Tips for Decluttering Cookbooks and Recipes {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 22} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Tips for Decluttering Cookbooks and Recipes {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 22}

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Tips for Decluttering Cookbooks and Recipes {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 22}

Today in the Decluttering Sentimental Items series and today we're decluttering cookbooks, recipe boxes, or recipe binders.  If you're using all your cookbooks or recipes, then they're not clutter. You can skip today :) But if you're not using them and they're collecting dust on a shelf and taking up space you could be using for something else, then they're clutter.

Why cookbooks and recipes are hard to let go of 

For some people these are very sentimental. It might be that you have recipes or cookbooks that were passed down from your mom or grandma and you don't want to let them go. Or maybe you used to love cooking and you used your cookbooks all the time, but now you don't cook as much, or you use more recipes you find online, but you don't want to let go of the books because they remind you of those times you used them more.

Here's Peter Walsh to talk more about why we like to keep cookbooks and a few tips for letting them go.

Tips for letting go of cookbooks and recipes 

Peter mentioned a few tips already but here are a few more:

  • If you have cookbooks that came from your parents or grandparents and you're ready to let them go, ask around to other family members to see if they would like them.
  • If you've been keeping cookbooks that only have a few recipes in them that you actually make, write or type those recipes out and keep them in a small binder or small recipe box.  Then you can donate the cookbooks.  
  • If you're having a hard time letting go of your cookbooks, think about how much space they take up and what you could use that space for instead.  Kitchens often feel cluttered, which can actually make us feel less motivated to cook.  So decluttering your cookbooks may help you enjoy cooking more often!  
  • Sometimes we have to make tough choices and evaluate our priorities to make our kitchens work for our lives now, instead of in the past. Here's a great example of that

Here are a few other tips from members of the 365 Items in 365 Days FB group:

  • "I have way too many cookbooks! I boxed up the majority when we were getting new counters and decided to leave them boxed to see how often I refer to them. I left out about 4 I knew I would want. So far I think I've only pulled out 3. That was last fall. So I am probably going to be passing the rest to my girls to pick through."
  • "I own two cookbooks.  I used to have more, but in the age of the internet, I don't see the need."
  • "I have lots of Woman's Day magazines with their monthly menus, which they've quit doing, so I am in the process of ending my subscription. But I still don't need to keep the whole magazines, so I'm going to go through, pull out the menus and get rid of the magazines."

Ways you can reuse/repurpose/display cookbooks and recipes 

Here are a few ideas:

  • If you're decluttering or digitizing recipes in binders, you can reuse the binders and page protectors if they're still in good shape.  
  • Same idea for recipe boxes... if you're decluttering or digitizing your recipes you can repurpose the recipe box for something else.  They make great containers for card games or small toys.  Or any small items.
  • If you're holding onto cookbooks because they were passed down to you, and they bring back happy memories of a loved one who really enjoyed cooking, I'd suggest choosing a few favourite recipes (the treasures like hand-written recipes, pages in a cookbook with hand-written notes, or recipes you remember the person making a lot).  Then put together a scrapbook with those special recipes. It will take up less space than keeping several cookbooks and still give you those same sentimental feelings. Plus, you'll probably actually flip through it more often than when you had so many books.  
  • A collage in a frame would be a great way to honour those recipes that were passed down to you as well.  
  • If you choose to digitize your recipes, don't forget Keepy {affiliate link} is offering a 20% discount off photo products for From Overwhelmed To Organized readers until October 31, 2016! You can create a photo book of all your treasured recipes, especially those that are sentimental but that you don't necessarily make any more.

Don't Start Your Decluttering Journey With Sentimental Items

Just a quick reminder that if you have "regular" (non-sentimental) clutter in your home, it's better to deal with that first and set aside your sentimental clutter until your home is less cluttered.  Decluttering your everyday items will likely make more of an impact on your daily life than sentimental decluttering will.  And sentimental items are generally more difficult to tackle so it's better to build up to them.

Whether you're decluttering sentimental items or general clutter, join our 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group!  You'll find lots of encouragement, motivation, and tips as we all declutter our homes and lives together.  You can find more details about the 365 Items in 365 Days challenge here too.

For More Decluttering Sentimental Items Tips

Want more tips?  Check these the 31 Days of Easy Decluttering series!

Or the Decluttering From A to Z series from last October!

If you'd like more decluttering ideas, you can check out my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.

Your turn! 

How many cookbooks or recipe boxes/binders do you have? Why do you find it hard to let go of them? If you've decluttered your cookbooks, what helped you let go? What tips can you share for those who are decluttering theirs now?

As you declutter your cookbooks and recipes, take pictures and share them on social media using the hashtag #declutteringsentimentalitems so you can inspire all of us to declutter our sentimental items!

If you've got a picture of how you displayed or re-purposed recipes, please share it in the comments or on one of the series' social media posts.   I'd love to see how you are giving honour and respect to your sentimental items!

Happy organizing decluttering!

Here are all the posts in this challenge in case you missed any or want to share some with your friends or family!

I link up at these great parties - Check them out!