Pardon the pun, but we have a friend who always pronounces the word utility with the emphasis on the “you,” and it always makes us smile. And it seems like an appropriate title for a quick post on setting up a utility closet that meets your needs and stays useful.

Every home needs a utility closet. Even the smallest apartment, even if the term “closet” is used loosely. It might not be a whole closet… maybe just a cabinet or a couple of shelves. The main point is having a place where you consistently store certain useful items, so you know where they are when you need them.

So what are the basics for your utility closet?

  • Broom, dustpan, mop, bucket
  • Trash bags
  • Paper towels, sponges, rags
  • Rubber gloves (disposable or reusable)
  • Cleaners
  • Furniture polish, brass or silver polish (as needed)
  • Flashlight & batteries
  • Step stool

Shelves with bins or crates are a handy way to keep things organized. A wall-mounted pegboard is a good way to keep things visible and accessible. Mount a paper towel holder on the door and make sure you always have a few spare rolls on the shelf.

It’s important to keep things organized in the utility closet – if you just open the door and toss things inside, you’re going to regret it when you need something quickly and can’t find it. So take a few minutes up front to find a place for everything and put it all in the right place. Finally, make sure the door to the utility closet latches closed and, if you have kids in the house, add a lock for safety.