Hey everybody! I’m excited to share today’s post with you. It is one of those things I have wanted, no needed, to do around my house for a LONG time…organize my recipes. It may not be the most fun project you have ever heard of, but anytime I get to organize something, save some space, and make things look more neat and tidy around my house, I love it! How about you?
In my ongoing Real Organized series, today we are going to tackle the small (ish) project of organized our recipes. With this series, I have tried to share with you all kinds of things to help organize your home to help things run a bit more smoothly around your house and for your family. I’ve tried to break things down into small bite-sized projects because I know we are all busy and finding time to get things organized can be an issue.
Today’s project will most likely take you more than 30 minutes, which is the time I’ve been trying to keep the project to, at least if your recipes are a mess like mine were.
This project took me a couple of hours to complete. I mainly worked on it while I was watching a show at night. It made it feel a bit easier to me and didn’t take time away from family time/activities.
I LOVE the results and think the time was totally worth it. I’ve got a whole printable set for you, so you can get your recipes organized as well. Yay!
Let’s start by looking at the before shots I have for you. I keep my recipes and cookbooks in two locations. I keep some in a bookcase in the office, which is just around the corner from the kitchen. It wasn’t too bad, but if you can see all those sheets of paper, those tend to be our most used recipes, just thrown in there. It was kind of hard to find the one you are looking for in that stack.
Our kitchen has this little counter space between the refrigerator and the pantry. Ignore the fingerprints all over the microwave and the ugly cabinets. The prior owners did some odd things to our house….someday I’m going to paint the cabinets…but not today. lol!
Yes, it was a bit messy. This area also tends to become a catch-all area because it isn’t counter space that I ever use for cooking.
The first thing I did to get started was to pull all of my cookbooks and recipes into one location. For me, that was the living room floor.
I sorted through the cookbooks and got rid of some that we rarely use. Then I had to tackle all those recipes that I had printed out or ripped from magazines. I really like cooking, so I have quite a few. It took a while, but I’m glad I took the time.
I’ve used the brown accordion file (affiliate link) for years to keep our tried and true recipes. I still really like it, but for our tried and true recipes I wanted something easier to find the recipes. I decided to switch to a binder (affiliate link).
I’m still using the accordion file, and I still love it, it is just now my place to keep recipes that I want to try but haven’t tried yet. I like keeping them separate so I can pick either a recipe I know the family will like or I can pick to try something new. I would probably not remember if we had tried something without storing them separately….I’m kind of forgetful that way.
Once I had purged the recipes, it was time for the fun of creating my new binder. I have all the printables for these cute binders for you at the bottom of this post. With the recipe organization system I helped create, you have dividers and tabs. The tabs just get cut out and taped or glued to the side of the divider to make finding the various categories easier in the notebook.
I used mine in sheet protectors (affiliate link), so my tabs don’t stick out. Also, in the notebook I selected, the tabs would have stuck out past the notebook, so it made sense for me to use them this way. Depending on your notebook, you could have your tabs sticking out like typical tabs.
After purging all my recipes. It was time to sort them to match the new categories in my recipe binder.
I totally thought a 1″ binder would be enough. May I say, “Duh!” I totally needed a 2″ binder for all of my recipes.
In my recipe organization binder system, there are also editable recipe cards for each category.
They are the perfect way to make the recipes torn from larger sources fit better in the notebook.
You can also easily keep one recipe from a cookbook that only has one recipe you like. Save space and type the recipe up and put it in your binder that way.
Now to the results! The shelf in the office now looks neat and tidy…you don’t want to see all of the other shelves here because they are all still a mess and I need to make time to organize them as well, but at least the recipes and cookbooks are easy to find and easy to see what is what.
You can see that I placed my recipe accordion file (affiliate link) here. As I said, it now contains all my new recipes to try. I just pulled out a few to try this week. All of this sorting through recipes revived my desire to cook. 🙂
In the kitchen, I did a little tidy on the counter and found a new home for the planter that was here. Doesn’t it look great?!
I love how tidy it is and de-cluttered. I love that the recipe notebooks keep all the recipes easily organized and they look neat on the counter. We used to have a big jumbled mess of papers and recipes shoved in this area and it made it hard to find things and ugly.
The larger 2″ notebook contains all of our tried and true recipes.
The smaller 1″ notebook contains all of my Once A Month Meals recipes. I wanted to find a way to organize those as well so we can remember what we liked and didn’t like for future monthly cooking. Works perfectly and looks nice as well.
Can you believe the difference? Looks so much better. This project is an easy project. It will take you some time to sort and purge if you have a jumbled mess of recipes, but it is so worth it in the end. Between my recipe organization system and your effort, you are going to be so happy with the results!
I have loved knowing exactly where our favorite recipes are and after over 6 months of using this system, it is still working great for us. Yay!
So, are you ready to get your recipes real organized? Here is what to do:
- Take before pictures so you can see the evidence of all your hard work when you are done.
- Buy the recipe organization system that best fits your needs.
- Get all of your recipes and cookbooks in one location.
- Purge cookbooks. If you only like one or two recipes from a cookbook, add them to a printable recipe card, included in my complete recipe organization system, and get rid of the cookbook.
- Sort through all of your printed or pulled from magazine recipes.
- Purge your recipes for things that you didn’t really love or recipes that you no longer want to try.
- Sort your printed recipes into categories. My recipe organization system has 8 categories: Breakfast, Breads, Appetizers, Soups & Salads, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Desserts, and Drinks.
- Prep your binder and/or accordion file (affiliate link) with dividers and tabs.
- Punch holes in your recipes if you are using a binder.
- Place the recipes you will be keeping into your binder or accordion file.
- Place cookbooks and binder/accordion file back where you store them. Consider placement near where you cook or meal plan.
- Take after pictures and share them on my Facebook page or on Instagram(follow me while you are there…I ♥ IG). Use #RealOrganized so I make sure to see them. I can’t wait to give you high fives and see your organized recipes!