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How to Apply Marie Kondo's Methods to Warehouse Organization

Updated on March 25, 2019
Anica Oaks profile image

A major fan of Marie Kondo's methods, Anika Oaks is eager to find new ways to apply her methods to benefit all industries.

Marie Kondo is making waves on television with her new show on Netflix. While many people think of her techniques when cleaning out closets and the attic, her tips make an excellent foundation for organizing shipping and receiving areas and company stockpiles. Her methods of organization are universal, applicable to much more than just your home. Here are just four ways that her methods of organization and reducing clutter can make your warehouse more efficient and organized.

Manuals and files

Going through all books and folders at the same time will help you get the information in one area. After whittling down the pile, it is time to organize the material. Binders full of schedules, logs, inventory, and other information can be digitized into tracking software, whereas old and unchanging papers like receipts and documentation can be stored online in company file-sharing solution. Larger texts, like manuals, should be alphabetized and labeled, shelved in a way that you can easily locate the appropriate text as needed. When using drawers, place books and files with labels facing up for quick access.

The goal should be to organize the contents so that you can see where every item is at a glance, just as you can see the spines of the books on your bookshelves.

— Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

See Everything At Once

In Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, she talks about how storing things out of sight only creates the illusion that the clutter is gone. Instead, she advises that “The goal should be to organize the contents so that you can see where every item is at a glance, just as you can see the spines of the books on your bookshelves.” To accomplish this, Marie Kondo uses little boxes and dividers in larger drawers and cabinets. You can do this with your warehouse storage. Categorize everything so you can store duplicate items together. Like a grocery store, identical items should be lined up in a way that you can see exactly what you have and how much of it. Similar items should be stored near one another so it can be intuitively found as needed. Heavy duty storage cabinets can be used for tools and other small but heavy objects, with labels placed so you can, as Marie Kondo suggests, see it all at a glance.

Everything Has a Place

In a fast-paced work environment where things are often coming in and out, it’s easy to, like dirty laundry, just leave things laying about. However, this can lead to clutter and, potentially, accidents in a warehouse. Work gloves, goggles, equipment, and anything else that is frequently used should have a designated place, even if it’ll “just be moved again later.” Hangars for aprons, cubbies for gloves and goggles, and wall mounts for hand-held equipment allows everything to be neatly tucked away when it is no longer in use. Have your employees get used to putting everything in its place at the end of every day, or even the moment it is no longer being used.

It’s not about what to discard, it’s about what to keep.

— Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up

Minimizing

The KonMari method of organizing items is excellent for workspaces says CNBC News. Getting rid of anything that does not continue to serve a necessary function for the company can be let go. As Marie Kondo says in her book, “It’s not about what to discard, it’s about what to keep.” When organizing old parts, equipment, and tools, don’t look at it as what you’re going to throw away. Assume everything is up to be discarded and instead decide what is worth keeping. While you may think that you may still somehow find a use for the broken forklift or the beaten metal containers that nothing fits in, accept that they do not serve a purpose now except for taking space away from things you do need and use.

Marie Kondo's methods for streamlining and de-cluttering are useful in home and work environments alike. Just like in the home, having a clean and organized work environment decreases stress and increases productive action. Her tips can help your warehouse look better and work more efficiently for your needs.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Anica Oaks

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