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{Let’s Organize: 2012} Week 5: Recipes

11 Feb

This week marks the end of Week 5 of  Let’s Organize: 2012 – organizing the recipes. I don’t know about you, but I have lots of recipes – some digital, some written, some in books, some in my brain… – and no good way to store them. Yikes! As I sorted through my recipes, I categorized what I had as such: Cookbooks, Recipe Cards, and Digital Recipes. So here goes:

{Cookbooks}

Despite the fact that a lot of recipes I use are family recipes, or ones I find online and in magazines, I still have a great collection of cookbooks – and a collection I couldn’t part with just yet! I simply organized these guys by lining them up neatly behind a closed cabinet door, because I had the space.

However, I know some of you don’t have storage space for that – or, you want to display them. I found great inspiration from Ms Smartie Pants this week. Check out the amazing {and adorable} way she organized her cookbooks:

{Recipe Cards}

Recipe Cards – in a cute little box – are a great way to store foodie ideas. If you don’t have these now, it’s the perfect time to invest. One of my favorite organizers comes from 1canoe2 @ etsy:

Letterpress Recipe Cards and Recipe Box

Recipe card holders and organizers are a great way to keep ideas safe; they are easy to store and easy to find. With TWO other ways to store recipes – like cookbooks {above} and digital copies {below} – it might seem silly to keep these cards too. But in some cases, the cards are sentimental – passed down from family and friends. And they hold a vintage quality you can’t find in a computer screen or on your iPad…

I have a great recipe card box full of wisdom and love thanks to my brilliant Aunt: at my bridal shower a few years ago, she asked every guest to handwrite and bring one of their favorite family recipes on a designated card. At the shower, she filled a beautiful box with those recipes and handed them over to me. I love it!

If you’re wanting to go the frugal, DIY route with recipe cards, check out Skip to My Lou’s Recipe Card Maker. Cute, perfect, & an easy way to print and go without paying a ton of $$:

{Digital}

And finally, there are lots of digital recipes flying around these days… internet websites, digital magazines, e-mails, and more. I found a few ways to organize and streamline my recipes digitally:

The first is through an app I found for my iPad called Personal Cookbook. It’s free {wahoo!}, and allows you to take all of those recipes you have saved across your inbox, online bookmarks, and in your brain, and store them in one place. Then, prop your iPod up in the kitchen and viola. An organized cooking extravaganza!

Secondly, I decided to take my digital recipes and turn them into a book {going full circle, maybe?}. My mother’s side of the family has passed down Holiday recipes for generations – and good ones at that! But right now, the way these recipes are stored is a bit askew. Every gal in the family stores them differently – some are on recipe cards, some are text documents, some are saved via e-mail, some scribbled on napkins, etc etc.

So, in the organizing spirit, I started a new photo book on Blurb.com {so in love with that site!}: one to hold and display all of our family recipes in one, easy place. It’s still in progress, but once it’s done, anyone in the family can have a copy to use and love. Here’s a taste of what I’ve done so far:

Did you organize your recipes this week? How did it go?

Share your progress below!

{Let’s Organize: 2012} Pantry: Recap & Link Party

28 Jan

Challenge #3 of  Let’s Organize: 2012 is finally done! And boy, am I glad it is. My pantry was one of the messiest areas to tackle yet. Check it out:

Before:
{For the record, this is TOTALLY embarrassing.}

After:

Here are some of the products I fell in love with this week while in organization-mode. Some of them, I used in my kitchen. Others didn’t work for my space, but I’m seriously in love with them. Maybe they’ll work for yours.

1. The OXO Good Grips POP Container Set from Amazon – these are terrific quality and keep your food super fresh. Amazon sells the containers in 5 and 10 piece sets, but I was able to find mine for almost 50% off at TJ Maxx.

2. The Organized Kitchen by Brette Sember – newly published and full of useful information. Even better, right now it’s on sale for 35% off via Amazon.

3. An Undershelf Placemat Holder from The Container Store – how cool is this?!

4. Target’s Storage Sterilite Crate 6-piece set – this comes in loads of fun colors, like the turquoise color you see above, and in lime green. Plus, the price is great at $19.99 for a set of 6 crates.

5. The Spectrum Small Storage Basket in Chrome via Amazon – baskets like this are perfect for organization because you can see through them {i.e. you know what is where!}. These crates also have a cute little spot for labels, which I love.

6. The Gravity Feed Can Rack from The Container Store – an easy and simple way to store cans. Less space, more efficiency.

 


{Let’s Organize: 2012}: Week 3: Pantry & Food Storage

23 Jan

Well, folks: Week 2 is done and we are {finally} on to Week 3… organizing our Kitchen Pantry & Food Storage. I have to say… this will be my biggest challenge yet. Our pantry is not pretty…

Think About it.
How should you organize the pantry? What foods to you use everyday? What foods do you only need to take out occasionally? Are there items kiddos or pets in your house should or should NOT get to? Where should those go?

Be Inspired.
This week, I’m finding awesome inspiration from The House of the Smiths. Talk about a fantastic pantry! I love the painted and stenciled walls in the little closet – but also love how neat and clean everything looks. Check it out:

Set the Rules {& Keep them!} This week, I’m telling myself:

1. If it’s expired, THROW IT AWAY! Seriously, gross.
2. Bin it. Box it. Jar it. Consolidate!
3. Label, Label, Label! Neatly and Carefully {& remember to add expiration dates}.

What challenges do you face? What rules are you setting for yourself? Check back later this week, when I recap the project, share photos, & give you a chance to link to your projects.

Happy Organizing!

{Let’s Organize: 2012} Kitchen Cabinets: Recap & Link Party

21 Jan

Week Two of  Let’s Organize: 2012 is COMPLETE! And, finally, I can breathe a bit easier when I open my kitchen cabinets. What a difference small changes can make!

To give you an idea of what my drawers and cabinets looked like pre-project, here’s a quick “before & after” for you:

Before:

Knives on top of tongs… on top of spatulas… on top of whisks. Messy, and not super safe either. Who wants to stick their hand in a messy drawer full of sharp knives? Uh, NOT me.

After:

MUCH better! Still nowhere near perfect, but I love the fact that the Core Bamboo Knife Organizer I found on clearance @ HomeGoods {for $7!} has made the drawer so much easier to use!

Let’s take in the some of the other organizing success, shall we?

Silverware = Check!

Organized Dishes.

Cupcake Liners are all stored neatly in a jar now, thanks to a brilliant idea I found via Pinterest!

Here are some of the products I fell in love with this week while in organization-mode. Some of them, I used in my kitchen. Others didn’t work for my space, but I’m seriously in love with them. Maybe they’ll work for yours.

1. A Bakware Organizer from Crate & Barrel – because I love the idea of not having to take ALL of my baking sheets out in order to find the one I need.

2. A Madesmart Utensil Tray from the Container Store – I love the look of the clear trays {especially if you’re thinking about lining your drawers with colorful paper!}.

3. A Classic In-Drawer Knife Block from Core Bamboo. Safe & Functional is always a Win-Win.

4. Chevron Drawer Liners from Hammocks and High Tea – these are a splurge at $25, but BOY are they adorable!

5. The OXO Softworks 11″ Turn Table from Target – perfect for storing spices, frostings, sprinkles & more in your baking cabinet.

6. The Simple Human Medium Pull-Out Cabinet Organizer from the Container Store – also a total splurge, but I am in love with the functionality. Keep the under-the-sink space clean and organized, AND easy to reach with the bonus slide-out feature.

 


{Let’s Organize: 2012} Week 2: Kitchen Cabinets & Cupboards

17 Jan

Week 1 is complete! And now we are on to Week 2: organizing our Kitchen Cabinets and Cupboards.

Think About it.
What fills your cabinets, and why? What sections of the kitchen cabinets should be filled with what appliances, dishes, and products to make cooking, baking and cleaning easy? Are your pots and pans near your stove? Dishes near the sink and dishwasher?

Be Inspired.
This week, I’m finding serious inspiration from iHeartOrganizing. Her kitchen is PERFECT. Mine may not look as good as hers, but boy does it make me want to work harder! Take a look into her kitchen cabinets here.

 

{Whoa!}

{WOW.}

{Awesome!}

Set the Rules {& Keep them!} This week, I’m telling myself:

1. Keep it convenient – make sure items are organized well and easy to get to.
and {the same rules as last week here}:
2. If it’s a common item {baking sheets, appliances, etc} you don’t use at least once every 3 months, give it away.
3. If it’s a seasonal item {cookie cutters, cake pans, holiday aprons} you don’t use it at least once a year, give it away.
4. If it’s broken, THROW IT AWAY! Seriously, do it.

What challenges do you face? What rules are you setting for yourself? Check back later this week, when I recap the project, share photos, & give you a chance to link to your projects.

Happy Organizing!

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