One of the small projects that’s been on my list to accomplish (or should I say lists, because it even made it onto my 30 by 30) is doing something with my cookbook bookcase. A little bit of background on my cookbooks: When I was pregnant with Andrew, we were remodeling our kitchen, and I couldn’t cook a damn thing. So I became ever-so-slightly obsessed with food -- even moreso than a typical pregnant woman would be. I kept buying more and more cookbooks, and I’d read them before bed, bookmarking all the recipes I wanted to try when I could finally cook again. Every time I got a cookbook offer in the mail, I accepted it. I inherited all of my mom’s cookbooks after she passed away. I picked up more from the library dollar sales and the book fairs at work. And before I knew it, I had an entire four-shelf bookcase full of them.
Four years and two children later, here’s what that bookcase looked like:
Here’s what it looked like in its natural state, with two little boys playing with their trucks on it (a daily occurrence):
With years’ worth of magazines piling up (that Will often enjoyed ripping to shreds), tons of recipes I’d printed off and neglected to put in binders, cookbooks precariously balanced on every single shelf, and yes, even a BB gun making its home on the top shelf (I don’t know, you guys), it was a hot mess. A total eyesore. It was way past time to do something about it.
I started the process of going through my magazines months ago, and I ended up clipping the recipes I wanted to keep and recycling the rest. I also recycled most of the recipes I hadn’t organized in a binder, because I figured I probably have them starred in Google Reader or posted on my food blog. I didn’t even go through them, because if I had, I know I would have wanted to keep a bunch of the recipes, and I still probably would never have made them.
I was originally planning to leave the bookcase where it was and just straighten it up a bit, but I decided I didn’t want it blocking the window anymore. It just so happened that I had the perfect spot for it elsewhere -- in a little nook in my dining room. The space honestly looks like it was meant for the bookcase. Here’s what it looks like now, after purge and reorganization:
I think it looks so much better. It’s neat and out of the main traffic path and the boys generally leave it alone. I still need to go through the cookbooks themselves, because I’m sure I could donate quite a few of them that I never use, but I’ll tackle that later. And now I have enough space in my kitchen to add a small two-seater table for crafts and quick dinners and weekend coffee, and another window for more natural light.
I also have another fun little kitchen project that I’m tackling this weekend, so I’ll be sure to share it when I’m done!