Paper Clutter: Recipes

On our journey to clear the clutter and live a life filled with spaces that spark joy, an area that often gets overlooked is the recipe binder.  We tear pages from magazines, collect index cards, and print out recipes from online.  Not to mention our Pinterest boards and bookmarked recipes.  With all of this clutter and searching wouldn't it be nice to have everything neatly and uniformly all in one place?


This all started when I moved and packed up my recipe binder in the process.  My furniture and most of my possessions sat in storage for a month and half while I lived in a rental, sleeping on an air mattress and using a laundry hamper as a combination dresser/closet.  Many days I regretted packing up my recipe book because I brought all my food, but was unable to make my favorite dishes.  Sure, I used to have an app for my recipes which was awesome until they decided to bombard me with other people's recipes and urge me to make recipe keeping a social affair.  I didn't want people to like my recipes and add me as a friend.  I simply wanted my recipes on my phone so that when I was out at the grocery store I could open my recipes and see the items I would need to buy for that meal.  Or if I was staying in a cabin over the holidays I'd still be able to whip up our Christmas favorites.  The app was deleted and I was left back at square one.

I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I didn't want to purchase a recipe holder with only a certain amount of cards or pages with only a certain amount of physical space in which to keep them.  I wanted to make it my own.  I wanted something simple and neat and me.  And I wanted every page to match!  Which is why I decided to digitize my recipes, and I believe you should too.

Simply open your word processor (I use Apple Pages because it allows for more design) and get to work!  You can make it totally your own.  Any background, font, colors, pictures; you're not limited by anything!  I went with a simple pastel gradient and two of my favorite fonts.  I also included  a "tags" section at the bottom of each recipe so that I could easily search for "Thanksgiving" when I need all my go-to feast recipes or "chicken" if I have some that's about to expire and need to cook it up tonight.

Add tags to your recipes to search them with ease.

After you complete your recipe book in your word processor simply export it as a PDF.  You can then email it from your computer browser to yourself and open it on your iPhone.  Hold down on the PDF attachment and when the menu pops up hit "Copy to iBooks".  You will then have access to your recipes anytime, anywhere without relying on apps to update or having a good internet connection.  And when you've cooked up something fabulous and someone asks for the recipe, you can simply screen shot it from your phone and text it on its way.

The process is initially time consuming but so worth it to get rid of all of those papers!  Each piece I remove from my home makes me feel lighter both physically and mentally, even if it's just a scrap of paper.  Gone are the days of flipping through endless pages in a binder, knowing only that your favorite casserole dish is somewhere under the tab "Main Dishes".  My kitchen cupboard is a little bit clearer and I can find whatever recipe I need in an instant.  It's been a total win, win, win.

Have you converted to a digital recipe book?  I'd love to see it!  Post here or tag me on instagram! @designorganizeparty

The Little Blue Book that Started it All

Okay, so it's not all blue.  It's got some white in there too, but as the title states, it really did change my life.  I, of course, am referring to Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  I read it in a matter of days and then I read it over and over again, highlighting my favorite passages and making notes.   The only thing about the book that didn't make sense was why no one else thought of it first. Why not fill our homes and spaces with the things that bring us joy?  It was so simple.  And so life changing.

I saw myself in Marie Kondo.  I wasn't as obsessed with organization and I wouldn't dare get rid of things that belonged to my family, especially my parents!  But the parallels were there.  I was the weird kid in Target that spent time not looking at the toys inside the boxes, but how the boxes looked on the shelves.  I would sit there and make sure every toy was in its place on its correct sku and in the proper bin.  To this day my siblings are quick to give me a "No!" every time I offer to help them clean their spaces.  I'm not sure why--it might have something to do with the fact that I can't shove something under a bed or my thinking that messes hidden behind closets still means the room is messy even though it appears spotless.  I'm quick to suggest getting rid of unused things and organizing down to every last piece of paper and trinket.  My parents were always shocked that cleaning my room took hours when in their minds it was a quick, thirty-minute clean up.  But I know that it's not clean and tidy until you can open up every drawer and every cupboard and nothing is out of place.

I don't know where this love of order and organization comes from, but it's a part of me.  Through her words, KonMari has inspired me to start this blog where I can share my visions, ideas, and passion for organizing as well as designing and entertaining.  Follow along so we can design, organize, and party together!