You may love to cook or you may hate it. No matter how you feel about cooking, I bet you have at least 6 cookbooks, and I’m certain that someone reading this blog today has at least sixty cookbooks. They’re fun to look at, fun to collect, fun to page through and dream with. But let’s be realistic: they’re also expensive, easy to ignore, and hard to declutter.
Prior to December 2009, I probably had two dozen cookbooks, and I don’t think I’d ever gotten rid of one that I owned. I just added to the pile; I loved them. When we remodeled our kitchen, I had a special bookshelf made just for them; it took up the majority of the storage space at my kitchen desk. Then my daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, and I knew our diets had to change. There were foods I was probably never going to make again, and I decide to get rid of cookbooks without mercy. I thought I would be heartbroken; I thought I might cry.
Prior to purging them, I decided that I would look through each one and photocopy those recipes that I could not live without. In the end, I had paged through all those books – all those treasures – and I copied fewer than 10 recipes. Ten! What an insight! The books that I loved and cherished were, in truth, almost worthless to me!
After the purge, I still owned a Cooking Light Slow Cooker book (because the recipes are good and because it contains the nutritional information I need), a Better Homes and Garden plaid cookbook (because I thought it would be wise to hang onto a basic book) and my own recipe binder. Later, I realized that I truly missed Horn of the Moon Cookbook, and I “borrowed” it back. (Thanks Lisa!)
Now I had far fewer cookbooks, but still there was a special shelf dedicated to them, taking up precious space at my kitchen (only) desk. What a waste of space! I was trying to carry on the majority of the family business at a desk with just one shallow drawer, and here was a big gaping hole below. And, of course, it was getting junked up. Although not everyone has the same luxury I did in this situation, my kitchen cabinets were custom made, so I had drawers made. Two beautiful, spacious, useful drawers, which improved my desk situation 100%. I moved a couple of rarely-used oils into the pantry and put the cookbooks in the narrow cabinet between the vent hood and the wall.
Next week I’ll discuss how I manage to be a from scratch cook without a storepile of cookbooks, but in the meantime, I want you to consider what you could do with the extra space you’d gain if you purged your cookbooks.
Today’s Declutter Item
I do have one or two cookbooks still to declutter but they need to be processed first. So today I offer this Art School book instead. I have already taken it to the thrift shop and it was already sold by the end of my shift.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
I am grateful in advance for the weather holding out until my sheets are dry. I am hoping that my powers of positive thinking will make this a reality.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast