Please tell me I am not the only person with a million recipes. I don’t even know what half of them make and where they came from, but them all just seemed to accumulate in one big pile in my kitchen. If I’m being honest, I haven’t even tried most of them and don’t think I ever will. After trying out a few different methods over the course of a few years, I have developed a recipe organization system that actually works for my excessive amounts of recipes!
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This recipe organization system uses 2 binders. The first is your “Favorites” binder. The second will be called your “To Try” binder.
For a recipe to make it into this binder, you need to have already made it at least once. While they don’t all have to be your favorite recipes, they just have to be something you have tried before. You also want to make sure it is something you are willing to make again. If not, throw it away.
“To Try” Binder
Your second binder are any recipes that you have but haven’t tried yet. Whether they be something from a magazine or something you saw on Instagram, they all belong in this binder.
What’s the point of two binders
Before I started using this two binder recipe organization system, I had all of my recipes in one HUGE binder. And let me tell you, this did not work. At all.
By having two binders, you are splitting up the recipes that you’ve tried and the ones you haven’t. That way, when you go to make dinner or fill out your meal plan for the week, it’s much easier. If you have a lot of time and are looking for something new to try, you know where to look. But, if you know you won’t have a lot of time or are in the mood for comfort food, you don’t need to waste time searching through new recipes.
Another reason for having two binders is because it prevents you from never making all the recipes you printed out. You are better able to see exactly how many recipes you have that you’ve never made. When everything is together, that is extremely hard to do.
How to organize your binders
Step 1: divide your recipes for each binder
First, just go through all of your recipes and make two piles. One will be the recipes you’ve made before (binder #1) and the other will be recipes to try (binder #2).
step 2: categorize the recipes
After you split everything up based on its binder, the next thing is categorizing your recipes even further. For this step, you should work with one binder at a time (I would suggest starting with the Favorites binder).
The most common categories you definitely want to include are main dishes (chicken, beef, fish, etc), side dishes (potatoes, rice, pasta, etc), desserts (cookies, cakes, etc), drinks, and breakfast. If you have a lot of recipes specific to certain holidays (for example, you have a bunch of Halloween or Christmas recipes), you can also add categories for those as well. Organize as you see fit with what you have. It all depends on the recipes you want to keep in this binder.
Step 3: Use sheet protectors
In this stage of the process, you probably have a whole bunch of piles of paper now. The next thing you want to do is put every one of your recipes in sheet protectors. While this is definitely one of the more annoying steps, it is so important!
When you’re cooking, nine times out of ten you are probably going to spill something or get the recipe dirty. With the sheet protectors, it makes it so easy to clean up and prevents your recipes from getting dirty. Another added bonus: the binder also looks a lot cleaner and neater when everything is in sheet protectors!
Step 4: Put everything in a binder
Now that your recipes are ready to go, it’s time to put them all into your binder. Use dividers that are bigger than your sheet protectors to keep your categories clearly separated. Also, when you are buying a binder, don’t buy one bigger than one and a half inches, two inches MAX. The bigger the binder, the more room you will have to put recipes you are most likely never going to make. Set a limit for yourself with the size of your binder.
If you want a cute patterned recipe binder, click here to check out these ones! These are recipe specific binders, so they also come with pre-made dividers. If you are looking for a simple binder, click here for a great option!
Step 5: repeat for the other binder
Now that you’ve done all of this for the Favorites binder, you want to repeat steps 2-4 for the To Try binder. Once you do that, you are all done!
Depending on how many recipes you have, this can be an extremely long process. If you need to, work on one binder a day to try to split up the work.
Maintaining Your binders
The final step to this easy recipe organization system is to maintain your binders. With the Favorites binder, there is not much you have to do. I would just suggest going through it once in a while and throwing away any recipes you haven’t made in a while or don’t think you will make in the future.
As for the To Try binder, there is a little bit more upkeep. Once in a while (maybe once a month), go through the binder and throw away anything you don’t see yourself making. This is something you can add to your monthly refresh system (click for some info about this system)! And don’t forget about this binder!! You have a bunch of new recipes to try out, so make sure you are remembering to make them once in a while.
If you are looking for some new delicious recipes to fill up your binder, I think you will love these Easy, Make-Ahead Scrambled Egg Muffins and my favorite Pasta Salad Recipe Perfect For Meal Prep. Check out my complete Recipes Library for more!