How to Organize Recipes in an IKEA Kallax and Wire Mesh Organizer

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My recipe stash was recently starting to get out of hand.  For the last 10-15 years, I’ve been saving all my favorite recipes from magazines as well as online.  I had these recipes organized in binders in a drawer in our kitchen.  However, that required a large space, and the organization still wasn’t great.  Even with each binder divided by course and main ingredient, there was too much mess.  Not to mention how each recipe had to be hole-punched to fit in the binder, so if the holes broke, I was out of luck keeping the recipe in the binder.

I decided it would make SO much more sense to instead move my recipe collection into the study.  After all, that’s where my desk is, which is where I do most of my meal planning and grocery online ordering.  Plus, my husband vacated his section of the study, so I had acquired some new space.

My favorite part of my new craft room/study is the amazing 4×4 KALLAX shelf system from IKEA.  It has 13″ cubes and is SO spacious.  I used the top row of shelves to organize my fabric and the rest of the rows to organize other craft supplies.  I had some space on the bottom of the KALLAX, which was just perfect for my plan to organize recipes in the craft room.

Organizing My Recipes In a Filing System

While browsing Amazon for appropriate KALLAX inserts, I found a mesh filing system that fits PERFECTLY inside a 13″ cube.  So, I bought two of these file organizers and started organizing recipes.  Here’s the exact mesh filing system I purchased!  They have openings on the sides and are very lightweight.  The quality is pretty good, too, considering the price point.

I also purchased hanging file folders as well in a variety of colors.  Each file folder got a tab, and I tried to match my colors to main dishes.  For instance, freezer meal recipes were blue, veggie recipes were green, and chicken was yellow.  These were the colors that I associated with these food types!

I used over 50 file folders, but it was really important to be able to locate my favorite recipes quickly.  This mom is busy in the evenings!

Here are the organizers fitting perfectly into my 13″ cubes.

Recipe Organization Categories

The categories that I did were solely based on the collection of recipes that I had, but here’s how it worked out in case you’re in the market to organize your recipes also.  We are a mostly vegetarian and chicken-only family (check out my favorite chicken freezer meal prep recipes!) so there weren’t a lot of categories for seafood, beef, etc.  And lastly, I’m a huge fan of mass cooking in advance, so foods that were freezer-friendly go their own section!

  • Veggie Meals
    • Rice, Quinoa, Couscous, and Other Grains
    • Beans
    • Pasta
    • Mexican
    • Chili
    • Asian
    • Italian
    • Other
  • Chicken
    • Salad
    • Casseroles
    • Italian
    • Asian
    • Mexican
    • Other
  • Freezer Meals
    • CrockPot chicken
    • CrockPot veggie
    • Other CrockPot
    • Instant Pot
    • Bars and Cookies
    • Breakfast
  • Make-ahead Overnight Recipes
  • CrockPot
    • Chicken soup
    • Mexican chicken
    • Italian chicken
    • Other chicken meals
    • Other meats
    • Vegetarian
    • Beverages
    • Desserts
  • Instant Pot
    • Veggie
    • Sides
    • Chicken
    • Breakfast
    • Other meats and meals
  • Breakfast
    • Puddings, yogurts, adn oats
    • Eggs
    • Casseroles
    • sausage
    • Pancakes
    • muffins
    • Breads
    • Quickehs
    • Pumpkin-based
    • Overnight
  • Desserts
    • Cakes and cupcakes
    • Ice cream
    • Bars
    • Fudges
    • Cookies
    • Pies, cheesecakes, crisps, and cobblers
    • Miscellaneous
  • Beverages
  • Soups
  • Sandwiches
  • Bacon Meals
  • Seafood
  • Pork and Ham
  • Sausage
  • Meatloaf
  • Burgers
  • Butters
  • Jams
  • Spiralizer
  • Salads and ides
  • Dips and Appetizers

I also made a “To File” folder because I’m not going to always want to file recipes every time.  Sometimes I just want to get them out of the kitchen and deal with them later!

And that’s it for how I’ve been organizing my recipes!  It’s been nice to go through all the recipes in the process of organizing and purge the ones that we either didn’t like as much or that are just too time-consuming to make.  Simplifying is so nice as well!