Organizing recipe clippings to suit YOUR needs

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.

Yay…mission accomplished!

Organizing for your personality is definitely the way to go!

This post was orginally published October 6, 2006

Filed under: Recipe Organization


25 Responses to Organizing recipe clippings to suit YOUR needs

  1. 1
    micki says

    this is how I’ve organized my recipes that I’ve printed off the internet 🙂 It works for me!

  2. 2
    Rena says

    Thanks for giving me two creative ways to consider organizing all my scraps of recipes.

  3. 3
    Mish says

    I’ve posted a tutorial on my blog (scroll down the side bar and click on the photo) of how to sew your own pockets in page protectors. I used the idea for coupons but you could use it for recipes too! (or whatever your imagination thinks of – I’ve made them custom sized for the extra buttons that come with shirts & pants too)

  4. 5
    Casey says

    That is a really good idea…very simple and easy to accomplish in a short time. Sounds like my kind of organization!

  5. 6
    Cindy says

    Oh, no, that would make me crazy, it is still too disorganized and ‘messy’ to look at. UGH, I would hate that.

  6. 7
    Donns says

    Hi! I’m new! And that is great that you let her do what worked for her! I think i may do this to start and then find a better system as I make the recipes and toss the ones that aren’t a right fit for us!

    And clear page protectors are on my list anyway=)

    I was going to make a binder for my son with all his lego instructions form various sets.

  7. 10
    Amanda says

    Now, why didn’t I ever think of that? LOL! Thanks for the great organizing tip (as usual).

  8. 11
    susieshomemade says

    That’s what mine looks like now. My next step is to get them into my software. I am still working on it:-)

  9. 12
    Tim Haughton says

    I write some document management software that’s ‘supposed’ to be typical documents, bills, letters, statements etc.

    One of my friends, who kindly guinea pigs the software for me, recently started using it for just this purpose. When she cuts out recipes, instead of filing them in a box or folder, she scans them and imports them into the software.

    This makes them much easier to organise, but also easier to find. When they’re imported, they become searchable, so you can search by what the recipe is for, but also on ingredients, which is useful if you have some ingredients that need using up, but can’t think of whet to use them for.

  10. 13
    Taylor at Household Management 101 says

    You make such a good point about why there are so many organizing tips out there – different things work for different people. Thanks for that reminder!

    In addition, I like this idea personally, and may try it. Thanks.

  11. 14
    Yard Sale Princess says

    Hi Laura,
    I love your site and your ideas. I am in desperate need of help! My craft room is a nightmare and I am stuck. Would you scootch on over to my blog and check out my post on the craft room dump and dash problem. If you have any ideas I would love to hear them.
    Thanks for your time!
    Yard Sale Princess

  12. 16
    The Chatty Housewife says

    That is the exact way I have my recipes organized. Behind each page protector are the full page recipes that can be three hole punched.

  13. 17
    The Happy Housewife says

    Looks great. I am still organizing my recipes. I am using a binder, but gluing the recipe on to card stock. It is working so far. I am still purging cookbooks though. I get so many recipes online, why do I need all the cookbooks?

  14. 18
    Karen Brown Letarte says

    Hi, Laura–

    I just found the coolest site yesterday that lets you SEND them your recipe cards and clippings and they will digitize them and create an online recipe file for you that can also be PRINTED to make your own COOKBOOK! Or you can key the recipes in yourseld. You may already have heard about KeyIngredient.Com. I also posted about it in my blog,

  15. 19
    Kristin says

    ok, the top pic is totally me. you see, i just have a very organized MIND (possibility of a snicker here) so even though my recipe box is stuffed to overflowing and the lid can’t close, i can still find things. in under 2 minutes? sometimes. depends on if the recipe i want is right near the front. 🙂

  16. 20
    Merciful Blessings says

    NEAT IDEA!!! I have a drawer FULL of online prints, recipe cards, scrap paper and even post it notes!!! I’d like to eventually get them all printed on same size paper and organizing them digitally and hardcopy in a book like style BUT it’s not likely to happen SO this is a GREAT solution that I can do NOW!!! Thanks!!!
    XoXo~Bless Up Always~XoXo

  17. 21
    Lesley says

    I have one question if I may, How can I make a recipe index with the printable grocery list’s?
    Thank you in advance 🙂

    • 21.1
      Laura says

      Check out


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