Simply Balisha

Simply Balisha

Thursday, August 21, 2014


What do you do on a rainy day? We've only had a few rainy days, so today while the gardens were getting a drink I got busy inside.
We all have cookbooks...right? I have too many. I've found in the past few years, that I will google a recipe rather than search through my cookbooks and recipe cards. At the beginning of the year, I said that I was going to try to simplify different things in my life. I have all my cookbooks in a bookcase in the dining room. It's sort of a catchall. I don't take the time to put the books away neatly...many of them have papers and magazine articles sticking out of them....things I'm sure that I want to keep. I looked at that messy bookshelf and made a decision. As much as I have loved my cookbook collection through the years, it's time to share with others. I went through the books and took the papers out of them. Then I got a couple of library tote bags and started putting the books that I don't use in them. I had two tote bags full, when I was finished with that job. I put the books that I use all the time on the top shelf, the next shelf holds books that have been gifts to me and my mother's old cookbooks. I have a section for just holiday cookbooks and a place for 10 yrs of Vegetarian Times magazines. It is so much more more searching through so many to find a recipe. Then as I looked across the room, I saw my recipe boxes. One long box holds my mother's recipe cards, one long one holds my mother in law's, and the last jam packed with cards crammed in holds my recipes. I decided to clean house here too. I sat with a glass of iced tea this afternoon and went through all of my recipes. I tossed the ones that I have never used, tossed the ones that are so rich and unhealthy for us, since marrying Joe....I tossed ones that he wouldn't like (he eats just about everything) I kept the old favorites, stained cards that were in my mom's handwriting, the ones with my mother in laws handwriting were kept too, the ones from my high school, a few from my kids school, and many from my that I liked. I don't bake as much as I used to, so I tossed lots of recipe cards for baked things.I didn't do my mom's or mom in laws boxes. They are both neat and tidy. I'll be glad to hand them all down to my family...when the time comes. 
I finished just in time to watch the news. The iced tea was refilled and I feel like I really accomplished something. No drawers with recipes  haphazardly tossed in, no recipes that I haven't tried, and no recipes that one or the other of us wouldn't like.
I have the two totes ready to go to the library for their sale shelves. They sell used books for a small amt. and use the money for library projects. I had eight or ten years of Cook' Illustrated and the Pillsbury magazines....they are tied and will be given away.
I just did a job that I have been meaning to do for ever. I will know that I can find a recipe more quickly now.
I have read that having drawers full of junk, a messy basement or closet, a messy garage etc. can weigh on us and cause stress. Here's something that I read recently.
  1. Clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren't necessary or important.
  2. Clutter distracts us by drawing our attention away from what our focus should be on.
  3. Clutter makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally.
  4. Clutter constantly signals to our brains that our work is never done.
  5. Clutter makes us anxious because we're never sure what it's going to take to get through to the bottom of the pile.
  6. Clutter creates feelings of guilt ("I should be more organized") and embarrassment, especially when others unexpectedly drop by our homes or work spaces.
  7. Clutter inhibits creativity and productivity by invading the open spaces that allow most people to think, brain storm, and problem solve.
  8. Clutter frustrates us by preventing us from locating what we need quickly (e.g. files and paperwork lost in the "pile" or keys swallowed up by the clutter) 



  1. I have collected cookbooks for many years too. Since my mom passed away, I don't bake as much as when she lived with us. Also, my husband is newly diagnosed diabetic, so I am the same as you - I just don't use/need the books any longer. Of course, there are many sentimental ones that I will keep and pass along, but I think I will follow your idea and donate them.

  2. I have just, for now, finished a cookbook purge. They've gone to the library for the continuing book sale. I also included Cook's Illustrated. So far, I can't get rid of Gourmet (starting with November 1980 on until they ceased publishing). Feels good!


  3. Taking a room or an area of the room and getting rid of accumulation, make me sit back and smile once it's finished. I have kept my Grandmothers handwritten recipes too.

  4. I truly hate clutter and with my mild OCD, it DOES put stress on me. I have one cookbook--use that very rarely.

  5. Balisha...I have exactly what you just did. I have to do it for my kids. I am living like there is no end ..and there is. I must face that and take care of things. I just put it off...I'm doing things I've wanted to do but not thing I SHOULD be doing. Thank you for giving me some incentive. You know...we don't talk much and yet..I always get this feeling that you are out there. Like a sister or's an odd feeling. Most of the time I just take it for granted that you will always be there when I find time to go visit..and it hit tonight that I cannot take anything for granted any more. Nothing.
    You are important to I's an odd thing. A good thing..a good feeling. We've shared some of the same pain in life...that many haven't yet experienced..and hopefully never will. Whatever the case...just know I treasure knowing you...
    I always have.

  6. What a great plan. I rarely use my cookbooks anymore and all the pages from magazines are just clutter now. I will keep the cards will family recipes like you did - I love the old ones that are stained with use and love :-)

  7. Balisha I just avoid that stress by closing the drawer fast! :0 )