As we all know, lean management principles were created to eliminate waste and maintain better control over workflows and processes. Thousands of organizations have implemented these concepts in order to make their teams and production processes more efficient.
However, these tenets and tools don’t have to be used exclusively in a professional setting. Many of the basics of lean management can work at home to add some additional order to your personal life.
For those interested in potentially making aspects of their home lives more efficient, here are some helpful tips and tricks to use lean principles at home.
Many of us are guilty of visiting bulk-buying stores (think Costco) and purchasing giant bottles of ketchup or enough toilet paper to last for two years. While many of these items may offer cost savings per unit, stocking up on unnecessary “inventory” can create cashflow issues (realistically, you’re paying $20 for a flat of toilet paper at Costco versus $4 at the supermarket).
Based on lean principles, by buying such large quantities of “inventory,” you’re spending tomorrow’s money today.
In lean management, we look at waste not just in terms of dollars and tasks, but also in movement. There’s numerous ways to incorporate this tenet at home, such as combining a number of errands into a single car trip (visiting the supermarket, the hardware store close by and the pharmacy down the street versus picking up items across three separate trips to these locations). Not only does it save you gasoline, but also time.
Inside your home, you can reorganize your kitchen to improve cooking “flow.” For example, you can move your glasses to the cabinet next to the refrigerator (to cut down on the amount of time and energy to pour that glass of water), you can store your cutting board in the immediate vicinity of your knives, and arrange your spices above the counter where you do most of your mixing.
Eliminate Work in Progress
Just like in professional settings, it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of work in progress you have at home. So avoid having a dozen half-finished tasks on the go at once. For example, if the dryer buzzer dings, don’t stop the task you’re working on just to go fold the clothes. Wait until you’ve completed that project, then move on to folding the laundry and putting it away. Again, this streamlines processes and ensures tasks are completed rather than being left half finished.
Did you find this lean management tip helpful? Leankor’s workflow management tools can help your team become even more efficient. Schedule your one-on-one demo today!