Warehouse Organization: What We Can Learn From Marie Kondo

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Does Your Warehouse “Spark Joy”? What Marie Kondo’s Methods Can Teach Us About Warehouse Organization

Marie Kondo has become a household name when it comes to organizing and decluttering. While her KonMari MethodTM rose to fame for those wishing to declutter their homes, the principles can also be applied to warehouse organization. Let’s take a look at how adopting Marie Kondo’s methods (along with a little bit of help from a WMS like ScanForce) can optimize warehouse management, leading to higher productivity, accuracy, and overall well-being in the workplace.

Apply the “Spark Joy” Mentality in the Warehouse

  • Much like in a home, the primary goal of tidying in a warehouse setting should be to foster an environment where every item serves a purpose and brings joy to those who interact with it. While your warehouse workers may not take particular “joy” in your inventory, the key takeaway here is that every item should serve a purpose, much like in the home. Warehouse staff should be encouraged to evaluate each item’s location, quantity on hand, labeling, etc., and make recommendations for improvements that can lead to more intentional warehouse organization and management processes.

Categorize and Prioritize Inventory:

  • A key tenet of the KonMari MethodTM is the categorization of items. By prioritizing high-demand items and ensuring they are easily accessible, warehouse operations can become more streamlined. Categorization in the warehouse means being deliberate about item locations based on characteristics such as size, type, and demand. Providing easy access to frequently used items is key to streamlining operations. Processes such as directed picking and wave picking/receiving take warehouse organization to the next level.

Declutter and Simplify Your Warehouse:

  • Excess inventory has many negative impacts: items that expire or are discontinued lead to waste, obsolete or overstocked items take up valuable warehouse space, and having too much capital tied up in inventory can lead to cash flow issues. If Marie came to your warehouse, would she find items that no longer serve a purpose? A Warehouse Management System like ScanForce gives you real-time, accurate visibility into quantities on hand so you can regularly audit your inventory and ensure you’re not carrying items that no longer serve a purpose.

Optimize Storage Space in Your Warehouse

  • Efficient use of storage space can help you make the best use of your warehouse real estate. Marie is a big proponent of labeling and organizing storage areas based on principles of visibility. Using a well-thought-out warehouse numbering system will aid in navigation and retrieval. Printing labels in the warehouse makes it easy to create and maintain a logical storage system that your team can easily understand.

Create a Culture of Respect and Gratitude:

  • The KonMari MethodTM encourages a gratitude mentality for the items we keep in our homes. While your team may not feel particularly grateful for a certain  widget or gadget in the warehouse, you can show them gratitude by giving them the necessary tools that will make their lives easier and maybe even bring them joy!

While Marie Kondo may have intended her organization principles to be used in the home, it’s clear that many of them can also be applied in the warehouse. Using them will lead to greater efficiency and productivity, as well as a  happier, healthier workplace.

Contact us to learn how we can help you optimize your warehouse organization and cultivate a warehouse even Marie Kondo would be proud of!


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