When visiting my dear friend the other day she showed me her poor overworked recipe box or should I say what used to be a box since the lid was no longer able to close. You see it was full of tiny little scraps of paper with recipes written on them.
Let’s take a look at the before picture:
Whenever she finds a recipe she likes she clips it out or grabs whatever little piece of paper she has nearby and writes down the recipe and shoves it into the box. I of course immediately wanted to suggest my method of organizing recipe scraps….using the old kind of photo album pages with the plastic cover that lifts up. I envisioned all those little scraps of paper all perfectly lined up in rows and each one in clear view. Yet before I even had a chance to say anything my dear friend suggested a method that she thought would work for her.
Her idea was to use the plastic page protector pockets…you know the ones designed to put an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper into and that have the three holes punched on the sides to place in a binder. She then wanted to put labels on each “pocket”…one for each catergory….then sort all her recipe scraps into these catergories, place them into the appropriate pocket and then put all the pages into a binder.
As soon as she said it I saw the error of my ways….we weren’t organizing these recipes for me…we were organizing them for her and this system is so brilliant for her for a number of reasons. First she didn’t have to spend too much time putting the system together. It took all of about a half hour to sort out the recipes and print off some labels. She still saves time looking for her recipes because now she has all her recipes sorted into catergories and she only has to grab the one pocket she needs. Finally it will be easy for her to maintain and that is key for her. As she clips new recipes she just pulls out her binder and drops them into the applicable pocket. No more stuffing them into that tiny little recipe box.
Organizing for your personality is definitely the way to go!
This post was orginally published October 6, 2006