Instant Inspiration

ONE organized shelf!

 I didn’t plan to do this, but look! Last night I was cleaning up the kitchen a little (super-inspired by Mr. RSS who was a dish-cleaning rock star). Excellent!  

But when I went to put the cookbooks away I couldn’t get them all to fit and the shelf was a mess with about a 3 inch stack of misc. recipe printouts, receipts, and sales flyers sitting on top of the disheveled cookbooks.

Normally, I might have added the cookbooks on top of the stack of papers, or maybe  just stack them on the island, or a stool or something.

But I was instantly inspired!

I said to myself, “No! Not this time! I will clean this ONE shelf and make everything fit or I will get rid of it!

It’s just too bad that I wasn’t inspired to grab my camera before I cleaned it up, because I love before and after pictures! Doesn’t everyone?

The best I could find to get a little “before” peek, is this one from Christmas, but you can’t see the impressive stack of papers on top of the cookbooks. But you can see 2 of my cute kids and some other messy stuff. 🙂

Super cheese smile from my boy.

Then scroll back up and look at that beautiful shelf! Much better! I threw some things away (or recycled), filed (sort of) some recipes, one cookbook moved to Mr. RSS’s office, and one is ready to leave the house!

I do think I could get rid of a few more cookbooks, but I think this is very good for now. If they all fit on one shelf, I am happy!

Where do you keep your cookbooks? Do you have a bunch or just a few?


7 Comments on “Instant Inspiration”

  1. Abigail says:

    Well done! I DO love before and after pictures.

    I keep my cookbooks in the cabinet above the fridge next to the cereal boxes. It tends to keep us limited to only 3 varieties of cereal at any one time.

    I have…let me count…12 cook books, 1 recipe binder, 2 phone books and one random book up there. But I really only use the binder and 3 of the cookbooks.

  2. I know what that shelf used to look like, so I can just do a before and after in my head. Good job!!

  3. Thanks, Ladies! More to come!

  4. Kimberly says:

    Excellent work, my friend!!

  5. WilliamB says:

    Came here from Frugal Girl and find myself reading all your posts. I’m always interested in how other people organize. Some parts of my world are very organized (I could just about anything in my kitchen blindfolded, including canned food), others not so (cough-desk-cough).

    One thing I’m extremely organized about is cookbooks. I have a designated space in the kitchen for cookbooks. In my younger days I could expand the space to fit the cookbooks, now they have to fit in the 4 shelves I’ve allocated.

    I process a cookbook like this: I read the text and eyeball the recipes, marking each recipe I want to try with a Post-It “page marker” (putting in the url messed up the comment formatting, so I deleted it); on the flag I write a 3-4 word description of the recipe such as “chix, ginger, kale.” I put this Post-It along the top of the page; if I like the recipe the Post-It moves to the right side, if I don’t I throw it away. Makes it easy to see what recipes I want to try or liked. BTW I don’t do this for big general cookbooks such as JOY or Best Recipe.

    Recently I added a refinement. I entered all my recipes into a spreadsheet: cookbook name, rough category (only 6-8 such as baking, asian, general, chix), and recipe title from the Post-It, “try” or “keep.” Now I can search the spreadsheet rather than pulling down cookbooks, when looking for a recipe that uses kale.

    Marking a big cookbook can take a few hours but it doesn’t have to be done all at once. Making the spreadsheet took about an hour for my 80+ cookbooks and 700+ marked recipes.

    For my own recipes and ones from online, I keep them in a computer folder, with subfolders for major categories (try, mine own, dessert, soup, pots o’stuff, asian, …). I write the file title so the most important word is first: chix, cookies, bread, pork – so I can peruse like with like. If I like the recipe I print it out and put it in a 3 ring binder, protected with a sheet protector. Of course the binder has “chapters” such as dessert, chix, asian, breadstuffs. I clip the protected page to my recipe holder, assured the mess of cooking won’t destroy the page.

    So this was long but I hope helpful.

  6. Dede Bliss says:

    I LOVE cookbooks! Too many to count. I’m have a built in desk in the dining room with two shelves for them. I can’t remember what movie I watched last week, but I know which cookbook has what recipe I like, and which to look in if I want to try something new. Funny how our minds work. I also get them from the library all the time. My new favorite is Jamie Oliver. I love watching “Oliver’s Twist” on Netflix.

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