How to Use a Laundry or Utility Room to Expand a Home Office

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Using the Utility or Laundry Room

Your utility room can serve many purposes; it’s up to you to decide what purpose you want yours to serve. Perhaps it’s only a laundry room (now) and nothing else. If that’s the case, see if that room can serve dual or triple purposes. You might be able to use the utility room as a storage area for your home office supplies, for instance, or even a place a filing cabinet in there. Filing cabinets are not attractive pieces, and hiding them in a laundry room might just fit the bill. If you’re computer-savvy, you may even be able to install a wireless printer in there, move your cable modem and router there, and get that equipment out of your office.

Build Shelves

No matter what type of room or closet you have as a utility or laundry room, chances are good there’s room to build a shelf or two. Building a shelf is inexpensive too, and creating one made of a single piece of wood cut specifically to serve as a shelf is simple too:

  1. Decide how long and wide you want the shelf to be, and purchase a piece of wood at the local home improvement center. Most have precut shelves that are laminated. Also purchase two or three L-brackets on which to mount the shelf.

  2. Locate the studs in the wall using a stud finder or by using a small nail and hammer in a hidden area. If another shelf exists, use the studs for that shelf as a gauge.

  3. Using a level, line up the L-brackets, mark where you wan to attach them, and mount them to the wall using screws long enough the securely hold the shelf.

  4. Once the L-brackets are mounted, place the shelf on the brackets and attach them. You may also want to attach L-brackets to the top of the shelf for added support.

There are other shelving options too, including the popular wire shelving units. However, these are quite a bit more expensive, and much more time-consuming to install. If you just need a quick shelf, a precut piece of shelving and a few L-brackets are the easiest way to go.

Hang What You Can

Besides shelves, wall space is also a good way to store things in a laundry or utility room. You can purchase hooks that are attached with a self-adhesive bond for under a dollar, or use any old nail you have lying around your house for free. Peg boards are another good option, as are floor storage such as stackable bins or wicker baskets. You can also purchase a rolling cart at your local home improvement store that fits in between the washer and dryer, for even more storage. Wire metal organizers are easier to install than wire shelving, and these also make good storage options. To hang wire organizers, you only need to line up the holes with studs in the walls (or use special screws for sheetrock), drill starter holes, and then attach the organizer with the provided screws.

A Must Read: How to Cope when Your Home Office is also the Dining Room Table