Look familiar? Do you have one of these? And what does it look like inside? Maybe like this?Congratulations to you, if it doesn't! However, I think many people have a recipe box that looks a lot like mine! So, let's clean this out and get a new system going!
Something I started a few years ago that still works for me, was creating these recipe binders. If I ever get a recipe, whether it's in index card format, cut from a magazine, or printed off from the internet, I will put them in sheet protectors and add them to my recipe binder. So, if it's already on an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper, great, no problem, just slip it into the sheet protector. But if it's any other size (some written on a post-it note, some cut from a magazine, etc. etc.) this is what I do: I use photo corners (you can get them at a local craft store or online) and put them on card-stock, and then slip the recipe in. Then I'll slide the card-stock into a sheet protector and insert into one of the recipe binders. This allows you to take the recipe out of the sheet protector entirely, and put it back, or you could even just take the page out and use that when you are cooking if you want. I have 2 recipe binders. One for Breads/Breakfasts, Appetizers/Salads, and Entrees, and one binder for Desserts, Food storage recipes, Freezer meals, and Fun stuff (like how to make a gingerbread house, or cake decorating directions, etc). I use dividers for each category in each binder.
So back to the recipe box....many of the recipes I don't use! Some I've cut from a cream cheese box, or a chocolate chip package and have NEVER used! So I went through my recipe box and was able to pare down a lot of things. And then I went through my binders and got rid of some recipes that I know I never use.
If you want, you can make up a Table of Contents, but I'm not going to be doing that. It's too much work, and you usually know where to find the recipes that you use the most anyway.
So now I have lovely recipe binders and I'm using my recipe box for a temporary "keep the recipe here until I can get it into my binders." Sometimes you don't have the time to do things right when you want to do them! Just don't forget about those recipes, stay organized!