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  • Writer's pictureJonda Beattie

Organizing Recipes

I love to cook and I usually follow recipes. I must admit that at one time I had a huge collection of cookbooks but then a few years back I started my downsizing and many of the cookbooks had to go.

Some of my clients who are overwhelmed with cookbooks and recipes have asked me for advice in corralling and organizing their collections. They have shelves and shelves of cookbooks. They have recipe boxes stuffed with family favorites, pages torn out of magazines or newspapers, and computer print outs. So here are a few suggestions:

  1. If you have handwritten recipes from a family member, which may become memorabilia, either laminate the reicpes or put them in a special container. I first make a copy of these recipes and actually use the copy when cooking and keep the original in a safe place.

  2. Sort loose recipes by categories. My categories are soups, main dishes, vegetarian dishes, seafood, family breakfasts, low calorie, deserts, and fondue. As you sort your recipes, toss any that no longer appeal or ones that you cut out years ago but have never even tried. Conversely, copy recipes where the original has become so stained or torn that you can hardly read it. I keep my recipes in colored folders but I have seen others use notebooks effecively.

  3. Take old cookbooks that have only a few favorite recipes and copy those favorites. Then give the cookbooks away. The copies now go into your folders or notebooks. Only keep the few cookbooks that are really favorites that have many recipes or have a sentimental attachment.

  4. Moving forward, if you see a new recipe that you think you would like, leave it out or put it on your refrigerator. Try out the recipe in the next week or two. Then you will know if you really love that recipe and want to repeat it. If it is a “keeper” store it into the proper category

I have found that these tips keep all of my recipes manageable. They are stored on part of one shelf in my living room where I pull them out weekly to make my menus and shopping list.

Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer

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