8 Simple Systems for Organizing Your Recipes
Make it easy to find the recipes you know you’ve stashed. . .somewhere.
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.