Thursday, January 20, 2011

Neat and simple

Organization seems to be a popular theme for bloggers at this time of the year, with everyone wanting a fresh start to the new year.  I thought I would share my system for organizing recipes and household ideas. 

I like to use 3-ring binders because they allow so much versatility.  I just spiffed up the one for my recipes and menus.  The old one was too small, so I  found larger 3-ring-binder that I already had, went through some old office supplies for dividers, and used some scrapbook paper and stickers that I already had on hand.  Cost of the project:  $0

The dividers are a mish mash of designs, but that doesn't bother me.  As long as I have a system, I can overlook it.  Besides, did I mention the materials were 'free'?
I created sections that make sense for me:  main meals, side dishes, desserts!, for my everday recipes.  I like to keep things simple.  Then, I added a section with a pocket for my coupons and blank sheets to plan a weekly menu.  Finally, there are sections for holiday recipes, and -- this one I find very useful -- menus and notes that I've used for special occasions in the past.  This way when I'm planning a special dinner, I can reference back to what I fixed last year for that particular holiday, or what I prepared the last time we had a special family or friend gathering.

I have two other binders.  One is for Home & Garden, where I keep records for my garden, such as the tags from rosebushes so I can remember what I have! and gardening tips that I cut out of magazines or the paper.  There's a section on organizational tips, gift ideas to make or buy, holiday decorating, and just general home care such as cleaning guides and maintenance tips.

Finally, the third notebook is full of decorating ideas.  I have a section for each room in the house with paint and fabric swatches of materials we've used or ideas that I want to use.  This notebook is loaded with  magazine clippings, from curtains I like to wall arrangements for family photos or plate collections, to light fixtures or flooring samples.  Will I ever use all of these ideas?  Probably not, but it's fun collecting them and I do see patterns emerging as to what styles and colors I really like.
So, that's my system.  Not terribly unique or fancy, but it works for me!

5 comments:

Country Dreaming said...

Great ideas!
I have a binder specifically for Menus because I pick one up wherever we go. My recipes have their own binders.

Happy Friday.

Melinda

Rizzi said...

HI KAREN,
WHAT A TERRIFIC IDEA, I AM TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING, "GET ORGANIZED", I LIKE YOUR IDEA, VERY SENSIBLE, YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHERE EVERYTHING IS, THESE DAYS I FORGET SO MUCH, THIS WOULD BE PERFECT. I ALSO LIKED THE WAY YOU COVERED THEM AND MADE THEM SO PRETTY. I MUST TRY SOMETHING LIKE THIS. THANKS FOR SUCH A GREAT IDEA. LOVE, AUNT RIZ
PS..JACKIE LIKES IT TOO, SHE ALSO IS GOING TO TRY IT.

Gattina said...

I did the same loooooong time ago in the first years of marriage. After 41 years I just cook what comes through my mind, lol !

Susanne said...

I am soooo impressed, Karen! I really like the idea of keeping the menus and notes you've used for past special occasions. Very good idea. I think I'll steal the home and garden book idea too.

Jen said...

Make me one and fly out here and show me what to do with it....really neat idea...i love it...