Monday, January 17, 2011

Clear the Clutter

I think the top two New Year goals are 1.) lose weight and 2.) get organized.  I know these two things are always near the top of my to do list, so being that it's a new year I'm trying to yet again work on these goals.  I'll talk more about the weight issue some other time. Today I'm talking organizing.

Many of the blogs I follow have been talking about this topic. How to organize, clear the clutter, make list, do charts, etc.  My first area to organize was my cookbooks. I love cookbooks and recipes. I have binders and stacks of recipes that I printed from the web or copied from magazines. I have shelves full of books and magazines about cooking. When it comes to making a meal I can never find the recipe I want.  I have to search all over the place and get frustrated and just make something easy or order pizza. So this task needs to be done so I can start planning meals better.

Here you see one of the few places that has been taken over with recipes and cookbooks. I have books piled on top of my china and bags of loose recipes. It's a mess and every time I open it and get discouraged.



Here's the other place that gets over run with cookbooks and recipes. This is a counter in my kitchen. These are some of the newer cookbooks I've bought and still need to take the time to really look at them. The binders are recipes that I started to organize, but never really finished.


It was time to clean house so that I can hopefully start meal planning this year.  First thing I did was
get an empty box and trash can ready. I remove all books, papers, binders, etc. to my kitchen table. I only wanted to have one of the shelves designated for cookbook, so once I reached that limit I would need to make some choices on what stays or goes.

I was surprised at how many cookbooks I really haven't used in years but still had. I first got rid of the books that were a no brainer and then the books I knew I wanted to keep went on the shelve. The remainder I had to really think about. If I had a similiar book (i.e. two books on crook pot recipes) I would only pick one for the shelve. I was so happy with results and I still have some room for future books.



After that I was left with a pile of papers and magazines.  I have my favorite food magazines, Clean Eating, in magazine holders. This pile had other ones that I don't use anymore, so all the magazines went, along with many of the print outs. 



It took me about an hour to quickly go through the printed out recipes that were in the cabinet. I still have many in the binder to purge. My next goal is going to clean up the print outs and organize them. But I also want to find a way to help me print less recipes, but still organize them so I can find them when I need to plan our meals.

10 comments:

  1. I found you from org junkie and I love this post! I have the same issue (although I think mine is a bit worse!) I do meal plan, but have so many recipes that they don't get made twice...or I know I want to make something but can't find it. I have bags, boxes, shelves, etc. This is on my list this year too...great job getting started...if you figure out a good system for printing less, let me know.

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  2. I hate to toss out a recipe I haven't tried yet, but your shelf looks so amazing i may just have to give them a fling!

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  3. Great job! I have the same problem with having to many cookbooks and untried recipes.

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  4. Looks great, this is on my list too, even though I did a bit this week.

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  5. I love this and am now officially inspired to add cookbooks/recipes to my 52-week list.

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  6. great job! this is on my 52 list too!

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  7. Looks fabulous! I need to go through my cookbooks too. Add it to the list......

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  8. Great tips! I am still learning how to live in 70% less space so need all the help I can get! I am writing a blog to share my journey: http://pearlcabin.blogspot.com/

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  9. Great project! I'm really trying to meal plan this year. I did pare down my cookbooks a tone a few years ago and organized my "clipped out and printed" recipes but they are all just in files and I don't use them. I like reading how others are trying to organize their meal planning and recipes.

    Samantha

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  10. ziplist.com is an excellent way to organize your recipes. Ziplist puts a button on your internet browser and there is an app for your phone. If you have torn our a recipe you like usually the recipe is online somewhere. Find it online and click your ziplist button. Usually it automatically adds the recipe and you add that to your recipe "box" or you may have to cut and paste. You can also add your own by typing it all in. Anyway, you will always have your recipes and you can choose say 7 recipes for the week and it makes your grocery list and sends it to your phone. I love it!!!

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