Need to get organized? Do it like a chef!

August 11, 2014

Tracey & Alan, 1995

Who doesn’t need to be better organized? When I first met my husband, he was a single dad raising two teenagers on his own. He was working long hours on a television series and he and the kids shared the cooking. He was a master at cleaning up as he went, and doing chores and running errands on the way to other things.

At first this drove me nuts. I only had my twenty-something self to take care of and preferred focusing on one thing at a time, and doing a big clean-up after making a big mess.

I stuck to my guns but never felt very organized. I reached the peak of my frustration with my husband’s way of doing things when he stopped off at the local video store (remember those?) which also doubled as a smoke shop, to return some movies – wait for it…on the way home from the hospital with our newborn baby!

I was very upset. I wanted the big arrival home to be beautiful and memorable, not surrounded by the guys from the smoke shop, the first to meet my precious son.

Once I became a parent my lack of multi-tasking, time management, and organizational skills quickly pulled me under. I had to grudgingly admit my husband was right. His way was the only way.

Since then I’ve hungrily devoured tips to help me in my quest to stay organized, but the article (see link below) using top chef’s methods in their often small but meticulously arranged kitchens sums up their philosophy of keeping things running smoothly, better than any I’ve read. And it is a philosophy, rather than a series of handy hints.

While you take some of your precious time to read it (you’ll be glad that you did), I will be practising the chef’s secret weapon to staying organized, mise-en-place. Jouir!

*Organize like a chef (source: NPR)

White House chefs (source:

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    1. Wow, inspiring. This might be the thing that finally gets me organized.

    1. I really love this pic of you two. Want to try me some mise-en-place as well!

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