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Last month I wrote a post all about my goals for the coming year. Goal One was to move house – and I’m very happy to say that we moved at the very end of January. Phew! Goal Two was ‘get organised’ – and think this is probably my main goal for this year. To get our new home looking neat and tidy. I believe that the main way to achieve that is through organisation. I feel that if everything has a place, then there’s no need for anything to be out of place. Which leads me to the purpose of this blog post: organising the utility room!
Firstly, I feel I have to convey how utterly thrilled I am to have a utility room now! It was one of my non-negotiables when we were house hunting, but I would have settled for a small room to keep the washing machine and tumble dryer out of the kitchen, with somewhere to put a drying rack. At our old house, since B came along and turned our spare room (read: dumping ground and general laundry room) into her bedroom, drying racks had been an almost permanent fixture in our living room during the winter months. I was really keen to avoid that in our new home.
Well, to put it mildly I have hit the jackpot here! We are very lucky to have what is essentially a second kitchen as a utility room. Of course, it’s still permanently filled with drying racks, but at least I no longer have them in my peripheral vision when we’re trying to settle down and watch television of an evening.
One downside of this room is that the main wall storage has cupboards with windows in them. This is fine in a kitchen if you want to display your glassware or fine china, but not so great in a utility when you want to hide away the batteries and shoe polish! So, I felt I needed a quick fix to get the utility organised and hide away some of the clutter.
My answer to this was baskets. Lots of baskets! I ordered a dozen of these small Curver baskets* so that I’d have enough to fill both cupboards and get them looking uniform and tidy. Obviously I measured the shelves beforehand to check that they’d fit. *I’ve (affiliate) linked to Amazon to show you the exact ones I bought, but I paid much less for them from The Range.
I really enjoyed watching The Home Edit on Netflix and one of the take away points for me was categories! Organising your things by categories makes it easier to find what you need and gives a good starting point when you’re faced with a sea of Calpol, batteries, light bulbs and random wires (that’s what I was faced with when I organised my utility room cupboards, anyway!).
So, here’s how I organised my baskets! There were several for vitamins/medicines/first aid. It turns out we must have had Calpol in three different locations in our old house, because we’ve ended up with three bottles of the stuff! I can only assume that we kept thinking we’d run out, so bought another. I blame the sleep deprivation that comes with having two children under two and the knowledge that Calpol is the magic elixir that will cure most toddler ailments!
Then I had another basket solely for lightbulbs, and another for batteries. I put the latter on a high shelf to keep it as far away from the girls’ reach as possible. Next I organised anything sewing related into another basket, and put umbrellas into another. I also created a basket for wires, chargers and anything else electrical – categories! I must admit I did have to end up with a couple of miscellaneous baskets, as Matthew has a tub of foreign coins that he refuses to part with, despite most of them being pre-Euro and completely worthless. I have no idea what category those would fall into!
Once I was happy with my baskets, I organised them all into my cupboards. I put the most ‘hazardous’ categories such as medicines and batteries on the highest shelves, then worked from there. I also put any tall items at the back of the baskets to make them look neater when looking into the cupboard. I summoned Matthew to admire my work and he commented that the only thing missing is labels on the front of the baskets. So, excuse me while I Google label makers…
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