s system for outgoing mail and banking deposits includes tossing it on the already-layered kitchen counter. Instead, Vicki recommends establishing a dedicated location for mail and banking items to be placed. At Dream Acres, Vicki hung a simple wire basket on her laundry room’s wall near the door where outgoing mail or banking is placed, making it easy to grab and preventing it from getting lost in the kitchen counter shuffle!

3.     Accessories. While you can’t store everything in your laundry room, choose the top two or three “accessories” you always need before leaving and find a place for them. In the Norris home, Vicki keeps the family’s sunglasses in a repurposed vintage 7-Up compartmentalized bin that Trevor attached to the wall. Attached to the mail bin are several hooks on which Vicki hangs several pairs of earbuds on to make them quick and easy to grab for commuter conversations.


Tools of the trade: Be careful about buying the latest product with hooks on it or compartments/bins to store things. First, gather each category of things that you want to keep in the laundry room. (Keep in mind adjacent spaces so that the things that you store here will be convenient. Be sure to consider coming-and-going needs.)  THEN (and only then) buy the correct storage items.


No matter how big or small your laundry room might be, you can take a couple of these creative space solutions and use them to make your utility room serve your family! For more visual ideas and inspiration, watch the whole More Good Day Oregon segment here:



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