The Organizing Task I Tackled Without Getting Out of Bed


I had intended to have a “Reveal” post for you today. Unfortunately, on Monday, I was felled by a nasty, nasty bug that landed me in the ER by Thursday. Nothing really serious, and I’m on the mend, but needless to say, a big long “Reveal” post isn’t in the works. But then I remembered the ONE thing I did accomplish this week, and thought I’d pass it along.


One of the things I’ve found in decorating my own Forever Home is that once a space is designed — thoughtfully, with a plan for both style and functionality — that space stays pretty tidy.


A place for everything and everything in its place.

And the place is pretty, too. 🙂


We all know that clutter can cause stress and anxiety. (Articles by the New York Times and Motherly, for example). However, I have to tell you a secret …


I HATE organizing and cleaning.


Like, with a passion that rivals my hatred for remakes of perfect films or sequels that were never intended by the original author. Honest to goodness truth. That’s why I bring in a professional organizer on some projects ;). She’s amazingly talented at it, whereas it really just hurts my brain. I can do it, sorta, but I HATE it.




My college roommate, the one who went in a tidied my bedroom after I left for Christmas vacation one year, must be laughing her rear end off to read those words. (Side story: I returned in January and saw the room and thought, “I don’t *think* I cleaned up before I left.” But once I got into bed and noticed the hospital corners — that’s how I KNEW someone had cleaned my room. I would NEVER do that! Sarah, if you’re reading — now I always make hospital corners!)


In getting the kitchen remodeled, I was finally able to put things in places that made sense to me. One thing I hadn’t yet tackled (among others) was collecting my recipes.


How I Finally Corralled All My Loose Recipes


Now I know that everything is digital these days, and I cook with my laptop on the counter at least one night a week, but just like having books around, I need to see and hold my favorite recipes. The ones I find online that I really like, I usually print out.

I had a 9″x13″ photo album/binder that I had stuffed 15 years worth of recipe cutouts and things I had jotted down on everything from your typical recipe cards to post-its to napkins. It was driving me crazy that I had to rifle though a thousand recipes to get to the one I wanted, and that everything was falling all over the place. Furthermore, the pile made my little exposed cookbook cubby in the new kitchen look like crap.


Ugliness & Clutter = Anxiety and Stress


I sorted through my album for the recipes that were true keepers and ended up with this stack.


How I Organized All My Loose Recipes in One Binder


Additionally, my mom gave me a 7″x9″ book of recipes with favorite family recipes when the HH and I tied the knot nearly 17 (!!) years ago. It’s been well-loved and the cover had long-since fallen off.


How I Organized All My Loose Recipes in One Binder


I looked for a recipe keeper that would cover all the bases — something that could handle all the different sizes of my recipes, dividers and tabs that made sense without creating a lot of thought (i.e. hurting brain) for me, and something aesthetically pleasing.

A lot recipe keepers were too country-style, but I found this one on Amazon I liked.


How I Organized All My Loose Recipes in One Binder


There are a few different colors available, but I liked the nice, clean, plain look of the grey.


What I also liked about this was that it came with 12 tab dividers & 20 sticker labels with categories — so you can pick and choose which are most pertinent to your own collection.


How I Organized All My Loose Recipes in One Binder


For instance, I definitely used the BRUNCH label (we do brunch on Saturdays and Sundays at the Mitchell maison!), but I didn’t use the VEGETABLE label, because I wanted to file my vegetable dishes under SIDES.


How I Organized All My Loose Recipes in One Binder


You have to order page protector inserts, so I got a couple packages of the full page and the half-page protectors.


How I Organized All My Loose Recipes in One Binder


The half-page (I got the 4×6 sheets) protectors worked great for my recipes on notecards and post-its!


How I Organized All My Loose Recipes in One Binder


I took a quick video for you to see the final result!



Do you have a recipe junk box/binder/bin that’s driving you crazy? I’m sure that I’m not alone.

A pin to remember me by!


How I Finally Organized My Loose Recipes


I’ll be back next week with that reveal, and stay tuned for a big announcement — something that many of you have been requesting for quite some time is in the works!

See you next Saturday!







7 thoughts on “The Organizing Task I Tackled Without Getting Out of Bed”

  1. Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry that you had to go to the ER! That is NOT a pleasant experience, but I’m glad you are feeling better.
    Great idea on organizing recipes!

  2. I JUST did this myself with a very similar notebook from Amazon. It is awesome! Glad you’re getting better!

    1. Thanks, Becky! Touch and go. Still trying to figure out what’s going on, but at least I’m out of bed most of the time. Hope you’re enjoying your recipe binder as much as I intend to! You know what they say about “great minds”….

  3. I couldn’t help but notice in the picture of your recipe pile, the one for ‘Best beef stew in a crockpot’! With this cold weather, I would love to see this!! I am a new subscriber, enjoyed this post. Glad you’re on the mend.

    1. It IS cold today!! Here’s the recipe for Best Crockpot Beef Stew. I’ve tried loads, and I’ve been cooking this one for a few years now. I actually really like the peas and corn thrown in 🙂 It’s awesome with my mom’s Vermont Maple Cornbread recipe.

  4. Amy, this is such great ideas, amazing!!! I’m wondering what would your way be of executing tile layout options. 3×6 subway tile for walls and 1 inch hex for floor… go well together but let’s pick 3” hex floor and then 3×6 wall instantly looks off scale. Personal favorites, any tips, thoughts? Amy, no one writes about tiny caps and finishing trims for wall bead boards. I’m at loss. And they can make or brake ANY design. Such an important topic. I’m so interested to have a look at your process of designing a bathroom. I’m sure you mastered many tricks!!! Could teach me, pretty please?

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