How to Organize Loose Recipes (2024)

The following is a post from contributing writer Angie.

Before Pinterest was my favorite place to keep track of recipes, I had a habit of ripping recipes out of magazines, printing recipes from blogs, and making the occasional copy out of a library book. (Unless I loved a bunch of recipes, then I just “had” to buy the book and add it to my extensive cookbook collection.)

All of these loose papers with recipes on them started to be an issue, especially since it seemed like every time you picked up an item, there was a paper with a recipe on it underneath.

Having recipes all over your house adds to your clutter, but even more so it takes away from your original intention when you printed it out or pulled it out of a magazine. When that recipe is sitting under a chess board somewhere, it is most definitely not being made. And wasn’t trying it your intention when you saved it?

While there are many ways to organize your loose recipes, here is my favorite way that I’ve done it:

Find a Binder

Purchase (or find in your home) a three ring binder. If you have a lot of recipes or you know you’ll want to add more as time goes on, consider getting a large binder. Because I knew I had a lot of recipes and I knew that I wanted to use page protectors, I picked a 3-inch binder.

You’ll either need a three hole punch or you’ll need page protectors. I like page protectors because they protect my recipes when I’m cooking and easily wipe off when they get messy. They did, however, add an extra expense to this project.

Track Down All of Your Recipes

Gather all of your loose recipes in one spot. It is best to find a spot where you will be able to spread out, if needed. If you are like I was, you might have recipes all over your house — on counter tops, under chess boards (yes, I really had recipes under our chess board), in a variety of drawers, with stacks of magazines, and more.

Sort Through The Recipes and Categorize Them

Look through each and every recipe that you have that you think you’re going to organize. Before doing any organizing, decide if there are some of the recipes that you aren’t actually ever going to make. Perhaps someone in your home has different dietary needs than when you first saved the recipe or maybe you just know you will never, ever make it. If that’s the case, then just do yourself a favor and don’t keep it.

For recipes that you want to keep, however, start sorting them into piles based on whatever categories you would like to make in your binder. For me, I have the following sections: Food Tips and Tricks, Main Dishes, Breakfasts, Side Dishes and Salads, Breads and Muffins, Desserts/Sweets, and Copies of Family Recipes (from an album my Mom has, which I scanned and printed one year).

Assemble Your Binder

Once you have your recipes organized, either three hole punch them or put them into page protectors and start adding them to your binder. It is best to have dividers between sections, of course. For mine, I have my sections labeled and each tab is a different color. That way, I can skip around in the binder just by flipping to the right color. (In interest of full disclosure, I will admit that after a few years, the only one I can remember is that purple is the section with sweets and desserts.)

Maintain Your Binder

Stick in some extra page protectors or keep your three hole punch handy. This will help you to be better prepared when new recipes come into your life that need a home.

Another way to help keep your recipes organized is to remember that if you try a new recipe from your binder and feel that you will never make it again (maybe it sounded great but tasted terrible), take it out of your binder and get rid of it. That way, you’ll never forget and make it again, and you’ll also be making room for new favorites to be added.

How do you organize your recipes that aren’t stored online or in cookbooks?

Angie is a homeschooling mom to three children and writes about the adventures of her life as a domestically challenged nerd-type turned stay at home Mom at Many Little Blessings. She is also the founder of The Homeschool Classroom, Catholic Mothers Online, Tiny Owl Designs, and Just a Tiny Owl {Etsy shop}.

This post is part of the Organized in 365 series. If you have a great organizing tip you can submit it here.

How to Organize Loose Recipes (2024)
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