Your utility room is a mess… now what?

I don’t know much about physics, but I do know that a common idiom expressed in the subject is that “nature abhors a vacuum.”  From a de-cluttering perspective, I know this to be true!  No matter how much storage space we have in our houses, they are bound to be filled up.  Even in the most organized of homes, it is rare for us to see an empty shelf or empty closet in our line of work.

The basement utility room is where most American homes throw all their extra “stuff” and these rooms quickly begin to get overwhelmed and overstuffed with JUNK.  Here are some tips for tackling your messy utility room.

  • Take stock of what’s there, and put like items together. Grab a piece of paper if it would help and actually write out the categories of items you see.  Holiday items?  Sports equipment?  Tools?  Cleaning supplies?  Keepsake items?  Extra kitchenwares/paper plates/napkins/coolers? Luggage?  Once you’ve identified the categories of items that are there, you can more easily put those like items together.
  • Once you can see what you have, and the volume of each category of items, decide what can be minimized. Critically evaluate how many holiday items you really want to store for 11 months out of every year. How many piece of luggage do you really need?  Is anyone using this sports equipment anymore?  What items have been down here for 2+ years and not used?  Let go of what you’re not using, and let go of what is excessive.
  • Create zones for everything you are keeping. When all your holiday décor is together in one area of your utility room, it makes accessing them each December so much easier.  When all your fishing gear is in one spot, there will be no more searching for particular items before your next fishing trip.  Creating zones for your items means that you now have a place to put these items when you are done with them, literally allowing you to put these items “away.”  You can’t put something away that doesn’t have a place in your home.