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25 June 2007


Kevin - stop it!! Once again you made me fall off my chair writhing with laughter! I bet like most of you California nuts you've converted a closet into a wine cellar... storing bottles of cabernet? Great post.

Actually mostly pinot noir. However since I pass by literally about 100 wineries on the commute home, I do a lot of just-in-time procurement. I prefer the westside Paso Robles pinots, such as Windward, although Domaine Alfred down in SLO makes a killer. Then of course there's the Justin Isosceles, Le Cuvier, Tolo, and Treana reds... don't get me started!

Good post. I wonder if anyone else has tried to use the "less storage space required" argument when designing a new manufacturing building? Even though our company is far along the lean path, I was met with some crazed looks when I suggested it. I was surprised and a little dismayed. How about the waste of oversized offices, cubicles and aisleways? There is aesthetic value I guess.

I ran into a similar situation a couple years ago. Our compromise was that almost all storage had to be on racks and shelves in an open area in the center of each manufacturing area. The incentive to minimize that eyesore was significant. We had to make a couple exceptions for components that required temperature-controlled storage. On a similar note we also put clear glass doors on all closets and storage rooms which has prevented a lot of clutter. Have you tried clear glass cupboard doors in your kitchen? They also work! -Jim

It sounds like you want to buy a Frank Lloyd Wright house - he really didn't like storage space (either use it or get rid of it). they might seem a bit expensive at first glance but a little extra now will pay off in the long run :-) http://www.savewright.org/wright_on_the_market/wright_on_the_market.html

I´ve seen once in a plant some racks with a big plastic triangle placed like a roof on the entire surface of the top shelf.

This top shelf was higher, then the workers´s head, hence they could not see, if something is placed on them. Since some of them DID place something there, those parts were out of sight.

The triangle just eliminated that error source.


Great article! Being a former military family meant moving a lot. We have moved about 5 times in 7 years and lived in about 10 different homes.

I have found that the smaller the house, the more organized I am. When you have SO much storage space, you just buy more to fill it and everything gets spread out everyone.

I love your blog. I'm adding you to my blogroll. :)

Heh Heh Heh, I've long believed in this theory and I often challenge myself by deciding to remove the storage so I'm forced to deal with the content. I moved into my office eighteen months ago, and as soon as I moved, I decided to sell my enormous IKEA expedit shelves (beautiful, simple and VERSATILE). It meant that over a month, I had to get rid of everything that was superflous to my working needs. I still practice this theory every day as I work as a Professional Organiser (www.sorted.net.au) and frequently challenge my clients to do same. Deal with the content. How much is enough? What are your boundaries? Lovely post Kevin. Thanks!

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  • Kevin Meyer
    Kevin is a former president of a medical device company and consults and speaks on a variety of lean enterprise topics.
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