I love an organized home. That has been one of the challenges of having a new baby. I had grown accustomed to having things stay in their places for the most part. But now my living room looks like this every day:
The adjacent kitchen doesn't fare any better, because
he can tear apart it apart in record speed. I am reminding myself to surrender to this season because I do know that it's only temporary.
However, I still love organizational strategies, and I thought I'd share one of mine that really works!
Tim and I had a folder stuffed with recipes that were printed off the computer, ripped out of magazines and newspapers, and on recipe cards. Each time we wanted to cook something, we would rummage through the pile looking for our tried and true recipes, but they got lost amidst scraps of paper and the many recipes there was NO WAY we would ever get around to making.
Often, Tim and I found ourselves asking each other, in frustrated tones, "Did you put the recipe for X back?" Later we'd find it in another stack of papers, stuck to the fridge, or shoved somewhere in the folder.
Next, I tried putting everything on the computer, but I found it awkward to cook while looking at a screen, and I didn't want to let go of some special old recipe cards from family members.
The solution that has worked for us the past 3 years is surprisingly low-tech. The reason it works so well is that it's crystal clear to both cooks how to use it, so we each follow the system!
Large 3 ring binder
Tried and true recipes on cards, printouts or from magazines (I suggest being selective and only including recipes you will cook!)
Plastic sleeve protectors
Put 2 recipes in each sleeve, one facing front one facing back. The order is not important because all recipes will be equally accessible. Category is not important either. My previous attempts categorized things by type of dish, but I find this much simpler. Because there aren't hundreds and thousands of recipes, they won't get lost.
With a Sharpie, number the plastic sleeves. (Remember when I made that ice cream cake for Jack's 12th b-day?)
Write or type up a table of contents with a name of dish and the recipe number. We have about 75 recipes so far.
When we need a recipe, we look at the table of contents to find out what number the recipe is, then take out the sleeve to cook with in the kitchen. A bonus is that if we splatter on it, it wipes clean.
Because the number is on the sleeve, the recipe always finds its way back to the proper place in the binder.
I use Pinterest and magazines to find new recipes to try, and IF they make the cut, they get added to the binder. I hope someone finds this ridiculously simple idea helpful. What is your favorite way to organize recipes?
My LOVE of streamlining and organization led me to discover an awesome deal on a HUGE "Bundle" of online resources that includes eBooks, eCourses, and even printables to help me in my home. While my goal was organization, I was thrilled to find out that it included MANY other topics of interest to me as well: home decor, goal setting, recipe books, saving money, parenting, and even faith. It feels like Christmas in April to me! Don't let the "Homemaking" title fool you. There is something for everyone here! There are only a few days left in which to purchase this bundle, so I wanted to be sure to share it with you here: