tidy up your life: jess dang

Mom of 3, CEO of Cook Smarts, and self-described “Kitchen Cheerleader” and “Efficiency Nerd”, Jess Dang has been on a mission to help people reduce their mental load and learn to cook by creating weekly meal plans. Passionate about education, food, and healthy eating, Jess Dang founded Cook Smarts, a home-cooked meal planning service that eliminates the mental load when it comes to planning what to eat. 

My wife and I were introduced to Cook Smarts through Emily’s sister Audrey. We started with the 30-day free trial of meal plans, and we found the service that Cook Smarts offers to be transformative! We used to spend so much time scouring the internet for recipes with overlapping ingredients, and came to learn that Cooks Smarts could do all that for us, and at a super reasonable cost. We realized that if Cook Smarts prevented us from ordering takeout just once per month, it would basically pay for itself! I am a proud Cook Smarts Ambassador and love sharing how Cook Smarts has “tidied up” our meal planning routine and transformed mealtimes at our home! I was featured in their “Heroes in the Kitchen” series, and now I am so excited to feature Jess Dang in our “Tidy Up Your Life” series.

If you want to learn even more about Cook Smarts, Jess authentically shares her mom and CEO journey on her instagram accounts: @jessdangcs (personal) and @cooksmarts (professional), teaches an online cooking course and hosts the podcast “In the Kitchen with Cook Smarts”.

Where are you in your tidying journey?

Between running the house, Cook Smarts, and caring for my 3 kids, I don’t believe my life will ever be completely tidy, but I love the mess of this life I’ve chosen. 

I am always thinking about tidying in the context of 1) how does this quiet the noise in my life so that I can focus on the things that matter to me; and 2) what are the systems I can put in place that can be easily maintained. 

Just embracing the fact that tidying is an ever present part of life has been life changing for me. Like, it’s not something that you get to be done with but figuring out how to make it something that doesn’t feel cumbersome is where I am. 

tidy up your life: Jess Dang

In what ways have you tidied up your life?

To me there are 2 kinds of clutter — mental and physical. For me, I have tidied up so much of the mental clutter just by removing really tedious decisions and having routines that anchor my day. I don’t have a big wardrobe, I wear the same earrings every day. I use 1 single workout app. I have morning and evening facial routines that bookend my days. Having these constants really make a huge difference in my productivity and mental exhaustion.

quote

For physical clutter, just having a place for everything has been the biggest difference. There are definitely some free floating things that we need to find permanent homes for but 90% of our things have homes that even the kids know about so it just makes tidying so much easier. 

Plus, we try not to bring too much into our house and purge frequently. I am luckily not sentimental about things so that really helps.

 

cooking with kids

How did you know that you needed to tidy things up?

My husband and I both have different moments where we’re like, “It’s a mess in here!” but we try to tidy every day so that we’re not frequently frustrated by our space.

It’s also incredibly important to me that the kids help and understand that it’s their responsibility too to create a tidy home. We play this song called “5 Minute Cleanup Song,” and it’s this fun hip-hop bop and they know when the song comes on, it’s time to clean up!

at home

What aspects of work bring you the most joy?

So much of it. I am so lucky to have such a tremendously thoughtful team to work with. They inspire me every day. I am also so motivated by our members and community. I know that in this day and age with so many demands, it is no small task to get dinner on the table. I feel so proud that we help our members reduce their mental clutter and make home-cooking a part of their lives.

Also I just really love my work. I am a highly creative and operational person and getting to exercise both those sides of my brain is something I enjoy so much.

Cook Smarts team

How do you describe your work to others?

We help people reduce their mental load and learn to cook by creating weekly meal plans. These days, I play the role of an editor in chief and a very underperforming CEO, but I am trying!

tidy up your life: Jess Dang

What routines are you looking to revamp in the fall?

I need to get in a better morning routine. I have never been a morning person and the last few years, I haven’t made it a priority because I have spent so much of this time sleep-deprived while pregnant, nursing, and all of that. However Charlie, my youngest, is finally sleeping through the night at 17 months (hopefully it sticks!) so after I catch up on some sleep, I hope to figure out what things I need to tweak so that I can start the day with more energy, clarity, and purpose. 

Jess Dang family

What is next for you?

Gosh, who knows? This pandemic has really thrown everyone off. I am just taking it all day by day and focusing on what I can control. Some days it’s organizing a closet and that’s enough.

I do really want to take Cook Smarts to the next level. I know there are so many more people whose lives would really change with our meal plan service. I still have so much to figure out on the business side of things, and it’s a huge challenge but also so exciting.

quote

Jess Dang family

If you want to learn even more about Cook Smarts, Jess Dang authentically shares her mom and CEO journey on her instagram accounts: @jessdangcs (personal) and @cooksmarts (professional), teaches an online cooking course, and hosts the podcast “In the Kitchen with Cook Smarts”! I highly recommend gifting yourself the 30-day free trial of meal plans, and trying it out for yourself : )

Thanks for Pinning!

Jess Dang for pinterst

More from Tidy Dad!

Check out our favorites!

Read about Tidy Dad’s personal tidying journey!

 

I'm Tyler Moore 

My wife and I live with our three young girls in a 700-square-foot apartment in New York City. I started Tidy Dad to help others tidy, simplify, and find joy in their lives. I firmly believe the tidying process can transform your life. I’d love for you to join me in exploring ways that tidying can make room for what’s important in life. 


September 26, 2020

Tidy Up Your Life: with Jess Dang

tidy up your life: jess dang

Mom of 3, CEO of Cook Smarts, and self-described “Kitchen Cheerleader” and “Efficiency Nerd”, Jess Dang has been on a mission to help people reduce their mental load and learn to cook by creating weekly meal plans. Passionate about education, food, and healthy eating, Jess Dang founded Cook Smarts, a home-cooked meal planning service that eliminates the mental load when it comes to planning what to eat. 

My wife and I were introduced to Cook Smarts through Emily’s sister Audrey. We started with the 30-day free trial of meal plans, and we found the service that Cook Smarts offers to be transformative! We used to spend so much time scouring the internet for recipes with overlapping ingredients, and came to learn that Cooks Smarts could do all that for us, and at a super reasonable cost. We realized that if Cook Smarts prevented us from ordering takeout just once per month, it would basically pay for itself! I am a proud Cook Smarts Ambassador and love sharing how Cook Smarts has “tidied up” our meal planning routine and transformed mealtimes at our home! I was featured in their “Heroes in the Kitchen” series, and now I am so excited to feature Jess Dang in our “Tidy Up Your Life” series.

If you want to learn even more about Cook Smarts, Jess authentically shares her mom and CEO journey on her instagram accounts: @jessdangcs (personal) and @cooksmarts (professional), teaches an online cooking course and hosts the podcast “In the Kitchen with Cook Smarts”.

Where are you in your tidying journey?

Between running the house, Cook Smarts, and caring for my 3 kids, I don’t believe my life will ever be completely tidy, but I love the mess of this life I’ve chosen. 

I am always thinking about tidying in the context of 1) how does this quiet the noise in my life so that I can focus on the things that matter to me; and 2) what are the systems I can put in place that can be easily maintained. 

Just embracing the fact that tidying is an ever present part of life has been life changing for me. Like, it’s not something that you get to be done with but figuring out how to make it something that doesn’t feel cumbersome is where I am. 

tidy up your life: Jess Dang

In what ways have you tidied up your life?

To me there are 2 kinds of clutter — mental and physical. For me, I have tidied up so much of the mental clutter just by removing really tedious decisions and having routines that anchor my day. I don’t have a big wardrobe, I wear the same earrings every day. I use 1 single workout app. I have morning and evening facial routines that bookend my days. Having these constants really make a huge difference in my productivity and mental exhaustion.

quote

For physical clutter, just having a place for everything has been the biggest difference. There are definitely some free floating things that we need to find permanent homes for but 90% of our things have homes that even the kids know about so it just makes tidying so much easier. 

Plus, we try not to bring too much into our house and purge frequently. I am luckily not sentimental about things so that really helps.

 

cooking with kids

How did you know that you needed to tidy things up?

My husband and I both have different moments where we’re like, “It’s a mess in here!” but we try to tidy every day so that we’re not frequently frustrated by our space.

It’s also incredibly important to me that the kids help and understand that it’s their responsibility too to create a tidy home. We play this song called “5 Minute Cleanup Song,” and it’s this fun hip-hop bop and they know when the song comes on, it’s time to clean up!

at home

What aspects of work bring you the most joy?

So much of it. I am so lucky to have such a tremendously thoughtful team to work with. They inspire me every day. I am also so motivated by our members and community. I know that in this day and age with so many demands, it is no small task to get dinner on the table. I feel so proud that we help our members reduce their mental clutter and make home-cooking a part of their lives.

Also I just really love my work. I am a highly creative and operational person and getting to exercise both those sides of my brain is something I enjoy so much.

Cook Smarts team

How do you describe your work to others?

We help people reduce their mental load and learn to cook by creating weekly meal plans. These days, I play the role of an editor in chief and a very underperforming CEO, but I am trying!

tidy up your life: Jess Dang

What routines are you looking to revamp in the fall?

I need to get in a better morning routine. I have never been a morning person and the last few years, I haven’t made it a priority because I have spent so much of this time sleep-deprived while pregnant, nursing, and all of that. However Charlie, my youngest, is finally sleeping through the night at 17 months (hopefully it sticks!) so after I catch up on some sleep, I hope to figure out what things I need to tweak so that I can start the day with more energy, clarity, and purpose. 

Jess Dang family

What is next for you?

Gosh, who knows? This pandemic has really thrown everyone off. I am just taking it all day by day and focusing on what I can control. Some days it’s organizing a closet and that’s enough.

I do really want to take Cook Smarts to the next level. I know there are so many more people whose lives would really change with our meal plan service. I still have so much to figure out on the business side of things, and it’s a huge challenge but also so exciting.

quote

Jess Dang family

If you want to learn even more about Cook Smarts, Jess Dang authentically shares her mom and CEO journey on her instagram accounts: @jessdangcs (personal) and @cooksmarts (professional), teaches an online cooking course, and hosts the podcast “In the Kitchen with Cook Smarts”! I highly recommend gifting yourself the 30-day free trial of meal plans, and trying it out for yourself : )

Thanks for Pinning!

Jess Dang for pinterst

More from Tidy Dad!

Check out our favorites!

Read about Tidy Dad’s personal tidying journey!

 

September 26, 2020

Tidy Up Your Life: with Jess Dang

About me

Hi, my name is Tyler Moore. My wife and I live with our three young daughters in a 700- square-foot apartment in New York City. I began my tidying journey when an early-30’s crisis invited me to reflect upon, challenge, and change my patterns of daily living. I quit my job as a school administrator, returned to teaching, and started Tidy Dad to help others tidy, simplify, and find joy in their lives. I firmly believe the tidying process can transform your life. I’d love for you to join me in exploring ways that tidying can make room for what’s important in life. 


tidy home

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