11/03/2011 09:18 am ET | Updated Oct 11, 2012

Have Fun With Organizing Your Cookbooks

Front Image: Flickr: sporkist

Organizing cookbooks will depend a lot on the size of your collection and the available bookshelf space in the kitchen and elsewhere. First, sort cookbooks based on their frequency of use: weekly, monthly, occasionally, never. Cookbooks that are used weekly should go on a shelf in the kitchen. If you don't have a built-in shelf for books, removing a cabinet door can make it look as if you do. Or use available wall space to hang a shelf or even a pot rack with a shelf on top. For other cookbooks, consider how many recipes you actually use from each. If only one or two, consider scanning these and donating the book. Look for unused space in or near the kitchen such as the top of the cabinets, to house books you use more often. Donate cookbooks that you never use. Arrange cookbooks by cuisine (such as Italian, Indian, Mexican, California, French) and general topics (such as soups, baking, vegetarian, desserts).

Creating an online catalog
The LibraryThing web site allows you to create a library-quality catalog of your cookbooks. You can catalog up to two hundred for free, but a small fee entitles you to a lifetime membership and unlimited entries. (You can eventually catalog the rest of your book collection, too.) Adding books to the catalog is fun and easy. Just type in a few words of the title, and LibraryThing fills in the rest of the data from more than 690 libraries around the world, including the Library of Congress, and Amazon. Once your catalog is set up, you can sort, search, and edit your collection as well as add tags to search by cuisine or topic. You can also add tags that identify where a book is located in your home, so you'll always be able to find it. You can even access your catalog with your cell phone (if it has a browser) while in a bookstore. LibraryThing also allows users to share reviews and connect to others with similar libraries, as well as offering alerts about local book signings and events.

Find more cleaning and organizing tips in What's A Disorganized Person To Do?