Welcome to Week 12 of the Summer Shred Challenge…this week, we’re organizing recipes!
If you are just discovering the Challenge, feel free to begin with this week’s paper declutter assignment and complete new challenge assignments through week 13. You can then complete the assignments that you’ve missed after the Challenge comes to an end next week (you can access the rest of the Summer Shred assignments at the bottom of this post).
Let me just preface this week’s post by letting y’all know that the kitchen is NOT my happy place. I’ve alluded to my lack of culinary skills before, and I just wanted to put it out there once again. Recipe clutter is not something us culinary-challenged folks struggle with. It’s typically an issue with “Foodies” and/or people who have a passion for cooking.
Although I haven’t personally struggled with this category of paper clutter, many of my clients have. When we begin the process of putting together a system for organizing recipes, the first question I pose to a client is…
“Are we keeping the cookbooks?
Some want to keep every single one. Others choose to hang onto a few for sentimental reasons, then donate the rest. Others like the idea of losing the book bulk altogether and will photocopy (or tear out…gasp) the pages that contain favorite recipes, then donate all of them.
Of course, recipes don’t just live in cookbooks. There are the recipes that have been passed down in the family for generations on an old index card written in your grandmother’s handwriting, as well as recipes we’ve stumbled upon in magazines that we plan to make someday. What’s the best place to store them?
A recipe binder! My solution will likely not come as a shock to those who have read the Challenge series up to this point. I am an unabashed fan of binders for paper organization, and they are simply perfect for organizing recipes. Here’s mine:
I used a simple 2″ binder and a bunch of page protectors to hold the recipes. Of course, I couldn’t forget the “cute” factor…I used a set of free printables found on The Idea Room blog to create a cover page and dividers for each category of recipes in the binder (drinks, appetizers, salads, soups, side dishes, main dishes, desserts, cookies). Depending on your cooking/baking habits, your categories may be different.
The page protectors are great for containing recipes on all shapes and sizes of paper. My recipes consist of photo copies from recipe books, those torn from magazines, a few family recipes written on index cards, as well as lots of recipes printed off the internet.
Speaking of the internet, although I store my master recipe collection in paper format via the recipe binder, I use Pinterest as a central home to store intriguing recipes I find online that I aspire to make one day (but probably never will…sigh). If I do end up using (and liking) a recipe I captured on the Pinterest board, I’ll print it out and slip a copy in the recipe binder.
If binders are really not your thing, and you love the idea of going “whole hog” digital when it comes to storing your recipes, you can always create a recipe notebook in Evernote, or explore food management applications like Paprika (that can store your recipes, and help you to manage your meal planning and grocery shopping as well). You can learn more about food management apps in this post:
If you have not yet read the overview of the challenge, do that first before proceeding to this week’s assignment.
Your Assignment for Week 12 – Organizing Recipes
1. Determine whether or not you will keep cookbooks; if not, make photo copies of favorite recipes then donate the cookbooks.
2. If you decide to keep cookbooks, go through your collection and purge the ones that you haven’t used in a year.
3. Determine the method by which you will store your recipes (paper, digital, or “hybrid”).
4. Create a recipe binder for storing paper copies of recipes.
5. If using a digital method, scan and upload paper recipes (as necessary) into your digital storage site of choice (e.g., Pinterest, Evernote, etc.).
I want to hear about your progress and field any questions you may have! Drop me a line in the blog comments. Happy decluttering!
This post is part of the 13 Week Summer Shred Paper Declutter Challenge
Just discovered the Challenge? I invite you to read the Challenge Overview post first. You can then begin to work your way through the weekly Challenge assignments below:
Week 1: Mail
Week 2: Handy Reference
Week 3: Long-Term Reference
Week 4: School Papers
Week 5: Kids’ Art
Week 6: Memorabilia
Week 7: Manuals & Warranties
Week 8: Catalogs & Magazines
Week 9: Receipts
Week 10: Business Cards
Week 11: Lists & Notes
Week 12: Recipes
Week 13: Coupons
~ Happy paper decluttering Friends!