8 Simple Systems for Organizing Your Recipes

Make it easy to find the recipes you know you’ve stashed. . .somewhere.

Cookbooks on a shelf with potsJustin Bernhaut


Problem: “The pile of irresistible recipes I clip is resisting all attempts at order.”


Solution: Create an easy filing system. For a speedy route to your recipes, sort them in labeled folders and keep them in a file drawer or in an open-sided magazine storage box on the bookshelf. Or set up a three-ring binder with tab dividers and plastic page protectors for both full sheets (for pages from a magazine) and divided sheets (for three-by-five-inch recipe cards).

Start simply, with just a few sections (say, Special Occasions, Favorites, and Recipes to Try). Every time you add a recipe, eliminate one that must not have been so irresistible after all, since you never got around to trying it.

Problem: “I no longer want to manage a library. I need to get rid of my cookbooks.”


Solution No. 1: Keep recipes; toss books. The computer is a cookbook hoarder’s best friend. No matter how much you love a book, you probably use only a handful of its recipes, so why not scan the ones you love and file them electronically? (Or photocopy them and file in a binder.) Give the books to a food-loving friend, or donate them to a thrift shop, a neighborhood fund-raising event, or your local library.

Solution No. 2: Make an online cookbook. Once you’ve cleared the shelves, use the Internet to find as well as store recipes―you can search recipes by ingredient or name. When you find a recipe you like, print it out; if the dish is a hit, keep the recipe in a binder. Some sites (like realsimple.com) also let you save recipes via a community profile, or to create a cookbook file where you can paste in recipes and annotate them as you use them. You might also investigate recipe-keeping software that offers additional features.

Read More About:Home & Organizing

What do you think about this article? Share your own solutions and ideas

View Earlier Comments
Advertisement

Quick Tip

Mythic Paint

Home stores and paint shops will often sell, for a fraction of the regular price, cans of paint that customers returned because the color was not quite right for them. Get more tips.