Self-Care Challenge (Day 204): Organizing My Recipes

cute recipe cards

On day 204 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I spent some time organizing my recipes.

If you enjoy cooking as much as I do, then you’ve probably collected a mountain of recipes and cookbooks over the years. My self-care practice for the day was to organize (ahem, reorganize) my recipes. It’s an ongoing process, I admit.

Over the years, I’ve tried several methods for organizing my recipes: folders with plastic sleeves, traditional wooden and metal recipe boxes of varying sizes, and I even once designed a kitchen that had a built-in bookshelf for my cookbooks. But more recently, I’ve adopted the practice of stuffing random printed sheets of recipes into a junk drawer in the kitchen. This may not sound very organized, but I’ll explain the method to my madness below.

The one thing I know for sure is that it’s extremely frustrating when you can’t find a recipe that you know you have somewhere.

What I’ve started doing in the last year or so is to first print a “test” recipe, and then transfer it to my permanent, hand-written index card system–if I decide it’s good enough to make again, that is. Sometimes, this process takes several rounds of modifications because I almost always make adjustments.

I must admit that I don’t love printing so many pages, especially since I later discard them (at least I can shred and compost them), but viewing recipes on my phone while I’m cooking just doesn’t work for me.

Another reason I like the index card system is that quite a few of my recipes have been handed down to me by family members who have since passed away. They hold sentimental value. I love seeing my grandmother’s handwriting while I’m making one of her favorite recipes. It makes me smile.

But the biggest reason this system works is that I can find recipes quickly, and that saves a lot of time when it comes to menu planning and preparation. Similarly, the box fits discretely inside a drawer in my kitchen, which means it’s out of the way, yet accessible.

How do you organize your recipes?

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