Depending on the hamster, I'd opt for a 10 gallon aquarium with a SuperPet cage topper for a Syrian, for a dwarf, you're going to want something, I'd think, without bars that they could slip through. A bin cage would be good
Edit: Yeah - the Habitrail cages really are a bother to clean out efficiently...You can find your own tubes to give to your hamster to let him crawl through - paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls, new drain pipes from a hardware store.... anything, really. Cardboard rolls are a good idea because they can chew it up and it cures their boredom.
The idea of a pet in the laundry room bothers me - especially if you guys use bleach; smelling bleach is toxic to all animals, and I wouldn't risk putting a hamster, or any caged pet in the laundry room, exposed to that.
Hamsters can smell - just keep the cage clean, silly! Honestly I find females stink much more than males(Syrians, that is) the smell they give off gets all over your hands, and clothing and....*shudders* Oh my goodness, I hate it. Carefresh is a good brand, but it is expensive. Aspen is another option, and so is paper shreddings. Paper shreddings don't last long, though, and there definitely would be the worry of stench. Hamsters are very hygienic creatures, the only time they can be correlated with stinkyness, is if you don't keep their cage clean. I used compressed pine pellets from a brand called Equine Fresh. People say you shouldn't use pine unless it's kiln-dried - but pine pellets hold up REALLY well with moisture, and I pour the pellets into a container and let it sit free in the air for a week before even using it, so any phenols dry out.
When you bring him home from the store, place his box, with him in it, open, into the cage, put the cover on, close the cage up, whatever, and just leave him be.
He'll probably make the box as his nest for a while, then you can slowly start introducing your scent to him.