Why I Got Rid of My Cookbooks + How to Simply Organize Recipes

I find 99.9% of my recipes online these days. However, until recently I was holding on to a few dozen cookbooks.

Not anymore. 

I got rid of my wardrobe and the toys–but getting rid of a few dozen cookbooks was still hard. When I declutter anything I always have a moment of self-doubt.

What if I need this book again someday?

So before my stack of cookbooks hit the donation pile, I was sure to keep some old favorites from each book. I still wanted to have hard copies. Call me old-fashioned, but I am not ready to go fully digital in the kitchen.

Things get pretty messy cooking with my kids in my kitchen and I try to keep my devices sauce-free. 

I didn’t need the barely used cookbooks laying around anymore (each book only had 1 or 2 recipes I wanted to keep)–so I consolidated into one simple solution with all the essentials.

Last week I told you about my Simple Weekly Meal Planning Method (something old, something new, something prepared, and some kind of stew)–I use this method to help keep me on track with meal planning.

But when it comes to organizing those recipes, here’s what you need to get started.

I went through each recipe book and made a photocopy of my favorites. I also printed copies of my favorite online recipes as well. Then I added all of those to my recipe binder in plastic sheet protectors.

Here’s a two-minute video to show you how it all comes together.

I did keep one favorite cookbook: this one.

What does recipe organization look like in your house? How many cookbooks are you holding onto?


Denaye Barahona

Denaye Barahona is a loving wife and mama of two. She's a therapist for moms, an author, and the host of the top-ranked Simple Families Podcast. Denaye holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been featured on the likes of The Today Show, Netflix, The Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, Forbes, and numerous other media outlets.