How to Organize Recipes (Free Printable Recipe Binder Covers)

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finally organize your recipes with this free printable recipe binder with choice of covers!

One lament I hear all the time when it comes to decluttering is just how difficult it is to discard books. As a former librarian and book lover, I totally get it. After I shared about how to declutter books the KonMari way, the emails started flooding in begging for help in one particular area– RECIPES. Since recipes crosses both the book (cookbook) category as well as the paper category, I thought it would be a good one to tackle today (particularly with the holiday cooking and baking season coming!) Plus, it’s been awhile since we shared a free printable and I hate to leave you hanging so I created three choices of recipe binder covers for you to choose from (keep scrolling for the link to download them.)

Now let’s dive into the decluttering! As mentioned previously, I kept only a few much-loved cookbooks. Most recipes can be found digitally nowadays so I mostly organize mine on Pinterest. Since I have so many, I have five Pinterest boards which hold all my online recipes– making  them easy to find. Here are links to those boards for an idea of what’s in each:

Recipes: Healthy

Recipes: Holiday

Recipes: Indulgent

Recipes: Slowcooker

Recipes: Cocktail Hour

Of course, not all recipes are on Pinterest. Those that are pulled out of magazines, handwritten by grandmothers, or photocopied from cookbooks are still precious and useful. Mine were shoved into a shoebox, ensuring that not only would I not use them, but it was impossible to put my hands on anything quickly. So, it was time to organize them and it only took about two hours. It’s a project I wish I’d tackled much sooner!

finally organize your recipes with this free printable recipe binder with choice of covers!

TIP: If you only like a few recipes from a particular cookbook, photocopy them and let go of that cookbook. Why waste the space when you only want a couple of recipes? You can also scan and upload to Pinterest to really go paperless if you wish.

finally organize your recipes with this free printable recipe binder with choice of covers!

Here’s the basic supplies:

3-ring binder with clear cover (I used a one inch but depending on how many recipes you have you may need a 2 inch)

plastic page protectors

index dividers (you may need two sets)

label maker (optional, but I love how neat it makes the labels look)

free printable recipe binder covers (see below)

Step One: Gather all your paper recipes. Photocopy favorites from your cookbooks, then discard the cookbook. Go through and decide which ones you will actually make and toss the rest. My preferences have changed drastically in the past few years so I ended up discarding a lot!

Step Two: Sort recipes by category. Here’s the categories I found most helpful, and I used my label maker to create a tag for each:

  • Beverages
  • Appetizers
  • Soups, Salads, Sandwiches
  • Side Dishes
  • Main Dishes (can break this down further by category: meat, poultry, seafood, etc.)
  • Breakfast
  • Desserts

Step Three: Insert recipes into plastic protectors and place in binder by category. Use dividers labeled with each category to divide them. Print one of the free printable recipe binder covers and add to the front:

Click Here to Access the Free Recipe Covers

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That’s it! After a few hours of work, you have now (hopefully) discarded most of your cookbooks and old recipes you’ll never make. Then you’ve organized the ones you DO love so you have them at your fingertips whenever needed.

finally organize your recipes with this free printable recipe binder with choice of covers!

You, my friend, are an organizing ROCKSTAR.

Start our KonMari Method Decluttering series from the beginning!

  1. How This Little Book will Change Your Life (Plus a KonMari Method Cheat Sheet)
  2. Free Printable KonMari Decluttering Checklist
  3. 10 Steps to Declutter Your Clothing Once and For All
  4. How to Organize Your Underwear Drawer
  5. How to Declutter Books and Magazines
  6. How to Organize Recipes (you are here)

finally organize your recipes with this free printable recipe binder with choice of covers!

This post is sponsored by my Young Living business! Check out my essential oils page for more information on how you can get these amazing oils in your hands too along with helpful freebies, a gift from me, and tons of support:

Young Living Essential Oils Starter Kit

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  1. Thank you for sharing the recipe covers. I purchased a pink binder and have been looking and looking for a pre-designed cover. The floral one is so pretty and just what I was looking for!

  2. Thank you for the inspiration to get me started with this binder. I am having an issue with the set of index dividers do not stick out far enough after I use the sheet protected pages in my binder. Do I have the correct kind of index dividers? Are there more than one kind?

  3. Hi! Absolutely love the floral cover!
    Just wondering, what was the font you used for it?

  4. I LOVE the floral cove! thank you so much for sharing it! which dividers do you use for your recipe binder? I also use the plastic sheet protectors and The Avery ones I bought on Amazon didn’t stick out far enough and were too tiny to be legible.

    1. I have that problem too and it was driving me crazy, so I ended up using the Post-It note tabs and printing labels for them using my label maker.

    2. I have found very sturdy extra wide dividers at my Staples store. Each divider was a different color so that was nice. They were available with 5 tabs or 8 tabs. I even found some extra wide with a pocket on the front.

  5. Hi Carrie,

    Thanks for the floral cover. I am trying to find it in a spine size as well. Do you have one or know where I can find one please?

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