Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Recipe Organizing

I love to cook!  Now, if you ask hubby, he was sure he would starve 11 years ago when we got married.  And the first year was a little sketchy, but now I love to find new recipes, try them out, and add variety to our weekly menu.  The new meals either get a thumbs up from the family or a thumbs down.  Therefore, I needed to do a big cleanout of recipes that hubby vetoed or we didn't really like.  In addition, I had been scanning Pinterest for new ideas to organize my recipes.  Then, I saw Megan's "Reader Space" post on IHeart Organizing.  Megan also has her own blog Here.  I loved the way she organized her recipes, among other great things!

I had been using two binders that I had around the house.  There was no rhyme or reason to which recipes were in which binder.  I was constantly flipping pages to find what I wanted.  Dividers for different categories within those binders was an idea I had been tossing around.  I have very little counter space, though, and the big binders were taking up a lot of room sometimes.  So, I decided to give Megan's idea a try.  Here is what I started with.  Yikes!

And the inside...bigger Yikes!

I started by sorting everything on my kitchen table.  I made piles by category and also pulled out recipes that could be thrown away (the thumbs down ones).  That process looked like this.

I found these skinny folders/binders at Staples.  I like using sheet protectors for my recipes and these would fit the sheet protectors.  Many of the types I was looking at were only going to work if I 3-hole punched the actual recipe.

Here is what the inside of the folder looks like.  I also like that it has a pocket so I can slide new recipes I find into the folder if I can't immediately get them into a sheet protector and put into the folder.

Each category of recipe was then put into one of the folders.  I put a few categories into one folder if they were smaller.

My final step was to label the edges of each folder so I knew which categories were inside.  This was my absolute favorite part of Megan's post.  The ones she made were so pretty!  So, I used large labels and Microsoft Word to create labels for the edges.  Due to the plastic and bending on the edge, I also covered them with some clear packing tape to be sure the labels don't peel off.

It has been so easy lately to find the recipes I want to use for dinner and meal planning.  These folders can lay flat on my counter, but are also light enough that I have been able to prop them up while cooking without them falling over.  And it's so much prettier!


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