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Ideas for Organizing Recipes

Whether or not you’re a serious recipe collector, organizing recipes in an efficient manner can be challenging.

You have a few goals to accomplish, recipes need to be:

There are dozens of different ways to collect and organize recipes on a computer via software or online applications, but I’d like to reinforce the tradition of keeping hard copies of favorite family recipes that are handwritten, typed or even snipped & pasted on cards. Why? Because favorite recipes are part of every family’s history, they play an important role in shared meals and memories.

These copies of recipes are wonderful keepsakes for loved ones and ensure that favorite dishes aren’t lost over time. There’s something impersonal about a computer printed recipe on a sheet of 8×10 paper–it can’t match the warmth of Grandma’s handwritten recipe card or mom’s favorite recipe clipping that she took the time to stick on a pretty index card and file away.

There are several options to organize recipe cards and scraps of papers, starting with:

These provide the ability to keep the recipes clean, organized and easy to add to (just pop in more plastic protectors), but I find this method to be somewhat bulky and inefficient. If you want to keep things in alphabetical order, you’re forever shuffling and rearranging when adding new recipes. If you have a large recipe collection, count on maintaining several photo albums or binders.

Other storage methods:

Here’s the setup I think is ideal when storing and organizing recipes, one that doesn’t have the above downfalls:

I’m not proposing this organization method for every recipe you’ve collected or want to try, just the ones that you use regularly or those special occasion recipes that your family loves. Continue stockpiling all those recipes you’d like to try someday on the computer or store online with your favorite method, but as you weed through them and find the keepers, create hard copies of these to use and keep in the family for generations.

This is a great way to keep track of which recipes are tried and true–if they’re in the card file box, you know they’re good.

More Recipe Card Goodness

If you find it redundant to write out cookbook recipes, take a card and fill out the recipe name plus the cookbook and page number where it can be found. File the card as you normally would in your collection of recipes. You no longer need to search through or remember which book had a certain recipe, just look it up in your recipe card system.

Recipe Card Categories:

Protecting Recipes

Maintaining and collecting recipes is a wonderful hobby and a great way to keep favorites from being lost. Once you have an ideal card system in place–organizing recipes isn’t such an overwhelming job after all :).

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