Anyone who cooks has recipes. Whether you concoct gourmet meals to feed your family every night or you only have time to occasionally make cookies, you need a recipe. If you’re like most people, you probably have at least a handful of recipes passed down from one generation to the next. These are usually put into a recipe card box. But if that box isn’t organized, you’ll have a hard time finding the one you need. If you’re looking to get organized, keep reading.
The first thing you need to do is to get all your recipes onto cards that will fit in your box. These can be as simple as 3×5 note cards. Or for something fancier, you can get designer recipe cards. There are even a few places online where you can customize your own to say “From Tara’s Kitchen” or whatever else you want. Having the same size cards will help you sort through and locate things quickly.
Once you have all the entries compiled, check to see if they all fit in the recipe box you have. After gathering everything together, you may find that you need another container. Here you have two choices. You can purchase a second box similar to your first. Or you could look for a recipe container large enough to hold every recipe you have. When choosing, you may want to look for one that has category dividers. These will help you get and stay organized while also serving as a guide to find items quickly. If your box doesn’t have dividers, you can order them online for as little as three dollars.
After gathering all your supplies, it’s time to assess. Do you have any recipes that could use re-writing? After time, cards tend to get splattered on and faded. Having legible instructions is important when you’re attempting to cook; you wouldn’t want to miss a step because you couldn’t read it. Free templates are available if you prefer to type rather than hand write the ingredients and instructions. This is also a good time to seriously consider laminating all of your recipes. Doing so will protect them from tearing, fading, and splashing. Laminated recipes will last longer and can be passed down for generations. A great laminator for this is the GBC HeatSeal 9″ Creative Laminator. It heats up in only six minutes, so you can quickly get the job done. With a nine inch opening, you can laminate multiple recipes at once. And it’s affordably priced at under $25.00. Whether you go with our suggestion or use your own machine, a laminator is definitely a worthwhile investment if you want your recipes to last.
Now is when you can start arranging your entries into categories. If you’re using dividers, you can go with the categories provided. Or you may want to alphabetize them. It’s up to you to discover the easiest way to find what you’re looking for. And since you’re not creating a bound book, you can rearrange them as needed. One thing we’d recommend is to take a few minutes to create an index. This will help you find things quickly. Alphabetize your index list and note where in your box each recipe is located, whether it’s under “Meats” or “Entrees”. You may find recipes that are missing or lacking during this process; now is the time to retrieve them so you have a complete listing. Once everything is arranged, simply put them all in the box in order. It may help to alphabetize within each category for swift location.
Congratulations, you did it! If you followed these steps, you should now have a nice, organized recipe box. Now go get cooking!