My wardrobe (aka – spare double room) has become an overstuffed burden rather than the joy it once was. You would not be wrong if you were to say it’s a little on the hoarding side of the spectrum… So I have been doing some research on what I need to do to fix it……
You could say – “clean it up you lazy cow”…………and I do, regularly , every Saturday/Sunday like clockwork I set about restoring order to the chaos.
My weekend routine consists of: picking up everything off the floor shoving it all in the nearest drawer, after drawer and cupboard after cupboard.
My main problem is that ‘I have so much crap’. After I get that drawer or cupboard closed I have to hope, fingers crossed it doesn’t explode like a joke can of snakes…….
My weekly routine: Monday morning arrives – I pull stuff out of it’s hiding places searching for that elusive top and the rejected items spew forth onto the floor around, and behind me like the wake of a passing boat. I don’t have time to pick it all back up again because naturally – I am running late for work and I really cannot settle for any other top than the one I am fixated on finding…….. and so the weekly cycle of terror begins.
So bare with me – I am going to release the geek in me and I promise to chain it back up when I’m done…………… I am going to apply the lean six sigma DMAIC process to assess this situation. My husband pleaded with me not to go into the finer details because it would be sooooooOOOOOooo boring, his eyes glazed over at the mere mention of it. So I have just given the briefest of details enough to highlight the good bits and this is what has happened.
Keeping it brief…….
The first stage is define…. and so that’s what I did I listed out everything that is wrong with this current setup, too much inventory, bad floor plan, late for work trying to find things… and so on. I had a brain purge of epic proportions. Following that, I sifted through the list and sorted out my primary objectives and defects, formulated a project statement that included my project goal, and set my measurable attributes. Lastly I shook down the list and selected three critical to quality elements they were:
3 key deliverables are of critical importance to the success of this project = functionality improved, time improved, no excess inventory. aka the three baddies!!
The measure phase consisted of collecting evidence by a series of tests, checks, lists, time trials – a whole bunch of viewing from different perspectives and collecting the hard data. This is the best part, well who am I kidding – no it’s not. I was shocked and horrified what an out of control piglet I am.
I used the Ishakawa diagram (aka fishbone diagram) to make a visible picture of the causes and effect. It’s always good to start with a cause and effect diagram. (geek chic)
All of the causes are related in some form or another. The most obvious problem is the material waste which is shown on the left hand side over two bones due to the number of causes…. oh man, that’s worse than I thought. This was put together using the ‘Define’ brain purge list.
Inventory Tally & Defects sort
Primary objective: No excess inventory is one of the critical to quality outputs.
The inventory tally is a measure of the current state in all it’s glory. The list also includes some defects (Defects are anything that needs fixing, is to small, to big). So, initial reaction – a real need for a wardrobe purge I think. I had never done a ‘stock take’ on my wardrobe before how Embarrassing.
It gets worse. The items counted were work and casual clothes only. So my all my snow gear and caving gear gets to stay another day……. Also at this point I should mention there is about 2.5 – 3 loads of washing to return soon, that is also not factored in this tally. So my estimate is closer to 400 items in total.
Primary objective: Functionality improved is one of the critical to quality outputs. Time improved is one of the critical to quality outputs.
I also did a series of spaghetti diagrams to visually depict the transportation or motion waste directly attributed to the layout of the room.
Returning Laundry Routine
Objective: Time improved is a critical to quality output
The time use measure monitors current behaviours and time taken to complete routine. Important for measuring baseline.
The upward trend is due to the problem of the building of the mess through the week. Mondays are great because the cleansing period was Saturday/Sunday but by Friday the room is always at it’s worst. The spike on Wednesday was because I tried on several outfits. I couldn’t find key pieces so had to change again and again. Story of my life – but I’m working on it.
Photographs of current state
Objective: No excess inventory is one of the critical to quality outputs.
This is a very good visual tool to remind yourself what was the ‘before’ situation and hopefully motivate you not to end up back there.
Saturday/Sunday I have cleaned up the mess from the week previous…….. There is a full compliment of stuff packed to the brim.
The racks are packed so tight the clothes are generally crinkled from being squashed in together and it is very interesting trying to get them off the rack without pulling a number of other things off with them.…. Also you cannot tell from the pic’s but the reason why the rack is pushed up against the wall is because if I pull it away from the wall it falls over under the excess of weight.
Check out the rail in the coat closet – I’m gonna say – it came like that.
Monday – Friday: The tornado (aka me) whirls in to cause mayhem on the weekdays. FYI – these pics were taken on a Friday to show the room at it’s worst.
Personal Lifestyle Assessment + Colour Chart
Objective: No excess inventory is one of the critical to quality outputs.
This is basically a measure to fit exercise, refining my wardrobe to my requirements and suitability. for example: I don’t play any sports so the 5 pair’s of sneakers that are in my current inventory are hardly justified. I spend 80 – 90% of my time in my work clothes so how can I explain the disproportionate percentage of casual wear in my inventory list…I have olive skin so I don’t suit autumn colours as they wash me out – why do I seem to have an affiliation with the colour of rust in my wardrobe palate – eliminate it!… get the picture that’s emerging?
Just a colour palate I threw together based on various resources.
Be one with the data, check it, check it again, run a few more tests……… check it again. Get all statistical – geek it out, but be practical about it. Happy data crunching!
Address the findings of the Analyse phase by developing sustainable improvements.
My key improvements are:
- My #1 aim is to eliminate at least 50% of my current inventory levels to partial deliver on the output of ‘no excess inventory’. The term ‘Excess’ is so subjective…. I’m not in a state of avoidance, or being cheeky – to give up 50% is HUGE to me. To give up anymore at such an early stage will just end in tears and wont be sustainable. At this stage I am being realistic.
- Improve the layout of the room to combat the functionality and time issues
- To develop sustainable checks and balances so it doesn’t get out of hand again.
Inventory – Improve
I chose to model my inventory on the simple rules of a capsule wardrobe – minus the capsule part………..
The rules I have set for my derivative system work off 3 base neutral colours. Black, Navy Blue and Grey. Every item must be interchangeable with more than one other item.
Here are the results of the final cull.
This will be so much faster in the mornings providing I set it up each night.
Check out the cool links below for inspiring capsule wardrobes.
- Click on the images below to be redirected to the original sites in a new window.
Simple Ways To Create A Capsule Wardrobe Article by simple-ways-to.com
How to build a capsule wardrobe around three colours by oranges-and-apples.com
Polyvore Fun: Capsule Wardrobe by katrinacraig.blogspot.co.nz
Floor Plan – Improve
Motion Maps – Improve
Not so many cross overs and doubling back and the dressing thing is really handy – reduced my time taken by more than half!!.
Time – Improve
The dress stand has been very handy and the set up time is all of 1 or 2 minutes as all the items are now visible. So the morning time is now consumed correcting the birds nest of hair and throwing make up at my face. The above timescale was taken over the first week. Since then I have been able to refine it further to about 7 – 10 minutes, sustained across the week.
- The stock monitoring process I have chosen to use is: Once a month check for defects and cull/replace, sell unwanted clothes as first option or donate.
- New standard = If a new purchase is made, this item must be brought in on a replacement rotation only, so that inventory levels are maintained. Photographic reminders will be in place for visual reference – and act as a motivation tool.
- I have employed a reverse system based on the Kanban. It’s a commonly used system – hang all the hangers around the wrong way on the rail and after 6 months time – any items on hangers that remain in that position should be purged because you obviously have not worn the item over that 6 month period, same system applies in the dresser drawers each rolled up item will contain a small slip of paper, at the end of 3 – 6 months if the item still contains that slip of paper then it’s gone…… repeat cycle every 6 months for continual refinement – you never know I may end up with a cute little capsule wardrobe after all.
- I aim to review implemented system after 2 week and then once a month, quick eyeball of inventory and assessment if necessary. I think I could purge more over the next 3 months and will try my best to make this happen. Following that the review will move to the 6 months.
I am up for a challenge!!
wish me luck…
Right – that’s enough geekery from me – 2 weeks on and my new improved wardrobe is the best room in the house for functionality and green lean meanness!!! So happy with the results.