Chefs spend about six hours prepping for a three-hour dinner shift, we learned from NPR. Why? When they have six to eight meals to prepare in 20 minutes or less, everything they need must be within reach and organized.
So we started thinking . . . will this work at home? Chefs say, yup, absolutely.
"My desk is specifically organized based off of where I reach for things the most. [It's] being so methodical to the point that you continually put your pen back in one specific place," says a Culinary Institute of America student, interviewed by NPR.
The chefs’ organizational mantra is called mise-en-place, a French term that means put in place.
Here’s how to apply mise-en-place in your home:
Go room by room, and write down items that you really need. What do you use everyday? Your planner? Your favorite knife set? What about your underwear?
Make a prioritized list per room of everything you need to be easily accessible.
Reorganize so that everything you need regularly is at arm's reach. In other words, don’t store your underwear in a shelf-bin that requires your stepping stool. If you wear jewelry every day, make sure you can easily sort through your collection (Here’s a great jewelry organizer!).
If you get frustrated trying to find the right spices when cooking, rearrange your spice rack.
Clean up messes as they come. If you keep your most trafficked areas tidy, you can navigate them more easily. For example, don’t wait until the end of the dinner party to tackle the heaping pile of dishes in the sink. Instead, load the dishwasher as you go.
Your mise-en-place routine is meant to keep things cool, calm and collected. If everything is out of place, you’ll become flustered and cause yourself extra stress. Slow down, set up your routine and bring the operation back to uber efficiency.