09 October 2014

Organizing Recipes

I love when I finally tackle an organizing project that I've been putting off forever. My recipe box was one of those projects that's been begging to be done but that until I had a better spot for my recipes, I just wasn't motivated to do. I'm kind of an all-or-nothing type of person, you see, and if I can't go all out to make something look amazing, then I struggle to have the motivation to bother improving it at all. That's why for instance, until I find the perfect organizational system for my bathroom linen closets, with labeled baskets for different types of towels, and matching spray bottles for my cleaning supplies, those closets will continue to be a disorganized and almost hazardous spot where any time you crack the door open you may get hit in the face with a falling towel. I'm working hard to combat this character flaw but I have to be honest and admit that if something's not pretty I struggle with the motivation to organize it. 

Which is why I kept putting off going through my recipes, even though I didn't use half of them and they made finding a recipe I wanted take twice the time. I never felt like taking the time to sort through all the recipe cards and get rid of what I didn't want, when everything I was keeping would just be going back into their tired-looking old box.
I had them all stored in a photo box that I'd covered in vintage recipes a few years ago. It looked cute when I did it but after so much use it was looking seriously worn out. 

Oh and have I mentioned that cooking is not a passion of mine? Eating is, but cooking is not. So staring into this messy box every night wasn't making it very exciting to come up with a meal idea. 

Now though, I'm actually enjoying reaching for my recipes now that I've cleaned out my old box and replaced it with this one from West Elm:

It's the Utility Kitchen Recipe Box and I love it. 

I had actually ordered the large size of the Marble Cleat Box to use as a recipe box, but I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to make it work since the box is too small to hold standard recipe cards. But those boxes were temporarily out of stock so while I was waiting for it to ship I found the Utility box and decided to go with it instead. 

And I'm so glad I did because it holds everything easily but is still considerably smaller than my old recipe box, which is something I was really wanting. 

With this new box I finally had the motivation to go through everything and get rid of all the stuff I never use or stuff we've tried and didn't really like. I threw away SO much and it felt amazing. I love getting rid of things. 

Because of Pinterest I just don't need to store that many written recipes, so I only kept the ones that were family recipes, or ones that we've used a lot and love. Anything that was "meh" when we made it, or that I knew I could easily find online, I threw away. 

Thanks to the recipe cards that came with the new recipe box, I was able to re-write any recipes that I wanted to keep but that had been scribbled out hastily on a scrap of paper or had been printed from online or ripped from a magazine. 

I'm so tempted to re-write everything so that they're all on the new cards and will match, but for now anything that was written neatly on a recipe card is staying as-is. 

I was really happy to find that the dividers from my old box fit perfectly inside the new one. That was the one thing I'd stayed happy about with the old box, was having everything categorized and easy to find. So I love that I was able to keep that system going in this new box. 

I'll probably use these dividers as a template for some prettier ones, but for now they are working. 

Something I really love about this box is that it comes with a plastic recipe card protector so that you don't have to worry about your cards getting splashed with anything while you're using them. And there's a spot for it to stand on the lid of the box so the recipe you're using is easy to see. 

I'm really happy with this recipe box and I'm so glad I finally cleaned out this disaster of an area. Even though it's small I use it almost every day so it feels so much better to have it organized. 


  1. My recipes used to be a disaster
    Over the summer, I printed them all up and organized them in a huge binder
    So much easier now.
    I do treasure my grandmother's handwritten recipes though, so I like the idea that you are handwriting yours.
    Have a great weekend

  2. I just found your blog - I'm following now :)
    Great find at West Elm... I love it!
    I'm trying to get organized and somthing like this makes it so much more pleasant and easy.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Boy do I need to follow your lead here ... my favorites are all crammed in one of my favorite cookbooks and it is exploding!!

  4. Your recipe box looks very lovely and I love your new recipe organization! I had most of my recipes written (a few printed) on A4 papers and just clipped them together, it looks like a disaster. I really have to organize mine soon but I dread rewriting my more than 10 years recipe collection! :(


  5. I love that recipe box! The plastic card protector and built-in stand are awesome features! I really need to get my recipes organized. Half are nicely organized in a binder, but the other half are just stuffed in a drawer and I can never find what I'm looking for!