Utility room storage ideas – practical yet stylish ways to organise any size utility area

Looking for storage ideas for your laundry room? Check out these utility room storage ideas and designs for every style, budget and room size

Utility room storage is essential for keeping your utility and washing area tidy and clutter-free. The main use of a utility room is two-fold: Storage - both for the home and garden - and washing, usually clothing and outdoor equipment. While laundry room and utility room storage and has practical written all over it, it doesn't have to be boring (promise!). Whether yours is for laundry, boots or potting up, keep your utility room super-efficient with these practical storage solutions.

There are lots of different ways to keep everything you store in your utility room neat, tidy and most importantly, accessible. Think about how you use your utility room - what you just store in the room and the items you use most days.

Is your utility room an extension of your kitchen? Is it where you wash up or where you wash your clothes? Invest in relevant utility room storage to suit the needs of you and your household.

Utility room storage ideas

Whatever you're after from your utility room storage, and however you make use of the extra room in your house, we have lots of ideas in our essential gallery round-up.

1. Organise laundry essentials in caddies

open shelf with laundry essentials

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Open shelves are a great idea for utility areas as they give easy access to essential items. But having everything out on show can quickly look messy if you’re not super-organised. Corral smaller odds and ends like washing tablets, dryer sheets and pegs into easy-to-grab baskets with cleaning kit in caddies so it’s easy to tote around the house.

Buy now: Portland storage bucket with bamboo handle, £20, Garden Trading (opens in new tab)

2. Fit adjustable shelving above appliances

bathroom with adjustable shelves and washing machine

(Image credit: Ikea)

Make use of wasted wall space above a washing machine or tumble dryer by adding shelving and racks where you can stack and air clean laundry. The warm heat from appliances will help speed up drying time.

This customisable shelving system consists of wall-mounted uprights that are fixed to the wall, with easy-fit shelves and racks that simply click into place. Shelves can be arranged at different heights to suit your needs and the space available.

Buy now: Boaxel one-section storage, £70, Ikea (opens in new tab)

3. Save space with a folding laundry basket

laundry room with laundry basket

(Image credit: Lakeland)

Bulky laundry baskets can be tricky to find room for when space is limited. Opt for a neat, collapsible basket that will hold a full load of washing but folds flat so it can be tucked under a counter or in a gap next to the washing machine.

Buy now: Addis folding laundry basket, £14.99, Lakeland (opens in new tab)

4. Free up floor space by stacking appliances

laundry room with dryer stack over washing machine

(Image credit: Currys)

If utility space is super-tight, utilise room-height by stacking your tumble dryer on top of the washing machine. Stacking kits have a locking device that keeps both the appliances stable, plus a handy slide-out shelf in the centre where clothes can be folded and stacked as they come out of the dryer.

Buy now: WPRO Stacking kit with shelf, £49.99, Currys (opens in new tab)

5. Kit out cupboards with interior storage

ikea cupboard with cleaning kit

(Image credit: Ikea)

‘Think about what needs storing before kitting out your utility area and ensure that there’s a home for everything’, says storage guru Vicky Silverthorn of youneedavicky.com (opens in new tab). ‘Remember to factor in space for cumbersome items like the vacuum cleaner, broom, dust pan and mop.’

Utilise every inch in a tall kitchen cabinet or an understairs cupboard by kitting out the interior with hooks and racks so you can stash bulky items securely. Slide-out interior storage like this will give easy access to cleaning essentials.

Buy now: Metod/Maximera high cabinet with cleaning interior, £241, Ikea (opens in new tab)

6. Go for easy-access open shelving

kitchen with floating shelves and potted plants

(Image credit: B&M)

‘Cupboards aren’t essential if your utility area is closed-off from the kitchen,’ says storage guru Vicky Silverthorn. ‘Open shelves allow you to see everything at a glance and grab what you need easily.’

Invest in a couple of handled baskets so you can stash towels, linens and clean laundry inside. Woven baskets allow air to circulate so fabrics stays fresh and are easy to carry if you need to tote laundry upstairs.

7. Hide cleaning kit behind closed doors

kitchen with grey cabinet and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Benchmarx Kitchens)

If your utility area is on show - or it’s a struggle to keep the space tidy - then consider investing in some built-in storage. A run of base units and wall cupboards will house all essentials and equipment and keep any clutter out of sight.

Arrange cupboards so that most-used items are stored lower down for easy access and those you use less-frequently are stored higher up. Consider mounting a rail on the under-side of a cabinet where you can hang freshly-ironed items.

8. Store supplies in easy-clean mesh baskets

wooden cupboard with cleaning essentials

(Image credit: Matalan)

‘Store items neatly, in categories, so you can see what you have - and what you’re running low on,' says storage guru Vicky Silverthorn. ‘Don’t stockpile - it might be tempting to buy extra supplies when they’re on offer, but it’s just more stuff to find storage space for.’

Mesh caddies and wire baskets are great for storing laundry supplies and cleaning kit. Easy to clean if there are any leaks or spills, with everything stored together, they’re easy to grab if you’re heading to another part of the house.

Buy now: Metal wire storage basket, £14, Matalan (opens in new tab)

9. Sort laundry as you go

laundry room with red wall and wooden boxes

(Image credit: Ikea)

Instead of tackling a huge heap of dirty clothes and washing all in one hit, make the task easier by sorting laundry into categories as you go. Invest in a couple of baskets or canvas bags (hooked up on the utility room wall) so laundry can be sorted out into darks, lights, colours and delicates ready for loading straight into the washing machine.

Buy now: Plumsa laundry bags, £8 each, Ikea (opens in new tab)

10. Set up a smart storage system

room with sink and clothes rail

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

Free up much needed space with personalised out-of-the-way storage. Design a simple, budget-friendly layout and include a large storage box for each family member or use labels to specify particular contents. Set them within reach on a high shelf to keep other surfaces clear. Look for a built-in unit featuring a deep basin and cupboards.

Pick unusual tiles for an attractive splashback and a white worktop for streamlined wipe-ability. Make the shelf extra practical by choosing one with a fitted rail, and add a wall-hung extendable airer that allows you to dry clothes without taking up floor space.

Related: Kitchen splashback ideas to keep kitchen walls protected in style

11. Hide appliances behind folding doors

small white utility space behind folding doors

(Image credit: Future Plc/Tom Meadows)

In a large kitchen, the laundry area can be separated from the rest of the space into a neat unit so that it can be easily closed away out of sight. This little laundry store has no airs or graces but has everything needed, from appliances to linen storage, in a well-organised package.

12. Wall mount where possible

utility room with blue wall iron and ironing board

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Mark Scott)

Keep utility room surfaces free of clutter by wall-mounting practical items such as an iron and ironing board. Objects that you do not use every day can be stored out of the way but within reach on shelves. A compartmentalised laundry basket helps to ensure that whites, colours and delicates are kept separate.

13. Repurpose furniture pieces for savvy storage

laundry room with white cabinets and baskets

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Merewether for Ideal Home)

Add something a little different with reclaimed storage. Give a neutral utility room character with a wooden merchant's chest or trunk large enough to store outdoor wear and blankets. It can also double as a boot store and bench seating. Use the free space above to hang a peg rail for coats. Source oversized enamel tins - they're perfect for storing detergent.

14. Store away under stairs

utility room with iron board and storage basket

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Designate a little space under the stairs for your cleaning paraphernalia. A cupboard might not be a utility room, but optimise the space inside for household necessities and you'll be amazed how organised your life will be. Use it for slimline equipment, such as a dustbin and dustpan and brush, and add a handy over-the-door rack that can hold all manner of dusters, cloths and brushes without taking up floor space. Choose colour co-ordinated items - even if you won't see them when they're hidden away, the mere fact that they're co-ordinated will make you happy.

15. Install an extending shelf to act as a worktop

laundry room with ironing stand

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

Make the most of any space with savvy built-in storage solutions. This bespoke cabinetry features an extending shelf which pulls out to act as an additional worktop when needed.

16. Find a place for flower essentials

room with cupboard and flower vases

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Mark Scott)

Conquer the laundry load by ensuring everything is conveniently placed and within easy reach. Add character to your utility room with vintage-style storage. Position open shelving units and mini cupboards on worktops for a country dresser-like look. Try a wire-fronted cabinet, painted white, and use to store glassware. Keep less attractive utensils hidden in drawers underneath to establish a handy flower-arranging zone. Place freestanding units like these alongside fitted versions for the perfect mix of on-show and hidden-away storage essential to an efficient working space.

17. Rediscover wash-house chic

laundry room with laundry baskets and panelled walls

(Image credit: Future PLC/Caroline Barber)

Get a Victorian feel with large traditional fittings. If you have the space, create a drying area - a perfectly practical plan considering our British weather. Mount twin conventional towel rails on the wall and a vintage pulley airer on the ceiling for drying laundry up and out of the way. Source large-scale laundry baskets - these ones are in black metal for contrast - and make life easy by choosing a design with castors. Keep the look fresh with a palette of white and spring green.

18. Wall-mount cool alternative storage

utility room with aluminium shelves and laundry essentials

(Image credit: Future PLC/Debi Treloar)

Anodised aluminium shelves are great for storing laundry products and tools. These fine examples are actually zinc window boxes used as wall storage instead. Make them even more unique by personalising them with paint and hanging them up in a quirky way.

19. Clear the clutter with open-shelving

laundry room with metal clothes shelf and laundry bags

(Image credit: Future PLC/Paul Raeside)

Separate your laundry in designated baskets to make doing the washing that little bit easier. This utility room uses open shelving - great for creating the illusion of space - to stash away freshly folded laundry as well as boxes for other utensils.

20. Keep it simple

utility room with metal basket and white wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Caroline Arber)

Clever storage is the key to creating a successful utility room. Here, a fixed cupboard with a built-in bench seat accommodates all the necessary equipment required to turn the area into a streamlined but multifunctional space. White-painted walls keep the small room looking airy and bright.

21. Utilise a passage way

utility space with streamlined storage

(Image credit: Future PLC/Clive Doyle)

Turn a passage or hallway into a utility space with streamlined storage. Add a contemporary vibe by fitting tall, glossy cabinets in white to boost light levels and a cool grey geometric floor to visually elongate the space. Use a wall of floor-to-ceiling clean-lined storage to conceal a multitude of necessities - even a washing machine and laundry bin as shown here. Keep detergent supplies close to hand with fitted shelves above.

22. Create a display area

utility room with open wooden shelf and sink

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Mark Scott)

Be practical with helpful open shelves rather than wall cabinets and keep everything in sight. Fit functional shelves for easy access and get creative with otherwise mundane supplies. Decanter detergent into attractive, easy-pour jars and label with vintage-style stickers. Display with attractive soaps and classic tins in various muted colours for a little hardworking rustic charm.

23. Spruce up with shelves

utility room with cleaning equipment and ironing stand

(Image credit: Future PLC/Ben Robertson)

An open shelved cupboard will store a whole host of fundamentals for the organised utility room. Using a clip rack on the inside of a door keeps mops off the floor and dusters in place. Pale grey paint will not need re-painting as often as white and is still light enough that the room will not feel cramped or dark.

24. Inject industrial style

utility room with brass sink tap and floating shelves

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Industrial storage is an original and highly practical storage solution for a utility room. This bakery trolley on casters is practical and easy to move around should you wish.

25. Rethink cupboard storage

utility room with cupboards having watering can

(Image credit: Future PLC/Ben Robertson)

Storing watering cans and vases together will make it easier to find what you need. Use simple linen to line the shelves and help keep breakables in place and soak up any excess water. If you have a couple of favourite vases or watering cans, show them off on a window sill and create an appealing artisan look when seen from the inside and out.

26. Go behind the scenes

utility room with wooden shelves and flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

If you're planning a kitchen extension and entertain frequently, consider apportioning an area for a utility. A room leading off the kitchen acts as backstage, providing somewhere for extra storage, dirty dishes or prep and cooking, improving the ambience of the kitchen itself and making it a more enjoyable setting for guests.

27. Make the space fit for pets

utility room with cupboard and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Scott)

A utility room can offer home comforts for pets without giving them the run of the house at night. Baskets, food and water bowls, and litter trays should have their own zones.

28. Corner off a section of the kitchen

kitchen pantry with tiled flooring and kitchen shelves

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Parmiter)

Where no separate room is available, a corner of a kitchen can be used as a pantry or utility space. Opt for a rounded solution t make this happen. These doors are practical but also add character. In a smaller room, limit the number of materials you use. Simplicity creates a better sense of space and a more unified scheme.

29. Conceal clutter with a curtain

utility room ideas with white walls and tiled flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/Trevor Richards)

If your utility room isn't designed to be boxed in you can choose a simple curtain to make your stoarge solutions look more pleasing to the eye. Whether just to cover a bulky appliance or used to hide all the shelving a decorative curtain can go a long way to improve the appearance of any essential storage.

30. Take a sophisticated approach

utility room with storage units and classic stripe blinds

(Image credit: Future PLC/Ben Robertson)

Clever use of storage and well-organised essentials ensure a calm, multifunctional utility room where everything is conveniently placed and within easy reach. Combine natural materials such as wood and linen with a dark paint colour for a sophisticated look. Good order is key to the smooth running of this space, so don't underestimate its importance.

31. Embrace baskets for decorative storage

utility room with storage basket

(Image credit: Future PLC/Ben Robertson)

Utility rooms are generally limited when it comes to space and storage, so use spare baskets or picnic hampers to store a selection of your small essentials. Not only will it save you money and the time and trouble of installing shelves, it will also add an instant hint of countryside charm.

32. Make it multifunctional

utility room with laundry essentials and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Still)

If you do not have a dedicated space or room to devote to all your utility requirements, it would be a good idea to adapt a cloakroom or boot room to house all your essentials. Cupboards lined with tongue and groove panelling can help to create a smart finish in this often-overlooked space.

33. Choose country-style

kitchen with white storage cabinets

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Lizzie Orme)

Make the most of a small utility room with endearing cottage features. Create pretty country style with a series of cupboards and drawers in Shaker-style cream cabinetry, allowing allocated space for every little thing. Go for pieces that have traditional metal tee hinges for added character and a practical butler sink for a touch of yesteryear.

Bring in rustic accessories, such as this wirework basket with a heart motif for peg storage. It is always useful to have one big sink. You will always need somewhere to soak pans or clothes without encroaching on kitchen space.

34. Uniform the look with colour

traditional utility cum boot room with period stone flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Cleveland )

Ensure footwear is close to hand with large open shelves. Forget cupboard doors on at least one unit in your Shaker cabinetry and break up the scheme by making a feature of footwear. Re-create a traditional utility-cum-boot room with period stone flooring and a practical butler sink. Line walls with cream tongue-and-groove panelling and go for soft sage cabinetry and a character wall pendant.

35. Build bespoke storage

boot room with terracotta stone flooring and wicker baskets

(Image credit: Future PLC /David Cleveland)

Good storage will maximise space and put everything at your fingertips. Cubby hole storage is great for taming belongings but it can look untidy. This version with baskets is a smart compromise that makes it easy to access things, while bring a rustic mood that really looks the part in a country home. Utility room see a lot of wear so choose tough finishes, especially for the floor. Stone or porcelain is ideal.

How can I make my utility room look nice?

Don't forget to really take your style into consideration as you plan your utility room space and remember that practicality doesn't mean you have to shun your favourite looks. If you're a country fan, go for wicker storage baskets. Sleek and chic utility room storage can be achieved with high gloss, colourful storage units and buckets. Traditionalists might like cream or grey units with built-in drawers for hiding everything away.

Think about where you can use on-wall storage, such as sturdy shelving either side of your utility room sink. This keeps washing products high out of reach of little people's hands. If you mainly use your utility room for washing and drying clothes, you can get some fantastic retro laundry sacks to hide dirty laundry away. Consider things carefully before you start buying cabinetry. Thing about what you will need to store - cleaning appliances, utensils, laundry items or pet paraphernalia. Include one or two drawers in your cabinets to house all the small items, and don't forget to make room for the bin and the recycling.

Additional words by Lisa Fazzani