Simple Kitchen Organization Hacks

Simple Kitchen Organization Hacks vis Chaos With Coffee

Last time my mom was visiting, she made a comment about loving the way that I organize things. I don’t think I’m doing anything special or ground breaking over here in the organization department, but I figured I would share some simple little tips (or hacks) that I used in my kitchen. Maybe you will them helpful - or at the very least enjoy some more pictures of my kitchen (haha!).

Organize Your Pantry

This is such a simple tip that can really clean up your pantry and allow you to see what’s really in there. I’m guilty of having things hidden and buying too much of something because I later realized I already that item, but it was hidden out of sight.

My pantry is nowhere near perfect, but I do have a few tips to share on how I cleaned it up a bit.

1. Use clear jars (preferably with labels) to store dry goods like flour, sugar and grains. Clear jars not only look more organized, but they also allow you to see the quantity and how much you have left.

Note: you can find cheap glass jars at yard sales and thrift stores or reuse glass jars around the house (i.e. pickle jars, etc.) You can find super cute labels at Little Label Co. here.

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2. This is my favorite tip ever! I stole it from one of my favorite blogs, Clean Mama! Instead of spending a lot of money on those pretty clear cereal containers (that are also costly), file your cereal bags in a clear plastic bin. I love this tip for several reasons:

  1. It’s affordable

  2. It doesn’t matter the size of your cereal box (I always get stressed out about the plastic cereal containers because sometimes I buy the family size cereal!)

  3. It looks super cute when you have cute clips!

Pro tip: you can pick up really cheap, clear plastic containers at HomeGoods & TJ Maxx - plus they have super cute bag clips!

Note: I’ve done this for all of my “clear bag” items - cereal, crackers, pancake mix, etc. I even did it for my chips as you can see and stack them from most full to least full.

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Keep A Tidy Coffee Station

We drink coffee all day, every day in this household - hence the name, Chaos With Coffee. Typically, you’ll only find a Keurig machine on the counter, but lately I’ve been drinking a lot of espresso so I’ve kept the espresso maker out too.

1. Use solid colored jars to store espresso and sugar. Unlike your pantry items, clear jars can look messy on the counter so anything you keep in plain sight should be a solid color - and these jars should be filled with something you use every day so you don’t won’t need a clear a jar to remind you of the quantity.

2. Turn those k-cups into a presentation! Under the theme of keeping your counters declutter, keep the k-cups off! I’m sorry, but I have yet to find a k-cup storage box that pleases my OCD so I stack mine in the cabinet in the shape of a pyramid - this is probably what my mom meant when she said I organize things in a unique way haha. But hey, it works! It hides those ugly k-cups but makes them look presentable and tit’s functional!

3. Place those loose drink bags in a clear jar. We all have those random tea bags or the Emergen-c packs lying around. I organize them into a clear jar so that I can throw away the cardboard box when there’s only 1-2 items left.

Note: I’m still not 100% happy with the coffee cabinet, so if anyone has suggestions let me know!! I don’t like how the tea is organized and I’m open to k-cup ideas!

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Declutter The Counter

As my mother always said, everything should have a place - or a home. I was raised by a very “Marie Kondo” mother. Everything had a place and honest to god, if something wasn’t used and didn’t “bring joy” it was thrown out. My mom would clean out the clutter every season, I’m not even kidding. I hated it growing up! I hate organizing and cleaning (but look at me now, turned out to be an OCD neat freak).

My mom knew we wouldn’t clean out the clutter ourselves, but she wanted a neat house at all times. I vividly remember sitting at my desk, playing on my desktop computer and my mom sitting on the floor beside me going through my stuff - she would hold up an item and say keep or trash and if I said keep to something that didn’t seem important or she felt would likely be trash soon, she’d “Marie Kondo” me and ask when was the last time I used and did I really need it and did it “bring me joy”.

I’m not kidding y’all, my mom is the original Marie Kondo! She would organize her friend’s homes all the time and she was constantly decluttering her sister’s house too. She’s the reason I can easily throw stuff away and keep a very declutter house - sometimes I think I don’t have enough stuff, but whatever.

Back to the point - keep your counters clutter free!

1. Only keep “daily use” items on the counter. We keep our espresso machine (for me) and the Keurig (for Chance) at our coffee station. The white jars between hold the ground espresso and sugar (both for me).

2. Conceal the bad and keep it functional. Winston gets dog treats all day long so I keep them concealed in a pineapple cookie jar. I strongly believe in only keeping what I call “daily use” items on the counter. If you have a cookie jar it should always have cookies in it and if doesn’t then get rid of that jar. Anyways, point is we never have cookies but we always have dog treats and I this pineapple jar serves two purpose - decor and functional daily dog treat jar.

3. Less is more. Like I said above, if you have something on the counter it should be used and if it’s not them remove it. You can still store items in a pretty way. I use a raised dish to store our fruit, but when there is some overflow I’ll place is neatly next to it. This also is a reminder for me to use what we have and not waste food.

4. Get creative. Chance eats bread every single day and I wanted a nice way to store it - I hate bread containers and I hate leaving the bag on the counter so I’ve started using a cake stand. It allows me to keep the bread out, but also keeps it fresh and it looks better than a plastic bag. In addition, it also lets me see when we’re about to run out - I don’t eat bread as often as Chance so it’s not a “daily use” item for me, but I’m the one who does the grocery shopping so I need to be able to see when we are running low.

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I hope you enjoyed some of these tips! I’m no expert, but maybe you’ll find something useful out of this post or at the very least discover some new resources that I mentioned above. Let me know your feedback in the comments below :)

Frugal February: How To Build A Budget System That Works

Frugal February: How To  Build A Budget System That Works

Disclaimer: We are not financial advisors. We are simply sharing our financial goals and strategies that personally work for us. Please, seek professional financial advice if you need direction in financial planning and goal setting.


Welcome to Frugal February!

Here’s some background before we dive into Frugal February: last year, I really started to look at budgeting because we were buying a house and I’d never made such a big purchase before. Chance has always been really great with money, he has it nailed to to a system that works for him - he saves, he invests, he basically does everything we should all be doing. Anyways, he inspired me to start looking at the big picture and be more financially responsible.

Fast forward, this year I want to improve even more so I’ve been diligently tracking all of my income and expenses - I literally have the entire year mapped out and I’m on track to save a good amount already to help me pay of my car. For me, budgeting is about reaching my goals faster so that I save more in the long run. It’s about planning for the unexpected - and actually if you take anything away from this post, it’s really that for me, budgeting is PLANNING.

Instead of spending willy nilly and having no clue what’s coming and out of my bank account, my 2019 goal is to have a plan. It’s not about restricting myself, it’s more about finding where I am throwing my money away and reducing waste. My goal is to plan for the things we need and put the rest into savings - or towards paying off debt. After buying a house, I reflected on 2018 and realized how often I would run over to HomeGoods and buy something I didn’t need or something that gave me 10 seconds of happiness. I realized I wasting SO MUCH MONEY. I still managed to add more to my savings and start 2019 better than I started 2018, but it wasn’t good enough.

So that’s why we are talking about Frugal February! I’ve been following this system since the start of the year and it’s helped me stay focused and avoid waste. I’m hoping this post inspires you all and hopefully gives some guidance if you’re feeling lost.

Follow us on Instagram below as we provide more tips, help you stay on track and answers questions throughout the month!

Awaken Your Abode

Anna Mae Health

Chaos With Coffee

Let’s Begin…

Frugal February Is Not

  • A miserable lifestyle

  • Being selfish, money-hungry, cheap or stingy

  • A fix-all for your financial difficulties

  • An attempt to talk up the fact that we are trying to save money

Like I said, Frugal February is really just my way of sharing the strategies that have worked for me to stick to a budget and reach my goals. It’s a plan.


What Is Frugal February

It’s essentially a month of zero-waste spend. The challenge is to only spend money on things you need and focus on reaching your larger financial goals through methods and strategies that we have found to be personally successful. We hope Frugal February gives you a heightened awareness to your financial spending and help you hold yourself accountable for planning your future.

I suppose you could even consider this a month-long exercise in self-control. We’ve outline some guidelines and even made some awesome templates to help you navigate your way through Frugal February.


How to Start Frugal February

1. Download the weekly budget and transaction templates

Get the Transaction Template Here | Get the Weekly Budget Sheet Here

To use these templates, simply click File > Make A Copy or File > Download and convert this to a .csv or excel file. These are completely customizable too, so feel free to change the categories/themes and the items within each so it fits with your lifestyle!

2. Write down all of your planned income. Then write down your monthly expenses (i.e. mortgage/rent, utilities, monthly subscriptions, etc.) Don’t leave anything out, no matter how small it is. If you don’t know the exact amount, I recommend rounding up - it’s better to account for more expenses than to be left with unexpected ones.

3. Finish filling out the templates with as much detail as possible. Like I said, keep things conservative if you aren’t sure exactly how much you plan to spend. For example: if it costs about $25 to fill up your car every week, round that up to $30 per week - this helps me save even more because I’m accounting for more expenses and therefore planning with less funds.

Pro-tip: when you see that you’ve saved more money at the end of the month than you “planned” you’ll be more motivated to keep going.

How to Implement Frugal February

Once I have mapped out all of my expenses that were necessary for living along with anything else I already had planned (i.e. hair appointment, dr. appointment, etc.), I have an idea of how much money I could save at the end of the month - aka how much more money I have to pay off my car or put into savings.

The challenge for Frugal February is to cut out all of your other non-planned expenses. So if you walk to HomeGoods and can’t leave without buying something, then try to stay far, far away from HomeGoods - or just do what I do, make a mental note of how much you plan to save and remind yourself of that and how much better off you’ll be in the long run if you don’t by that palm leaf notebook.

Money Saving Strategies

1. Map out expenses and income for the entire month in your weekly budget planner - it’s really more of a monthly budget planner because it has 4 weeks in one sheet

2. Buy groceries in bulk at Sam’s Club or Costco and meal prep your lunches and dinners. We’ve saved so much money by not going out to eat or hitting bars every weekend - this stuff seriously adds up!

3. The Envelope System | Download Printable Envelopes Here

Cris from Awaken Your Abode created customized envelopes for you all to download and use! Print the template (hyperlinked above) to implement this system into your saving strategy! The idea is that each envelope contains cash for a certain category in your budget (ex. groceries, gas, daycare, petcare etc.)

These envelopes will not include bill money if you pay bills online or by check. The amount of money that will go into the envelope is determined by the budget you mapped out for your expenses for the month divided by four weeks (assuming you get paid weekly.) The envelopes will get refilled weekly with that amount. Each envelope has a space to write down the amount you spent and what you spent it on. The amount of money in each envelope is all the money you have to spend on that category for the week so make sure you plan wisely (hint: gas money you should definitely plan accordingly)

So that’s it - as far as the kick-off goes to Frugal February! If you’re following along on our journey, we’ll be posting on Instagram as we go with more tips, strategies and updates to keep you motivated throughout the month!

Special thanks to Cris and Anna Mae for all of their help compiling ideas and strategies!

DON’T FORGET: Follow us on Instagram below as we provide more tips, help you stay on track and answers questions throughout the month!

Awaken Your Abode

Anna Mae Health

Chaos With Coffee

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Other Helpful Resources:

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

EveryDollar budget app — I use this every single day!

Live Your Life, Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze (this is Dave Ramsey’s daughter)



Earthy, Lush Backyard Wedding

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

I mentioned on my last post that 3 of my best friends got engaged in 2018. One is planning to have a small, family-only ceremony, another has the majority planned, and my dearest friend of nearly 11 years (who is the most recently engaged) is getting married in her backyard and starting from scratch! Yes, Jordan became recently engaged to her wonderful fiancé, Doug, during the Thanksgiving holiday!

Chance and I went to Virginia a few weekends ago to celebrate their engagement and I learned that they’d like to get married in their backyard, which just happens to be super lush. She created a Pinterest board and pinned some inspiration so I thought I share her ideas here and see if anyone has suggestions on how to throw the most stunning backyard wedding! Please share ideas in the comments below.

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