My mentor from work would always share a certain story before the kaizen events he would lead to show how practical lean principles were in real life. He told us about how his bedroom is arranged in a way that every placement of clothing has a functional space. By that, he meant when he got up in the morning he would take just one lap around his room and be completely dressed, without wasted movement, and grab his keys strategically placed next to the door frame on his way out. Mr. Zabala would joke about how his ex wife did not understand the method to his madness, but that’s why she was his ex wife.

In all seriousness, in my experience, Mr. Zabala is right and there are not a lot of people who understand the method to the madness. Most people label IE methods as “OCD” but lean principles are music to the ears of people who have been trained to eliminate waste whether its resources or time and maximize productivity.

Mr. Zabala’s story impacted my annual spring cleaning this year. Since I had a week off from school, and the clutter in my room was really getting to me I created a model on excel to help me optimize my wardrobe.

Using a couple simple excel functions I was able to create a spreadsheet that would account for the ratings I gave (1-3) on the condition of the clothing item and frequency of use to determine whether it was an item to stock up on more, maintain, or replace.

Once I completed logging my closet inventory, I went to goodwill to donate certain items and then also went on a replenishing shopping trip to replace the items I was missing. It felt so fulfilling to track everything in my closet,  since my model would indicate how much there was of everything and how they were functioning.

For under 30 dollars, I was able to replace the three pairs of heels that no longer were in the condition to wear and a huge trash bag of old clothes. Hopefully, if I have enough discipline to keep up with this excel sheet I will be less tempted to buy things that I don’t need and focus on purchasing the items I really needed.

Here’s the link to my closet inventory: