How to Organize Recipes and Cookbooks

How to organize your favorite cookbook recipes

As we dive into this new year let’s tackle one thing on our list of resolutions… get more organized!

I recently spent some time organizing my home office and when it was all said and done I was left with a giant pile of recipes and cookbooks that needed to be better organized!  Can anyone else relate?

I love collecting vintage cookbooks, new cookbooks, printing recipes from blogs, and saving recipes from magazines… but then I’m left with quite a mess!

I’ve happily partnered with Avery Products to help me get a handle on my recipe and cookbook organization!

How to organize vintage cookbooks and recipes

I love vintage cookbooks and have fun picking them up at antique stores or simply scrolling through ebay.  So many classic dessert recipes originated in the 1940s-1960s and I love finding the original sources of recipes that are still popular today!

Additionally, I am so blessed to be in the food blogging world and have many talented friends who’ve written cookbooks… so my collection of new cookbooks seems to be ever growing as well!

My night stand is more often piled high with cookbooks than novels!

With a large collection of cookbooks it’s hard to keep track of my favorite recipes, or bookmark all the recipes I’d like to try!

I recently stocked up on Avery Ultra Tabs and was able to make some great progress in labeling recipes I want to easily find.

Avery Ultra Tabs are self-adhesive tabs that are sturdy, repositionable, and have a smudge free surface for writing!  The tabs come in several sizes and colors, so they’re perfect for organization at home, work and school.

For organizing cookbook recipes you could choose one color to represent recipes you want to try, and another color for recipes you’ve already tried and love!  Or, use a color coding system to mark recipes of different types, such as one color for cake, one color for cookie ideas and another color for dinner recipes.

Or simply write directly on the tab with the recipe title, or your note about the recipe.

How to keep old recipes and cookbooks organized

Once I’d labeled my cookbook recipes it was time to move to all the recipes I’ve printed from websites and blogs, and cut out from magazines.

I even print recipes from my own blog because I generally prefer to work off a printed recipe than have the iPad or phone with me in the kitchen.  Yes, I realize that sounds funny from someone who makes their living from a website (this one!)… but I still love to have my hands on paper!

How to organize recipes from blogs

I started with an Avery Durable View Binder and a set of 5-Tab Dividers with pockets. I labeled the dividers with the recipe categories I needed (Cakes, Cookies & Bars, Appetizers, Salads, and Dinners). Yes, in my world “Cakes” should always be prioritized before “Dinner.” =)

I put the printed recipes in Avery Sheet Protectors…perfect for protecting the recipes from inevitable spills in the kitchen.

Now I have all of my favorite recipes from blogs and magazines in one place! Horay!

How to sort and organize old recipes

Organizing my cookbooks and printed recipes has me feeling super inspired to make lots of delicious new things this year, and I’m excited I’ll be able to find my old favorites without searching through my whole house!  =)

I’d love to hear any tips you have on keeping track of your favorite recipes, and I’d love to hear what cookbooks you go back to again and again for your favorite recipes!

Happy baking and organizing!

Disclosure – This post is sponsored by Avery Products.  Partnering with brands I love allows me to provide you high quality content at no cost to you.  I only work with brands I use and love.  All images, text and opinions are my own.


  1. I have that vintage baking cookbook (the yellow and black plaid)! It was my mothers:)

  2. GREAT tips that I actually used a few years ago when I organized my 1000+ Cookbook Collection & Zillion collected Recipes I found it most helpful to organize my favorite recipes from books, by printing a copy of the recipe that I loved, and file it in a ring binder labeled with categories. I also wrote the origin of the recipe on the print out for future reference. This way I do not have to go searching through 100’s of books to find “the recipe.” I also wanted this to be helpful for my kids, if they need to find a recipe in the future and I could no longer remember the source(senile moment!). I like printing the recipes out because I don’t ruin the binder of the book by leaving it open too long to follow a recipe, and I can write on my copy (tweek the recipe.)
    I found Avery Products a life saver!!! I really like their sheet protectors, very sturdy and not flimsy like other brands. I also like the Ultra tabs for organizing my binders.

  3. Hi Glory, I do this exact thing! I have four binders now! The first one was just 3X5″ cards, and goes way back to my 20’s, I liked the format of a binder better than a recipe card box. The fattest one is called “The Yum-Yum Book”, it has categories /sections for all things that are not dessert. I had to create one for just desserts a long time ago, so that’s #3. Then, there’s the most recent binder, that’s all gluten-free. These recipes in the binders are ALL ones I make frequently, or else I have made them at least once, and they were delicious enough to save and make again. I LOVE them being in the plastic sheet protectors! Now, I also have many recipes I have torn out of magazines, or printed, just waiting to be made! These are in a box. I have had an entire dresser drawer of recipes like this, that in a fit of disgust with myself, I have dumped the entire drawer into the trash before! This was before recycling became a thing. Because, when I start to go through these, intending to just keep a few, I get sidetracked again and again! They all sound so good, but there’s only so much time!
    As for favorite recipe books, I love my “Christmas With Southern Living” annual cookbooks. They have both great recipes, and Christmas decor, how can you go wrong? I bought many of them as back issues on Amazon, for as little as one cent (TRUE!) plus $3.99 shipping, in great condition, as used books. I also love America’s Test Kitchen, and King Arthur Flour cookbooks. And there’s this Glorious one I am especially fond of,…
    I have MANY cookbooks, as I am an addict, it’s true! I have given many away, ones I didn’t use, over the years.
    I love the Avery labels with the prints on them! My tabs for sure need replacing, I will go get these! Thanks! Nancy

  4. After collecting recipes for years….this is EXACTLY what I need!

  5. This is so smart! I totally need this to get everything organized!

  6. So many great tips here Glory! I love those cute tabs!

  7. Great tips. I love the pretty colored tabs!

  8. These are such great tips Glory! I need to organize my recipes SO BAD!! They are a huge mess! And I just keep buying more!! hahaha, it’s vicious yet pleasant cycle.

  9. I totally needed to see this post today! My recipes are a huge mess, I just use a manilla folder and cram everything in them. This is genius!

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