Change: The Recipe Solution

13 pockets of organization.

Last week, I posted a question on Facebook: how do you organize the loose recipes that you’ve torn out of magazines, newspapers, etc?

It’s a problem that’s been plaguing me ever since I broke my foot in 2010. A group of friends brought me huge stockpiles of old magazines — everything from The New Yorker to Food Network Magazine and┬áReal Simple. I wasn’t doing much cooking then, what with not being able to stand for very long, but I tore tons of recipes and set them aside in a pile.

The result? A gigantic folder with a bunch of recipes that once seemed good, but have no system of organization.

It wasn’t until I heard everyone else’s suggestions that I really worked through my storage needs. It turns out that I don’t need fancy binders with sheet protectors, or a scanner to digitize all of my recipes. After all, once I make a recipe and it gets the appropriate thumbs up from the family, I post it online and toss the original paper.

I'm so glad that this file will expang when I need it to.

So instead of binders, I found a solution that seems so obvious in hindsight. I went out to Target and bought an expanding file (or, as the tag typo says, “expanging”) to organize all of the loose sheets. I have categories for everything from desserts to salads to pastas. Now, when I want to make something different, I know precisely where to look and don’t have to sort through hundreds of loose sheets hoping to find where I stashed the recipe for lemon coconut cake. I’ve had the new system in place for less than a week and I’ve already used it twice, as opposed to countless months of ignoring the pile.

Have you put off any daunting tasks only to discover a simple answer?

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