This week we are heading to the bookshelf to declutter. More specifically…the collection of cookbooks and food magazines you may have in your kitchen. Now I’ll be honest with you, as a “food blogger” getting rid of cookbooks is very hard for me. I see my cookbooks as a resource library. I use them to study different recipes and come up with my own. For instance, I’m working on a homemade Pho recipe. I’m looking at probably 8 different recipes for it, and working out a way to make a simplified (faster) version of it to make at home. A recipe that won’t take forever to make. Without my resource library, that would be very difficult.
That said, I have received cookbooks over the years, bought cookbooks on a whim…only to realize later that they weren’t at all what I wanted. As an example, I picked up a cookie cookbook years ago. I had skimmed through the names of the recipes, and though they sounded interesting. So I bought it and took it home. Then one day I sat down to try some recipes…and tragedy! Every recipe contained a “box mix” as its foundation! UGH!!! I do not use mixes, so that entire cookbook was a waste for me. No point in it being in my library, because I would never make any of the recipes.
Then there’s the magazines. Oh heavens. I am such a hoarder of them!! I have been subscribed to many food magazines over the years. The plan, was to go through each one, tear out the recipes I wanted, save them in a binder, and recycle the rest. In theory it was a great idea. The problem was, that I had too many subscriptions to keep up with.
So what did I do with all of those magazines that I couldn’t’ get to? Yeah….they took up residence in my house. Moved to Alaska with me. Moved to Alabama with me… So a few weeks ago, I decided it was time. Time for the magazines to GO.
First, I let all of my subscriptions lapse. No more food magazine subscriptions for me. If I am out and see one that calls my name, I may pick it up, but NOT subscribe. The first thing to do to stop the clutter madness, is stop the flow into your home.
I had countless magazines from many years back, many had never even had their pages looked upon. I loaded them all up in bags. Then I got onto a local Facebok group and asked if anyone could use them. I divided the stockpile of magazines into two batches. One batch was given to an elementary school teacher. She uses magazines for projects with her students – making collages, cutting out letters, etc. The other half was given to a nurse. Her patients are home bound and love getting reading material. So all of those magazines went to good homes, and the clutter in my home has a huge dent in it.
But what about the cookbooks? Simple. Cookbooks can be donated to most local libraries. They can use them for their own shelves, or most libraries have book sales (“Friends of the Library”) that help buy books that the patrons want and need. The books you donate could be sold by the library, still benefiting the library and your community. You could also take them to a used book store. They may be interested in them as well. You could get money for them or store credit. So here’s the assignment:
Week 4: Cookbooks & Food Magazines
- Go through all of your cookbooks. If you have cookbooks that you’ve never used, know you will probably never use, it’s time for them to stop taking residence in your home. Collect all of the cookbooks that are no longer needed. Donate them to your local library, local charity or take them to a used book store. (Start with the book store if you go that route. That way if they don’t need or want them all, you can donate the rest.)
- Go through your magazines. If you have a manageable number, sit down with a cup of coffee and go through each one. Take out all of the recipes that you actually want to keep. I tear out the whole page, put them in a document sleeve and then place them in a binder. All of those magazine pages are sorted by recipe type, so I can find them later. Recycle the rest of the magazine.
- If your magazine stockpile is like mine was, then simply bite the bullet and give them to someone that really needs or can use them. I highly recommend reaching out on local social media groups for suggestions. That’s how I found the new homes for mine, and they were much appreciated by people that really had use for them.
Now…don’t go filling that space up with more cookbooks and magazines!