How to Organize Recipes

How to organize recipes to make dinnertime a breeze!


I am a recipe collector.  I don’t have a huge stash of cookbooks, but after switching from physically clipping recipes for years, I started converting my stash to electronic database.

The main reason I switched was because it was a surprise Christmas gift from my husband.  Perhaps he thought my paper collection was getting too unwieldy?  If you have the same issue (no, not the husband issue, but the unwieldy recipe one), read on for a great solution!

Inspo or reality?

Recipes can be inspirational for many reasons.  But often, people have way more recipes on hand and then they will actually make.

And that’s probably due to a few different reasons.  Perhaps a certain recipe would be perfect for entertaining one day, or maybe it takes longer to make than they have time for, but the recipes are still kept.

Or maybe the recipe is beyond their cooking skill level and they’re waiting to make it until they learn how to make something more complex.

Whatever the reason is for having so many different recipes, the truth is that unless you’re using the recipes, then they are just clutter!


How to organize recipes


So how best to organize recipes?  If you have a ton of recipes, then the first step in weeding through the pile is to keep only the recipes you want to make.  Sort through and get rid of anything you’re not going to make.

Consider the ingredients – are they hard to find?  What is the prep time?  Consider the type of recipe. How many recipes for brownies do you really need?  Have you actually made the recipe and it didn’t turn out how you expected or you didn’t like it?  Toss that recipe!  No need to keep it!


System options


Now that you have only those recipes that you like, or will make, choose an organizational system.  One option is to file the recipes by type in a recipe binder.  I keep some of my tried and true recipes in a binder I picked up at Hallmark.  These are the recipes I’ve had and used for years, and even though they are in my electronic database, I kept a hard copy.
recipe binder

If you choose to go this paper route, may I suggest you check out the fab recipe divider pages I’ve designed?  They’re super handy to keep your recipes organized quite wonderfully.  Simply download, print and get organizing!


Another option is to make the jump to a digital recipe system using some of the programs out there.  I use Paprika myself, but also Pinterest too.  I love, love, love Paprika and the flexibility it provides – check it out!  I know some folks have developed a system using Evernote and there are many different options to explore.

Final considerations

Going forward, before you clip, think about whether you will actually be making this recipe and if it will be enjoyed by your family.  Then consider if it’s available online since this would eliminate the need for you to clip the paper version of the recipe.  You could just cut and paste it into your electronic recipe database or pin it to a Pinterest board instead, and cut out a step.  Streamlining the process is really a key to getting and staying organized.


Over to you!

How do you organize your recipes?  Let’s chat below!

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