Everything You Need To Know About Designing and Organizing A Pantry and Laundry Room

How To Organize Your Pantry and Laundry Room

Hey friends!

When I posted our full Laundry and Mud Room Reveal, I had a ton of people ask how and why I organized the space as I did. I've been planning this space for years so a ton of thought went into what our family needed from a laundry and mud room, so I am more than happy to break it down! 

First and foremost, I started designing this space a few houses ago (we flip houses in case you're new here!). At each house, the project was scrapped for this reason or another but each time I sketched it out, I was even more clear on what the "ideal" laundry room and/or mud room/entry would include. 

For reference, I call this a Laundry and Mud Room because it is the main entrance that our family uses to access the house. It doesn't just house our washing machine, it's home to our full pantry, storage space for back stock and household supplies, the kid's landing zone for backpacks, coats and shoes and the spot where the bills, purses and work gear live. 

In this particular house, the perfect space was waiting for me to create the full combo room of my dreams so I took stock of the space and what my absolute must-haves were. 

I wanted to ensure that each of my children had a cubby (I would have built more than two if I had the space), there was  a designated closet for brooms and mops, a space for Justin to drop off his work stuff, a spot for small kitchen appliances and we used every inch possible for storage. Oh! And we had to have a full pantry, preferably with pull out drawers. 

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Everything You Need To Know About Designing and Organizing A Pantry and Laundry Room


Not a small feat, but completely doable! 

When we started designing (see those original sketches here), we knew we would stack our washer and dryer. I'm tall (5'9"), so the stacked washer and dryer has worked for us in many houses. It's our preference and I love how much more space the vertical set up allows. 

I was also happy to not completely fill the space with cabinetry and to instead bring in baskets in different textures to break up the wood work. 

Here's how my design came to life:

How To Organize Your Pantry and Laundry Room

How To Organize Your Pantry and Laundry Room

We've lived in the fully completely space for a few months now and I can say that there is not one thing I would change. 

We haven't even used all of the storage yet! 

The top baskets are currently empty, waiting to be filled with random stuff my kids deem important. 

My most favorite features are:

The art supply + school art drawer
and the dog drawer

The dog drawer has a large, lidded plastic storage bin with dog food on one side and a smaller basket with all things Murphy on the other. His treats, leash, toys etc live  happily in one spot. 

As a bonus, the puppy drawer is on the bottom and a perfect height for my little kids to help with dog feeding and treat fetching. Muphy's dog bowl lives over next to their cubbies, it's just out of frame in the first labeled photo.

The art supply drawer allows me contain the supplies that require permission to work with (uh, markers and slime, I'm looking at you). I also store the school art, projects and completed papers in a separate bin right next to the art supplies. 

Let's be honest, as moms, we sometimes don't know what to do with all of those masterpieces so having a spot to stash them feels like a relief. I go through it at the end of each semester and purge it. 

If you're building a Laundry Room/Entry Space/Drop Zone here are some things to consider:

Everything You Need To Know About Designing and Organizing A Pantry and Laundry Room


1. What particular storage is most important to you?

Do you hate how your mop and broom always fall over? Do you need a spot for pet accessories? Do you have a ton of baking supplies and appliances? Do you entertain a lot and need to store your supplies?

Knowing what you want to store in priority order will help you narrow down what type of cabinetry you need + want or what type of organizing supplies you need for existing cabinetry. 

2. Is the space the main entry for your family?

Do you hate looking at piles of shoes? Are coats always being lost? What would make your morning routine easier?

Here's an example: I hate packing lunches. Hate. 
So I chose a spot to house all of the lunch box staples. They're all there, right in my grasp, in one single spot. It makes packing lunches (and making my grocery list so much easier). 

Everything You Need To Know About Designing and Organizing A Pantry and Laundry Room


3. How can you maximize every inch?

Consider hanging more than one set of hooks in each cubby, utilize smart storage to make the most out of dead space in your cabinets, use drawer dividers to make the most of your deep drawers.

We couldn't have made it all happen without some top notch organizational items. Here's what we used to organize our shelves, pantry and cabinets: 


1. Tall Thin Clear Bins: perfect for storing boxed food items like mac + cheese, or household supplies like tin foil and plastic wrap.

2. Air Tight Food Storage: this is the one set of items that I wish I had ordered a larger set of! We save so much room taking cereals, pastas and chips out of their boxes and stored in these airtight plastic containers that can be stacked on top of each other. 

3. Woven Belly Baskets: the best part of these baskets are that they can fold down to half of their size if needed. We have them folded down and stashed between the top of the cubby cabinets and the ceiling.

4. Mop and Broom Hanger: truly the single best organization tool for any laundry or utility space, this little guy holds and contains your handed tools (even short ones like a duster) flush to the mounted wall. 

5. Sink Caddy: if you have a utility sink, you must have this sink basket. This particular style is for a divided sink (single bowl option linked here) and holds your sponges, soaps or scrub brushes up and out of the sink. 

6. Glass Jars: perfect for storing items that are either awkwardly shaped, like dryer balls, or supplies you use regularly, like detergent pods or powder. 

7. Open Front Acrylic Storage: these can be used in the fridge or pantry and the open front, stacking design maximizes storage space perfectly

8. Woven Storage Baskets: Ideal for storing large bags of chips or grocery items as well as towels, sheets and cleaning supplies in the laundry area. 

9. Bin with Handles: endless options for uses on this bin, we have one that holds our iron and mini steamer in our laundry closet.

10. Turn Table: a turn table or lazy Susan is a perfect way to store and see all of the items in your cabinets. No more little things getting lost in the dark corners of the back of your cabinets! 

11. Rolling Laundry Cart with Fabric Liner: I have never used an item more than this laundry cart. I toss filthy kid clothes, muddy dog towels and endless loads of laundry into this thing and roll it under the counter top to keep it out of the way. 

12. Lidded Acrylic Storage Boxes: the best in stacking boxes!  

13. Deep Acrylic Bin with Handles: meant for the big stuff and a great way to contain drinks and bottles

14. Divided Rolling Hamper: another great rolling hamper option if you're wanting to sort into lights and darks or by family member.

15. Turning, Divided Snack Bin: This is an amazing option for a snack station for your kiddos! Fill with yogurt pouches, mandarin oranges, snack packs and let your kids have access to the good stuff.

16. Square, woven storage baskets: these live in the storage cubbies above our "lockers" and I love their height. The light color of the woven material is hard to come by so these have been selling out - linking similar ones here in case the others aren't available. 

Looking for more details?

All sources for the laundry room, including paint colors, can be found in this blog post

Want to see another laundry room renovation of ours, complete with a stacked washer and dryer? 




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