Thursday, May 26, 2011

Delightfully Inspiring–Organized Recipes

(Today’s post will be linked up to Delightful Order.  Go see other inspiring posts at her site today!)

I have a lot of recipes.  I mean a LOT of recipes.  I have a bunch of cookbooks, and few years (maybe 8?) worth of Quick Cooking magazines (which, evidently they stopped making years ago), a ton of favorites saved online *oh wait!  No I don’t. I lost those when the computer crashed* and a full large index card box.  I also have my grandmother’s two small index card boxes that are packed with recipes that I’ve only gone through once or twice in the past 5 years.

I’ve tried a lot of different ways to organize my recipes.  I tried to organize them in a nice neat binder, but that took too much work for me.  At least the way I was doing it took too much work.  So, I have pretty much stuck with and like having a big index card box on my kitchen counter.  My problem is that I have too many recipes now and my box is ready to explode.  And I only have 5 dividers for all of my recipes and that, for some reason, drives me crazy!

I recently started going through my Quick Cooking magazines with scissors and glue stick in hand.  I want to get rid of the magazines for space issues, but I don’t want to lose any of the good recipes I know have to be in there. Every good recipe I find, I cut it out with it’s picture if it has one, and glue it to an index card.  It’s working great.  (I’m still not done with this process yet)

A few weekends back, on my Girls Trip, I brought along my exploding recipe box along with a second box (given to me by my teacher friend turned SAHM, Justy who just happened to have a baby last week), a packet of alphabet dividers, and some brightly colored labels.  I spent about an hour or so bringing out every.single.recipe that I have and laying them out on the table in neat little piles.  I then labeled and categorized  each pile, then put them back into the two boxes. 


It was so much fun!  But I have to admit.  I was a little overwhelmed, so I had to have my good friend Heather sit by me and walk me through my categorizing process.  I got a little stuck with a few recipes.  She was so patient with me.  Every time I asked Heather what she thought about where a certain recipe should go, she’d say the same thing, “Where would you go to look for it when you want to cook it?" I can’t tell you how many times she said that line, but it helped each time.  I must have had a brain block or something going on.


The end result was two beautifully organized recipe file boxes that now reside on my kitchen counter.  I used 25 out of my 26 dividers.  I mean business when I set out to divide (and conquer).  Maybe one day I’ll get really crafty and mod podge them so they’re all cutsie, but for now, they’re as plain as my kitchen walls and counters. So sad.


I used the different colors to create 4 main categories and labeled the outside of my boxes with those colors so I would know which box held which recipes.

P5230010P5230011*It’s Desserts.  Not Pesserts*

You can all laugh at me now because of how crazy I am about organizing my recipes.  But I have to admit that having them color coded and organized makes me a little giddy.  I love that some areas of my life are neat and orderly.  Have you seen my junk drawer recently?? 


  1. Thanks for the tip!!! Organizing my recipes is on the top of my todo list for summer.

  2. My recipes are a disaster. I struggle when it comes time to meal plan because I can't think of things off the top of my we often have *repeated* favorite meals. We're getting burned out. I NEED to get my recipes in order. A girlfriend and I have even toyed with the idea of having a "girl date" where we lock ourselves away without husbands or kids and get our recipes organized! (and shared as well). Your blog will hopefully be inspiration for us to get 'er done! =)

  3. I have only a few recipes I use repeatedly, but this tip is great. :-)

  4. Awesome organizing JOB!! Wow, you really DO have a lot of recipes.

    Thanks for linking to my Delightfully Inspiring Thursday Party. Hope to see you back next week.

  5. Wow - love this organisation! Must feel good to have them all sorted.

    I've got a couple of books that I have put together of my favourite recipes. I find if I have too many then I get a bit lost and don't know what to make!
    You should post some more of your favourites on the blog.


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