How to Organise your
Utility Cupboard

Whether your utility space consists of a couple of shelves or a full cupboard, there are a few simple “Do’s and Don’ts” to consider when organising this area…

  • DO Decide what isn’t currently working in your cupboard
    Size up your needs! Are you trying to cram too much into this cupboard? Can’t find what you’re looking for in an instant? Before you pick up a light bulb or move the medicine box, determine what it is that’s going to improve the functionality of this space.
  • DON’T Purchase storage boxes until you know what you need.
    You don’t want well intentioned storage to end up being the clutter that you are trying to eliminate! This is a common mistake.
  • DO Pull everything out and get rid of the junk
    The next step is to pull everything out of your cupboard; get rid of any items that you no longer need and take an inventory of what’s leftover. Once you can see what’s left to store, visit a store or look online at for great storage ideas.
  • DO Group items
    Corralling like items together is one of the golden rules in any organising project and it’s key to maintaining order. By grouping similar items and keeping them in a labelled basket, tote or box you’ll keep stock of what you have and save valuable time by reducing the need to rummage.
  • DO Create Zones
    Once items are grouped, to ensure this cupboard is easy for the whole family to use, designate zones. Allocate the easiest to access space to items you use most like tableware, light bulbs, candles and extra toilet rolls on the mid-to-lower shelves. Keep items that don’t require frequent access on the top shelf and reserve a place on the higher shelves for medicines and first aid supplies; while heavy bulk items like wine and games can be stored on the bottom of your cupboard.
  • DON’T Start one job before completing another
    Once you have decided where something is going to go (recycle, garbage, donate) — take it there. Never keep recycling items, bags for charity or boxes for friends in your home to deliver later. Do it now. Finish the process and tick that job off the list.
  • DO Maximise space and incorporate uniformity
    Use clear boxes, totes or baskets to reduce wasted air space between shelves and effectively store odd-shaped items such as candleholders and cables. What’s more, if you incorporate repetition with this series of storers you will create consistency, which will then result in an organised, neat and tidy space.
  • DO Utilise the vertical space on your cupboard door
    Vertical space is prime real estate that’s often overlooked. We used the cupboard door to mount a battery storer and installed an ironing board over-the-door hanger to hold a slim line platform ladder.
  • DON’T Forget to maintain the space
    There’s only one way to keep this space working at capacity. Put in the right infrastructure so that everything has an obvious place to live. Then a little tidy up every now and again perhaps when you are restocking it, should keep the cupboard performing at its best.

Favourite Organisers

elfa easy-gliders with elfa baskets turn shelves into more functional drawers.

Howards Clear Store Shoe Drawers are a simple way to add in compartmentalized storage. Add in dividers and they can be used for smaller items like chargers.

Howards Aamina storers have a large front handle and are made from food safe plastic. These are a big customer favourite.

Howards easi-store tubs are made from high quality plastic and include wheels and a locking lid.

Store your medicines safely up high in clearly marked tins


Copyright Howards Storage World, 2014.

Accurate as at September 2014.