Welcome back to a second installment of the Organize It! series and also the second category in The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up. It’s been a week since I organized my closet – and I have to say, I’m still really into it. Though I’m not as excited about the closet as I am about learning how to fold my shirts into perfect rectangles. I may have made a co-worker give me their sweater and then demonstrated how to fold it and make it stand on its own. And I’ve also forced A to watch me demonstrate and feign interest at least 3 times, while I exclaimed,
LOOK – IT JUST STANDS ON ITS OWN. THERE IS SO MUCH ROOM IN MY BUREAU. IT IS MAGIC.
But now that I have folded every item in my bureau into a rectangle (even yoga pants), I had to move on to the next category:
Books & Paper.
I am one of those people that hoards magazines. I subscribe to a few and then feel compelled to keep them. All of them. Even those that are a few years old. What if I need the recipes or really important cleaning tips in them? What if I need to know where to buy that $500 dog bed that the dogs will definitely need someday? I even moved my magazine collection from our apartment to OUR HOUSE. Until I started discarding after beginning Marie Kondo’s book, I had magazines stashed in the couch, in a magazine rack on the downstairs porch, in a magazine rack upstairs in my bedroom, and then a few secret issues in with my craft stuff in case I suddenly decided I was going to collage magazine quotes again like I was in college again. I also had piles of torn out or printed recipes stashed around the kitchen – in drawers, cabinets, even tucked into miscellaneous cookbooks. (And let’s be honest, these are mostly issues of Real Simple. WHO DOESN’T LOVE REAL SIMPLE?)
According to The KonMari Method, Kondo recommends that for papers,
“you dispose of anything that does not fall into one of three categories: currently in use, needed for a limited period of time, or must be kept indefinitely.”
All others? Discard. She has various methods for discarding books – but I have really culled my collection of books (surprisingly, considering I take home a new book a month that we publish at work), so I went straight to paper and for me, magazines are just paper. My first thought was, well how are these magazines bringing me joy when they’re just hidden away? I should just get rid of all of them; they didn’t fall into any of the paper categories. They weren’t in use…but they could be in use. And thus inspired my DIY project!
Easy Peasy Recipe Binder
- 2-3 inch three-ring binder
- page protectors
- glue stick
- colorful 8.5″x 11″ paper
- card stock cut slightly bigger than 8.5″ x 11″
Get to work!
I took two nights to finish this project. The first night, I just sat on the couch after work with a huge stack of magazines and Gilmore Girls on Netflix (seriously Rory, just break-up with Dean, it’s so hard to watch). I also grabbed all the miscellaneous recipes that were hidden in the kitchen. I thumbed quickly through each magazine issue, making sure NOT TO READ and often just skipping straight to the recipes. I tore out anything that was interesting and made a stack of all the recipes. I only tore out stuff I knew I’d want to try. For smaller recipes that were in columns, I cut them out and pasted them to piece of paper so I wouldn’t lose them. And for some of the recipes that had really great pictures of finished products or instructions, I kept those for reference and created full recipe spreads!
The second night, I took all the recipes and sorted them into categories, which my categories may be different than yours:
- Desserts (Yes, this is my first category. Priorities.)
- Red Meat
Use scissors or a paper cutter to create dividers for each section – they don’t have to be fancy. I plan on making labels for mine later, and maybe some fancy headers with my Cricut, but right now I’m just beyond thrilled to have all of the recipes in a binder. I got rid of over two dozen magazines and actually organized all the recipes I use (and new ones I can’t wait to try!) into a binder. And yes, Ms. Kondo, this binder definitely sparks joy.