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

cute recipe cards

On day 204 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I organized 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 spend some time organizing (ahem, reorganizing) my recipes.

I’ve tried several methods of organization: folders with plastic sleeves, traditional wooden and metal recipe boxes of varying sizes, and I’ve even 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 might not sound very organized, but I’ll explain the method to my madness later.)

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. 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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