A few years ago, I finally got fed up with all the magazines piled carelessly in my living room. Not only were they unsightly and unstable (the stacks had gotten so tall that they were apt to topple at the slightest touch - as a result, I rarely vacuumed in there, it was simply too dangerous...), there were also whole colonies of dust bunnies growing to truly terrifying proportions in the safe darkness of the towers' long shadows.
So I bought a sturdy-looking accordion file and began going through all the mags to clip out my favorite recipes. It was a herculean task that had to be done over a number of sittings, spread out over several months to allow sufficient recovery time after each brave plunge into years of old Martha Stewart Livings, Food & Wines, and Cooks Illustrateds. But, just a few months later, I surveyed my uncluttered living room with a feeling of deep satisfaction. Not only had I demolished the unsightly magazine towers and vanquished the dust bunnies they had sheltered, I had also built a totally kick-ass recipe file!
Mine is organized into the following categories: rice, pasta, potatoes, chicken, seafood, veggies, soups and stew, salads, pork, lamb and other meats, glazes & marinades, baked goods, and desserts. I would like to break it down into about twice as many categories but have been limited by lack of space since my file only has twelve dividers. I just decided that it is time to move on to a new, larger recipe file - probably of the big plastic file box variety which should give me plenty of room - at least for a few more years.
If you like to cook (which you probably do if you're reading this...) and don't already have one, I strongly suggest that you start a recipe file of your own. I'd also recommend that you use one of those plastic-handled mini razor blade tools to clip the recipes as tearing them leads to messy edges that can be hard to get in and out of a crowded file.