Friday, January 7, 2011

Week 1 Organizing Challenge

It's the first week of the 52 Weeks of Organizing Challenge. I love a good challenge, and I most definitely could use a little help in the organizing department. I think the main reason I cannot get (or stay) organized is because I am looking for perfection, not functionality. What I mean by this is that I will spend hours arranging and rearranging cupboards and spaces, but I never commit to a solution because I'm always looking for a better solution, even when the solution I've come up with is completely functional and fine...If only I would commit...Get what I mean? Like most people, I also tend to get overwhelmed with the "big spaces" organizing the entire kitchen, entire closet, etc. Instead, if I broke it down to one shelf, one cupboard, one drawer, the task would look a lot less daunting. That is what I'm loving about this challenge. One shelf, one drawer, one cupboard. Organizing is a process. If you just take baby steps, eventually you'll get there. I recently came up with a handwritten list of 52 projects to do, and I hope to write them down here on my blog somewhere when I get the time to type up the list. Writing down the goal is half the battle, I'm convinced.

My Week 1 Challenge: Organize/Go Through Cookbooks and Cookbook Cupboard

I can't believe I forgot to take a before picture. I guess I was just too eager to get going! It might not look like much to you, but this cupboard was WAY too stuffed full of books. The cookbooks were stacked (or rather, shoved) horizontally before I got control. I got rid of several of the cookbooks I've never used. That was hard for me because I love looking through cookbooks. It's like a hobby for me. However, the reality is that I can find nearly any recipe online, and some of those cookbooks I haven't looked through in years. It was time to let go. I don't know why it's so hard to let go of stuff sometimes. After all, it's just stuff. Sometimes I fear that if I get rid of something, I'll regret it later and then have to dish out money to buy a replacement. Although this is possible, I make myself look at it another way. 1) A cookbook isn't overly expensive to replace. 2) I haven't looked through them in years; chances are good I won't need them again 3) I picture a beautiful, clutter-free shelf where I can quickly and easily find what I want, when I want it, saving me time and stress.

One thing I did to save me a lot of space was to put my 2 recipe binders into 1 binder. It was a bit of a challenge because one recipe binder held the recipes I printed off the internet and the other held recipe cards, handwritten from friends and family as wedding shower gift, which I didn't want to transfer to typed out papers. To make a long story short, I came up with a solution to keep them all (both printed and handwritten recipes) in the same binder.

I am very pleased with the results! I may get up the courage to get rid of 1 or 2 more books, but for now, they all fit neatly and nicely, so I'm happy. When I get some more time, I'll type out and post my 52 organizing projects.


Martha (MM) said...

I'm playing along too. Should be a fun and productive 52 weeks!

Anonymous said...

I had 10 years worth of Bon Apetit mags that I finally went through and pulled the recipes I thought I would try and then recycled them. I know what you mean about getting rid of stuff, only to maybe have to buy them, but at this point, I so want an organized home I am willing to take that chance.

Psalms 91 is my favorite. I opened my bible up with my eyes closed and pointed to it when I was about 15. Now my daughter has an entire book written about that chapter.

Anonymous said...

How did you resolve the issue of printed recipes and cards? I still have multiple binders because of that same issue and I'm beginning to forget which binder the recipe is in.

Jenna said...

Hey Kelly,

I originally had 2 binders. One with printed off recipes, which was organized into tabbed sections (appetizers, beverages, soups/salads, main dishes, breads, desserts/cookies, and so forth. My other binder contained recipe cards given to me as some of my bridal showers. I didn't have very many of them, so keeping them in a separate binder like I had been doing was a waste of space and made finding recipes a pain. However, one binder was smaller than the other, so things didn't transfer nicely to one binder. What I ended up doing was putting the recipe cards into photo album pages (the plastic sheets with 2 pockets you can buy at walmart), and then I used a 3 hole puncher to punch holes in it to match up with the holes in the binder I planned on keeping.I then placed those pages holding my recipe cards in the appropriate tabbed sections. I have extra plastic sheets in case I ever receive more handwritten recipes. The plastic pages are slightly smaller in size than my other recipes printed from the computer, but this system seems to be working well so far for me. Hope that made sense!

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