Cookbook Decluttering Tips: Getting Started

Today on the Clear Your Clutter Inside & Out blog, I’m talking about cookbooks! Do you have lots of cookbooks, but only use a few recipes? Do you find a recipe you loved on Pinterest but now can’t find it? Learn organizing tips and declutter tips for your cookbooks and recipes.


Don’t forget to check out the second part of this blog on decluttering and organizing your cookbooks and recipes coming on May 31st.


A Survey from an article in the Telegraph in February 2015 found we own on average six recipe books, yet make the same nine meals over and over again. I find this really fascinating. Does this resonate with you?


If I were to bet, I would say most people own more than six cookbooks and have more than 9 recipes. What are your numbers?


No matter your numbers, you will benefit from decluttering and organizing your cookbooks and your recipes!

Cookbook Decluttering Tips: Clearing the Clutter

Take the time to go through all of your cookbooks. If you haven’t used it in the last year or two consider donating. Most libraries have sales and would love them or if you have a friend that loves to cook, considering finding a happy new home for your books.


If you use only a few recipes, keep those and release the cookbooks. You can take a picture and keep on your tablet; photocopy and file or rip out if you really need to. I use Pinterest to pin recipes I want to try. Any recipes that make the cut is put in my Evernote app so I can easily access it while cooking.


Consider creating an online cookbook. You can use something like Evernote to house all of your recipes or find another app that works for you. Because it has such a great search capability you can easily tag by ingredient, course or occasion—whatever will help you easily find it when searching?


Organizing Your Cookbooks

  • Organize books to match your style. Maybe you want all your cookbooks arranged by color because you’re very visual and you’ll immediately know what cookbook it is when you look at the spine.
  • Alphabetize by author, themes, geography, by dish.
  • By frequency. Maybe you have five cookbooks you use all the time and you want them within easy reach. When we downsized, we had a small pantry, so I keep the most used cookbooks in there and store the others above our laundry where we have cabinets.
  • By country, start your region or country, and then move in a logical direction that makes sense to you.

There is no right or wrong here, whatever works for you.

Storing Your Cookbooks

  • Make a book area. Personalize a kitchen with a shelf or area where you can keep books and sit down to read. Use bookends to keep from slumping and bindings breaking.
  • Open shelving or dedicate a cabinet to house all of your cookbooks. This is what I do. I have one cabinet that houses all my books and recipes.
  • Use a nearby area like I did to keep most of your cookbooks if space is tight and find an area to keep your most frequently used cookbooks.


TIP: Avoid placing near your stove or over your refrigerator or near your sink as your cookbooks can become damaged.


Something you will want to consider doing here: whatever system you are most likely to contain. If you are more likely to put back in a shelf than in a cabinet, use shelves!


How will you organize your cookbooks? What’s the best way for you to store your cookbooks? What cookbooks can you release?

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