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Tips for organizing your recipes

By Debra Samuels
Globe Correspondent / May 18, 2011

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Choose a method you will be willing to stick with, says Barbara Rotger, who has loads of recipes that she got in order to write her master’s thesis on the subject. “Many of the collections I have looked at started out with an elaborate organizational structure, which was promptly abandoned,’’ she says.

You need:

3-ring binders

Sheet protectors

Recipe card/photo protectors

Index dividers with tabs (with or without slash pockets)

Printer paper (in colors, if you like)

Index cards

2-sided tape

Indelible fine-point pen

Find a surface (or football field) where you can stack recipes (have a recycle bin nearby). Set the kitchen timer for one hour. Stay on task; no interruptions. Sort recipes, making categories; you may want to label a cluster of main dishes as entrees, or you may want to break them down into chicken, fish, etc.

Now get ruthless — invoke the 5-year rule: If you have not used it, toss it. Label dividers or binders with your categories. Mount your scraps and clippings onto index cards or copy paper with double-sided tape. Insert papers into sheet protectors, cards into photo protectors, and slip into binders. Personalize with photos or other craft-store embellishments.