Organizing Recipes

Go Gingham: How to organize recipes
My recipe binders – completed! It feels so good to have this project done.

Do you clip recipes out of newspapers? Magazines? Print them from websites?  Then do you ask yourself…what am I going to do with these?  If you’re like me, you’re always finding a new recipe to try.  After years of recipe chaos (seriously, this was a mess), I decided it was time to take control and organize my recipes.

How to organize recipes

  1. Round up 5 binders (to reuse would be better here but honestly, I wanted mine to match)
  2. Sort through your recipes – similar recipes or ones that you’ll never make should go into the recycle bin (be honest – this was hard for me but I had to get rid of ones I knew we’d never make)
  3. Place into stacks according to your categories (the link to my categories is below)
  4. Mount (scrap paper and a glue stick will do), punch holes, or place in plastic sleeve
  5. Put the recipes into binders
  6. Add decorative paper and titles to your binders (you can skip the decorative paper step but why not make it pretty?)
  7. Put your binders away and stand back and enjoy your newly organized recipes (oh, and pat yourself on the back – great job!)

Here are some photos of my organized recipe binders:

Clipped from the newspaper or from the back of a package for easy reference.

How to organize recipes
Clipped and glued onto paper – quick and easy!

Some of the recipes were precious copies that I wanted to hold onto – like this one from my husband’s grandmother.

How to organize recipes
This recipe was a well loved copy from my my husband’s grandmother – yes, I kept it.

When I have a magazine that has a recipe or notes that I want to hold onto and reference later, I make a copy of it and 3-hole punch it. I don’t need to keep the entire magazine and it takes up less space in my kitchen.

How to organize recipes
I made a copy of these notes and passed the magazine onto a friend. I like to keep a copy of what I know I’ll use.

There are so many different ways to organize recipes, it was hard to choose the categories.

Organizing recipes
The paper coordinates nicely with gingham – thankfully!

I had to add the cute paper to the outside of these plain white binders. I wanted to pretty them up with paper and titles (totally not necessary but my binders are visible from my front door and anywhere in my teeny-tiny-one-butt-kitchen*)

Stand back and admire your handiwork. Organized and pretty and not the big mess it once was.

Organizing recipes
Recipe binders on my pantry shelves. It feels good to have this project done!

I admit – this was a huge project and one that I had dragged my feet on for years! We had lots of recipes. Even today, I think I could organize the recipes differently but there they sit on my pantry shelf, working out just fine.

Click here for recipe titles organizing recipes-titles (Word document) so you can edit your recipe titles or use mine PDF version here: organizing recipes- titles.

{*one-butt-kitchen is what we call our kitchen…it refers to how pretty much only one-butt can fit in our kitchen at a time.  I didn’t come up with the term – I stole it from a friend but it stuck.}

How do you keep your recipes organized? Do you have binders or files?

Go Gingham related links:

Password Organization is here and you’ll recognize the scraps!
National Match-Up Day: A step-by-step on how to clean and organize your food storage containers!
How our freezer gets used – ways to organize and optimize
Displaying holiday cards – don’t put them away, just leave them out to enjoy
Ottoman slipcover hides shoes, socks and whatever else my kids stuff under there!

Sara

Sara, creator of Go Gingham, is passionate about cooking and feeding her family healthy, real food. She's a green enthusiast, too, who loves to grow food organically. Sara loves to travel - especially by trading houses. An avid runner, she can also be found chasing after her chickens in the backyard.

4 Comments


  1. I could swear I’ve seen as many as 4 butts at one time in your kitchen. Granted we couldn’t move, but we were there.

    My recipes are in binders too. I knew I was serious when I needed to expand into 2 binders (and you’re at 5!). I’ve even split into subcategories such as “polenta”, “pancakes”, “crockpot” and “bbq/ribs”. Within each category, do you put them in alphabetical order, or by “type”? For example, in the pasta section do you put the peanut noodle pastas together, and all the creamy cheese pastas, and so on?


    1. True, you have seen more butts in the kitchen. Did you notice that the dishwasher and oven had to stay closed with all those butts?

      My recipes are not officially divided into sections once they are placed in the binders. My thinking on this is when I’m looking for a recipe, I may “find” one that I’d forgotten about or had yet to make. Yes, sometimes I’m scrambling with “I know that recipe is around here somewhere” but in general, this system works. Also, my miscellaneous binder is really just a catch- all. That binder includes clay/art recipes, articles about food, and those manuals that come with recipes. I may have to add a “sauce” binder and put all of our salad dressing and secret sauces in there!

      Thanks for the comment Liana!!


  2. This keeps things really organized and especially when you are always clipping things out of the newspaper.


    1. E: it seems that you are very knowledgeable about my recipe-clipping-habits!! Thank you for the comment.

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