How to Streamline Your Life Using Lean Six Sigma, One Mess at a Time

How to Streamline Your Life Using Lean Six Sigma, One Mess at a Time -

Every year, Spring comes around and suddenly Facebook feeds are full of “We spring-cleaned the house and now we’re ready for Summer!” So, is a mess what’s going on during the Fall and Winter?

Why wait to have an annual cleaning when you can practice simple cleaning and decluttering tricks that remove unneeded and unwanted Waste throughout the year? Freshen up your home and instead of an annual routine that results in messy spaces year round, throw open the windows, let some fresh air in, and sustain happy and efficient spaces all year long !

Organizing my home and office has become easier with each passing year using Lean Six Sigma. I find that I’m not losing my motivation or my mind. Rather, I’ve finally concluded that there isn’t a single good reason to hoard. Just quickly scanning around, I see…

  • 7 notebooks
  • 10 jackets
  • 6 sets of serving bowls

Talk about excess Inventory! Scanning the stockpile every 6 months allows me to see what I use on a daily basis vs. what I never use. This cuts down on Motion and time spent searching for what I really need when I always have it within arm’s reach.

The toughest Waste in my house to get rid of? Well, if I’m being honest, it all seems like “throwing money away” but here’s how to feel better about throwing things away in 4 different spaces!

8 Wastes -

Arch-Enemy: The Closet

Contain the crazy and Sort! Not all of us lay out our school or work outfits the night before. I suggest performing a quick and regular check every season of your closets’ contents. This means pulling out old jackets, beanies, board shorts and accessories you no longer wear.

5S -

Doesn’t fit? Toss it in a bag for donation. Fits but you’re waiting for 32-degree fahrenheit weather? Relocate the items into a bin and stack the bin in the back of the closet or in a garage (if you have the space).

Sheets, Towels, and Blankets… Oh My!

I once read in a Home & Design magazine that a good rule of thumb for sheets is two sets per bed per season. If you’re anything like me, switching sheets by seasons is simply not going to work. I’m very picky about the thread count and color and I prefer to rotate two sets until holes rip through the corners of the mattress.

In a similar line, I highly suggest going easy on Inventory for towels and washcloths. Two to three sets per member of the family will do. You’ll need to replace these often as (I find) washcloths get heavily stained by makeup and face wash products while the washing machine destroys towels on its own and you’ll know when you need to get rid of and replace!

Office Supplies

This stuff is exactly what I mean by there is no good reason to have too many. What are you going to do with 2 staplers, 82 colored pencils, 12 black pens, 4 coloring books, and 7 bottles of hand sanitizer? I did not just count these in my own office…

Every 3 months, scan your space. If you’re anything like me, then you’re in an office with lots of stuff 40+ hours a week. Toss out dried pens and broken crayons (you got me, I color!).

Everything else? Put it to the test. See what you use daily for the next week. For the keepers, store a refill or replacement nearby while you can donate the rest to your kid’s school or a local donation station.

Donation -
Recycled paper bags filled with donation items. Ready to go!

Now that you’ve reduced the clutter and time to search, your talents are going towards tasks like writing blogs!

Go Bagless, They Said… It’s Good for the Earth, They Said…

States across the United States are eliminating single use containers, namely plastic bags, in an effort to get citizens to reuse. This means, reusable bags are piling up in every corner or your car and house. Pick two small, two medium, and two large bags to put in the trunk of each household car.

The rest of the bags? Grab the largest and fold the smaller ones inside. You can hang these up in a hall closet by hanging up a hook.

The biggest reusable bag I own!
Reusable Bags -
Large reusable bag with lots of medium and small bags stuffed inside!

If you’re anything like me, you now have a corner of your room full of items in lightly used or hardly used condition that you don’t use. What to do? Offer leftovers and gently used stuff to local schools and nonprofits. Don’t want any of it to go too far out of sight? Offer items as hand-me-downs or have swap meets with close friends. This gives you the opportunity to watch items you once cared for be cared for by someone else or trade items for your ever changing design choices.

So, what are you waiting for? Let me know what you get rid of in these spaces by leaving me a comment below! Let’s compare, or trade!


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