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How To Quickly Organize Your Recipe Collection

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Some people may think that the days of recipe cards, magazine cut-outs, and Betty Crocker cookie books are long gone, but anyone who’s had to wash pancake batter (or worse) off their phone knows better. Any modern home cook knows the pain of a recipe site that’s constantly refreshing, leaving you to scroll for years and years to find the step you were on.

The only downside of recipe cards is that, instead of living in your phone’s bookmarks bar or Pinterest boards, physical recipes love to hide in massive stacks of paper. Instead of keeping a fire hazard of spill-covered, flour-dusted recipes in a kitchen drawer, let’s discuss how to quickly organize your recipe collection and make home cooking less of a mess!

Pick a Filing System You’ll Stick To

First, decide how you want to organize it all. If you’ve ever owned a general recipe book before, you’ll know that the typical system is something along these lines:

  • Breakfast
  • Appetizers
  • Chicken/Poultry
  • Beef or Pork
  • Fish
  • Salads/Meatless
  • Seasonal Meals

This method is, of course, not going to suit the palate and dietary needs of everyone on the planet. Feel free to get creative by going all seasonal, including a “Quick and Easy” section, or even opting for alphabetical organization! So long as it’s a system you’ll confidently stick to, it’ll work.

Rely on Binders, Sleeves, and Lamination

Those who’ve never kept physical recipes before might wonder, “Where do I keep these things?!” Like with the filing system you use, the way you store your recipes is just as personal. An easy way to start is to use binders with plastic sleeves to hold all your papers. The plastic keeps food from ruining your recipes, and you can easily add dividers, write notes in dry erase marker, and put recipes for entire meals in one sleeve. Lamination is also a great way to protect recipes well into the next generation!

Forget Dog-Eared Pages—Color-Code Everything!

Whether you’re keeping your recipes in a binder, book, or rotary index card holder (you do you), it is time to move beyond bookmarking our favorites with folded corners. Not only does this method tell you very little about what you’re looking for, but dog-eared pages don’t always last!

Instead, break out the color-coding tools! Stickers, tabs, and highlighting go a long way to make finding what you’re looking for even faster. While you can certainly match your color-coding to your kitchen or your favorite colors, there are color-coding methods to keep in mind that can make your kitchen as efficient as possible.

From protecting your phone to creating a more interactive, personal recipe experience, graduating your recipes from digital to physical is well worth the effort! How you choose to organize your recipe collection is up to you, but just remember that keeping them organized is crucial to keep your kitchen sane.

Written by Richard Agama

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