Written by: Ask the Expert Home Interior Design

Spring Cleaning: Tackling Clutter

Do you struggle to keep your house tidy? I can’t blame you, so do I. I love a system; I create them with everything I do. Years of architecture and design school have trained me to do just that. So, I will let you in on a magic tool that will turn your life around: Lean 5S’s.

The lean 5S’s are a methodology inspired by Japanese minimalism. Luckily, this method works for workplaces and homes as well. It’s aim to inspire followers to feel that heavenly sensation of accomplishment when they turn around to their space and see it neat and clean.

Need an example? Take the kitchen pantry and apply the 5S theory:

SORT (Seiri) Take everything out. Do not cheat. Use your kitchen table or counter and make three distinctive areas for sorting: Toss, Keep, Give Away. Toss expired or stale items. Set aside the ones you know you use frequently. Finally, put any giveaway items inside a reusable bag and take them to your nearest elementary school food drive or food bank.

STRAIGHTEN (Seiton) Now, the only items that should be visible are the keepers. Make three groups based on frequency of use. Sort them by category inside of their groups: pasta items, grains, cans (by sizes), cereal boxes, etc.

SHINE (Seiso) Before arranging your items back on the shelves scrub them down, give them a good wipe. Consider additional shelving or lighting to improve access and visibility to your most used items. Behold the space.

Standardize (Seiketsu) Let’s think about shelf “real estate value.” The shelf at eye sight, the one that is the most comfortable to reach, should house the items you use the most. Place your first group (previously straightened) and arrange according to usage amount. The top shelf should have things like: plastic cups, plates and utensils for parties, extra paper napkins to refill a napkin holder, a clear bin with a candy stash, etc. Congratulate yourself, you have now created a standardized shelf system for your pantry goods!

Sustain (Shitsuke) Call your family to gather in front of your new pantry system. Explain where things go and why. You may want to put labels on the edge of the shelves with group names, so everyone understands where to put the bags of chips. Or when someone asks: “Where’s the extra ketchup?” your answer will be: “In its place.” Even better, when the groceries are unpacked, there will be a system in place to keep things tidy, organized and efficient.

Next up: The Garage!

Adriana Jacir is founder and owner of 2112 Design Studio. With a master’s degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University in NYC, she offers more than 15 years of experience in the architecture and interior design business. A proud resident of the Palmetto Bay-Pinecrest area. PH: 786.732.0123 – www.2112designstudio.com – Instagram: @2112designs– Email: info@2112designstudio.com

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Tags: , , Last modified: March 18, 2019
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