Organizing in Small Spaces ~ Cookbooks

Today we’re going to jump into the kitchen and tackle an area that tends to be full of clutter for many people–the cookbook shelf/cabinet!
 If you’ve been around long you know that I’m huge on the importance of family dinner. I also cook at home virtually every night each week. Even with all of that the cookbooks that you see in the picture above are ALL of the cookbooks that I have and use–that’s only FIVE of them! (Well, to be completely truthful I actually have 2 or 3 more that we have in storage that are special because they are from churches or a camp, but these are the ones that I have out right now)

At one point I had a LOT more but I found myself never using them or when I did the recipes I made weren’t ones that my family wanted me to make again. Thanks to the *amazing* world of Pinterest I now get pretty much all of my new recipes online or from my magazines.

Whenever I come across a recipe I want to try out from my magazines I Xacto it out and put it in this super cute recipe holder my MIL got me for Christmas. I try to make one new recipe either from my magazines or from Pinterest every 2 or 3 weeks. If it’s a winner I keep it and add it to my menu plan, if it’s not I just toss it!

The same goes for my Pinterest Recipes–the  first time I make a recipe I just pull it up on my computer, then if it’s a favorite I print it out and add it into my binder and move it to my Elliott Family Favorites Board  , if it’s a no go I delete it or add notes to it if there was a mixed result (i.e. I liked it but my picky family didn’t, haha) some friends have “pin accomplished” boards which I find very clever and am considering doing at some point to easily see what I’ve done but wasn’t a favorite and what I need to try.

{{IMPORTANT!!!! When you have your computer in the kitchen be VERY careful and keep it on a surface far away from any food or liquid, maybe dumb but I literally ruined a brand new Mac by accidentally knocking a cup of water onto it while I was cooking dinner and using a recipe on my computer one night, talk about an expensive mistake learned the HARD way 🙁 }}

About half of the recipes I make are family recipes passed down from either my mom or Bob’s. For these I keep them together in 2 “write in it” recipe books like the one above and one 4×6 photo album that has recipe cards slid into where the pictures would normally go. (all were wedding gifts) They’re a great, easy, organized way to keep track of those great family recipes that I’m sharing with you all now!

While posting my last menu plan I saw that the gal who hosts the linky recommended the 2013 Cookbook Challenge–if you have more than 5 cookbooks 😉 I’d highly recommend you considering joining it to help you get to where organizing your cookbooks is a piece of cake–the biggest tip I can give in organizing in small spaces is to get rid of your CLUTTER!

How do you organize your recipes and cookbook collection? How many cookbooks do you have? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Nicole Elliott