5 ways to organize a country-style kitchen – maintain order without sacrificing old-world charm

You don't need to sacrifice aesthetics for practicality with these tips for organizing a country kitchen

A country-style kitchen with dark wood bottom cabinets and rustic wooden kitchen table / Cathy Nordström Faye fabric credit Fanny Radvik Inuti Design
(Image credit: Fanny Radvik Inuti Design)

Country-style kitchens are the epitome of warmth, nostalgia, and comfort – so it only makes sense that our organization reflects these qualities. 

Stark white or gray plastic bins and turntables look immediately out of place in a timeless country kitchen, breaking the illusion of countryside charm and fundamentally taking away from the overall look and feel of the space. 

These are five ways you can organize a country-style kitchen to keep your storage on theme with your kitchen decor.  

How to organize a country-style kitchen

When creating a country kitchen, most of our energy goes into picking the best country kitchen island, working out what color is good for a country kitchen, and selecting the perfect cabinets. As a result, our kitchen organizing is usually an afterthought. 

Leaving this detail until last, however, results in storage that breaks up the space and sticks out like a sore thumb – something both professional organizers and designers urge you to avoid. 

1. Keep storage on display

neutral kitchen with open shelving

(Image credit: Alice Grace Interiors)

A cornerstone of the country kitchen is rustic cabinets and an old-world charm – it is not a look for a staunch minimalist. To nail this look, Star Hansen, a professional home organizer, recommends keeping your storage on display. In some cases, this could mean doing away with many of your cabinet doors or your pantry door altogether: 

‘I love the French country aesthetic when it comes to kitchens. In this style, there are no cabinet doors and everything is out and accessible. This may not be the look for everyone, but for those who experience “out of sight, out of mind” it can be a game changer. 

‘Also, it can be a true clutter eliminator because you have fewer barriers to entry when it comes to accessing and using your stuff (great for those with ADHD especially).’

2. Declutter for an aesthetically pleasing space

country kitchen ideas

(Image credit: Harvey Jones Kitchens)

Working through a kitchen decluttering checklist is a must no matter what style space you are working in, but it is particularly important if you want to give in to the old-world appeal of a cottage kitchen, Cori McDougald, says professional organizer and Founder of Meat and Potatoes Organizing.

‘Just like any other kitchen, creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing area begins with a good declutter. To downsize and categorize, be ruthless with keeping only the items that you frequently use in your kitchen. Once you have your important items, sort and contain them.’

3. Keep appliances tucked away

yellow pantry cupboard appliance garage painted in farrow and ball hay

(Image credit: Alice Grace Interiors)

No matter the size of your kitchen, it can be helpful to tuck your kitchen appliances away in either cabinets with doors or curtains, or an appliance garage, to maintain the rustic look, suggests Gabriella Dyson, Head of Solved at Homes & Gardens

‘This traditional kitchen idea not only helps keep counters clear – making cooking and cleaning a kitchen easier – but stops that shiny stainless steel toaster from sticking out in an otherwise well-curated rustic space,’ she suggests.

4. Use natural storage products

neutral walk in pantry with matching glass jars

(Image credit: Plain English Design)

When it comes to containing items and decanting food goods, it is best to find storage products made from natural materials to maintain your kitchen's country charm. 

'This could mean finding wooden alternatives for the plastic kitchen organizers professionals always buy,' begins Cori McDougald, professional organizer. This has the added benefit of helping you be more sustainable at home, too.

‘Here is where the country-style kitchen aesthetic can come into play. In my eyes, a country-style kitchen organizing aesthetic includes wire, wood, glass, and metal bins to house cooking and baking materials,' Cori continues. 'Utilize wire or mesh bins for root vegetables, such as onions or garlic. Use glass mason jars filled with baking goods such as flour, sugar, or oats, and categorize snacks into wooden bins with labels to elevate a pantry.’

5. Repurpose furniture

Country kitchen ideas -5-Neptune-ArdinglyKitchenPantry

Photography / Ardingly Kitchen cabinet in Olive, Neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

Decorating with antiques or painting wood furniture is a great way to give an old piece new life and help organize your country-style kitchen. For instance, an old dresser or hutch could be repainted and repurposed as a standalone pantry in a small cottage kitchen. Old wicker baskets can be used to keep overflow products out of sight, and clean wooden ladders can be used to display towels or keep aprons and tablecloths within easy reach 

For a smaller craft project, old curtains, bedding, or other fabric from around the house can be resewn to make cabinet curtains.

When organizing a country-style kitchen, staying authentic to the style with rustic storage products and antiques is a must if the overall aesthetic of the space is most important to you. That being said, ensure the space remains functional by giving yourself some allowances where needed. Keeping your pantry sealed off, for instance, gives you a spot to keep things neat but stashed away for the illusion of a Pinterest-perfect space, while choosing the best kitchen appliances that match the look will free up space in cabinets without affecting the overall appearance of your kitchen.  

Chiana Dickson

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.