6 clever techniques for organizing a pantry-laundry room

Looking for clever techniques for organizing a pantry and laundry room combined? We asked experts how they would approach this crucial space

3 images of a laundry pantry combo room
(Image credit: Eric Piasecki / Otto / Garden Trading / Alex James)

Multi-purpose spaces are always more complicated to keep in order than single-use rooms. Organizing combination pantry-laundry rooms is a case in point, because these hard-working spaces have to fulfil quite distinct functions.

A combination walk-in pantry laundry room should be laid out from the initial planning stage to make organizing and using it a breeze. However, you can retrofit practical systems into even the most poorly planned out spaces.

Whether you're dealing with limited space or looking to enhance the efficiency of this important room, we have expert tips that explain how to maximize storage opportunities to create a seamlessly functional room where your laundry organization and pantry organization ideas coexist harmoniously.

How to organize laundry-pantry combination rooms 

When organizing a laundry-pantry combination room, it's important to personalize the space to meet your specific needs. Consider what items you need to store, how you use the space, and what tasks you need to accomplish.

For example, if you do a lot of folding, you may want to designate a specific area for this task. If you frequently use the pantry area, you may want to install pull-out shelves for easy access. If you have children, you may want to designate a specific area for their backpacks and shoes, and so on.

1. Designate zones

farmhouse modern laundry room with a basket, lots of linens, white cabinets and neutral walls

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

'Clearly defining areas within the room for laundry and pantry purposes can streamline organization,' says Georgina Ross, interior designer and founder of Simply Tablecloths. 'This might involve delineating one wall or corner for pantry items and another for laundry, with storage solutions tailored to each.'

Determining where certain items and categories of items will be placed will depend on the ease of access you need and where certain tasks will be done. 

For instance, if you have a washer-dryer next to a laundry prep table, it will make the most sense to store laundry items in the closest closet. On the other hand, if you need to access pantry items most regularly, these should be kept in the most accessible spaces.

2. Use integrated cabinetry

Ironing board holder

(Image credit: Go Modern Furniture)

In rooms where space is limited or multifunctional spaces, utilizing integrated cabinetry is a great way to maximize space while adding a seamless and cohesive look to the space. 

'Custom cabinetry that spans the length or height of a wall can unify the space while providing substantial storage,' says Georgina Ross. 'Cabinets with a mix of open and closed shelving can hide less attractive items while displaying more aesthetically pleasing ones.'

Consider your space and storage needs when installing customized storage solutions. For example, if you need a dedicated spot for an ironing board, designing your cabinets with a space where they can easily be tucked away and pulled out would be a convenient addition to this room. Similarly, if you have limited space in your pantry-laundry, consider installing floor-to-ceiling cabinets or have them custom-made to fit over the door or windows. 

By understanding your day-to-day needs, you can find storage solutions that make using this space more convenient and well-organized without compromising aesthetics.  

3. Make the most of vertical space

utility rooms

(Image credit: Carpetright)

Making the most of vertical space in any room is a great way to maximize storage without compromising floor space. For example, in compact spaces, stacking the washer and dryer can be a game-changer. This not only frees up floor space but also allows for additional storage space.

Alternatively, 'If you have a side-by-side washer and dryer, start by adding shelves or cabinets above them,' recommends Judy Granlee-Gates, decluttering expert and author of Bigger Living Smaller Space. 'This makes for great storage for daily use laundry supplies on the lower shelf and back stock or lesser used items up high.

'If you have free wall space, consider a collapsible clothes drying rack or two that lets clothes hang dry out of the way and collapses flat when not in use. You can also add a closet rod over the washer and dryer if you prefer.

'For smaller items, snacks, and even cleaning supplies, grab a few over-the-door shoe pocket organizers. Attach to the door or wall and fill with items for daily use. These are a game changer for organizing small spaces.'

Additionally, a great way to dry clothes in a small space is using ceiling-mounted racks, such as this Höllsen ceiling drying rack from Amazon. This will allow more floor space for pantry item storage.

WhizMax Clothes Drying Rack | $124.98 from Amazon

WhizMax Clothes Drying Rack | $124.98 from Amazon

4. Label everything

Walk-in pantry with sage green open shelves filled with cohesive selection of jars and container; there are pull out drawers underneath also

(Image credit: Tom Howley)

With closed storage or items kept in containers, it can be a good idea to label sections or storage boxes to keep items organized. This will make finding an item and putting it back in its designated place easier. We like this handy bluetooth label maker, from Amazon, for this task.

'Another way to help keep items organized but separate is to use different color products or labels,' recommends Amanda Liford, professional organizer and owner of Easy Life Organizing. 'Your pantry items could be in white bins, and the laundry items in black. 

'If you use bin clips, use different color bin clips. If you use the same color, it makes it harder to find exactly what you want without thinking.' 

5. Incorporate flexible storage solutions

Laundry room

(Image credit: Kathleen Walsh Interiors)

Flexible storage solutions can accommodate for your changing storage needs and the diverse items stored in this multi-purpose room.  

'Utilizing adjustable shelving in these combination rooms offers flexibility to accommodate items of varying sizes. This can be particularly useful for storing bulkier laundry items alongside pantry goods,' says Georgina Ross. 

'Additionally, consider furniture that serves dual purposes. A fold-down table mounted on the wall can act as a temporary workspace for folding laundry or prepping pantry items, then fold away when not in use.' A bench with storage underneath can also provide seating while hiding storage baskets or pantry items.

Incorporating pull-out drawers in lower cabinets can enhance accessibility and organization, and pegboards or magnetic spice racks provide flexible storage that will allow you to rearrange items and access them easily.

Finally, consider using rolling carts or bins that can easily be moved between laundry and pantry areas to provide flexibility for sorting and transporting items. Amanda Liford recommends this 3-tier rolling cart, from Amazon.

6. Systematically arrange supplies

laundry room with bench seat under window

(Image credit: Eric Piasecki / Otto)

'Store lesser-used items or extra food up high or down low and everyday items on shelves that are easy to access,' recommends Judy Granlee-Gates. 'Employ clear bins, baskets, or lazy Susan’s to combine small items together, keep snacks in one place, and make access to all easier.'

You can also find space-saving storage racks for pantry items, such as plates and mugs, such as this plate holder organizer, from Amazon. This can help prevent clutter and make it easier to find what you need.

FAQs

Where can you store a laundry basket to keep it out of sight?

Laundry baskets can be a bit of an eyesore in a laundry room, as well as take up a lot of space, so consider installing a pull-out shelf in a cabinet to hide a laundry basket while keeping it out of the way. 

Be sure to use a shelf that can support the weight capacity of the laundry basket. This trick can also suppress any odors that may otherwise emanate from the laundry basket, ensuring you can maintain a nice-smelling laundry room


'In terms of design, maintaining a harmonious color scheme and consistent material choices can help the room feel cohesive and well-designed, despite its dual function,' says Georgina Ross, interior designer. 'Light, neutral colors can also make the space feel larger and more open.'

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past five years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including recipe articles, reviewing products, writing ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ articles. Lola now writes about everything from organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate student, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.