Sunday, October 19, 2008

Recipe File Box

I have been reading the book "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?" by Peter Walsh. Remember him from the tv show "Clean Sweep"? He helped people deal with clutter in their homes and how it was affecting their lives, and in this book he does the same thing regarding emotional and physical clutter and your relationship with food. It really is a great book and I'm learning a lot. You can click on the picture of the book to read more about it.
One of the things Peter talks about is dealing with clutter in your kitchen. If you your kitchen is a mess or cluttered, you will be more likely to eat out, order in, or pop something quick (and often unhealthy) into your mouth. While my kitchen isn't a mess, there is one small counter that is full of cookbooks....another thing he addresses.

How many cookbooks do you have? For me, it's around 15-20. I also have two 3-ring binders with recipes I have found on the internet. He says to pick out any one of your cookbooks and go through it (paraphrasing here). How many of the recipes do you honestly make from that book? Are there some you have made once, only to find you didn't care for them? Are there some with ingredients that you or a family member either don't care for, or are allergic to? So how many do you actually make on a regular basis? For the first cookbook I chose, I found 5. And there are probably well over 50 recipes in that book. So I take up a section of my counterspace for 5 recipes. That's wasted space.

He suggests making a recipe file box, and it's super easy:

1. Get a small file box & hanging files.
2. Tear out, or type up the recipes you actually do use. If you tear them out, tape or glue them to a full-size sheet of paper.
3. Laminate the sheets, if possible (You can buy self laminating sheets at Wal-Mart, Target, Staples, etc).
4. Label the files with tabs using the same categories you find in a cookbook (Main dish, meats, salads, etc).
5. Place the recipes you use into those files.

Once you are done, donate your cookbooks to Goodwill or a second hand bookstore. As he says: if you are concerned that someday you might need a particular recipe, you can be sure that if and when that time comes, you'll be able to find it on the internet.

Your recipe file box will take up much less room than all those cookbooks, and it can be stored in a closet, freeing up much valuable counter, drawer, or cupboard space.

I really like this idea. I had thought of moving my cookbooks to shelves in my office, but by doing this instead, it'll free up those shelves to leave me room for future books I want to read. I have started on my box this weekend, and hope to have it completed soon.


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Yes, I finally realized that unless it's an old family recipe, I can probably find it on the 'net. Your profile pic is cracking me up. Also, thanks for the hair compliment. I just edited the post to say i embarrassed myself by appearing to fish for compliments. I am ... not smart. But thanks for the nice words.

skoots1mom said...

oooo girl, u got me thinkin'....
i love cook books too and stuck in various drawers...i really do only use a few...
hmmmmm...might have to try that file box thing...

Cindy Swanson said...

What a great idea! I don't have that many cookbooks, but you're right...I use just a few on a regular basis.

I constantly battle seems to multiply by itself!