30 September 2011

5-S, The Final Chapter

At long last, we have come to the end of the kitchen reorganization, only to find out that it never ends.  Yes, the 5th S of 5-S is Sustain.  It's the hardest one.

It's not as if clearing out, cleaning, sorting, and organizing are easy, but sustaining takes more than one push to do, and it takes everyone doing it.

We're only middling good so far.

I went grocery shopping the other day, and was tired when I returned.  I just wanted to throw everything into the cabinets and be done with it, but I had to tell myself, that this was the slippery road on which I did not want to venture.  So I took the time to empty the cereal into the containers, open other packages and refill other containers, store excess in the basement, make note of what went into the freezer, blah, blah.  It took some time, but I'm hoping that that time will save me time and money and frustration in the future.  I can now look at a clear container and see that the cereal is getting low. (Since I don't like cereal, I never pick up the boxes.)

If I could only train the rest of my family to do this, it would be smooth sailing, but that is small potatoes, since I do most of the shopping.

The other area to train the family is to OBEY THE LABELS.  Sheesh.  The labels are there for a reason, so if you get the bread from the shelf marked "bread," it seems logical that you would return it there. *sigh*  Again, this is small stuff, and as long I consistently keep things in order and gently remind others to do the same, it will happen.  Eventually.  I'm glad that stuff like this doesn't tie me up in knots.  I can see how it would bother other people.  Just don't go folding my towels the wrong way.  In fact, don't fold the towels at all.  I'll do it.

So was it worth it?  After 3 months of living with a 5-S'd kitchen, I'd say definitely.  Cooking is so much easier now, and actually, even with the time it takes to put things away correctly, putting away groceries is easier because I know where stuff is supposed to go.  And I think I'm saving time and money by not accidentally buying, say, mustard 5 weeks in a row.

If you have kitchen logistic woes, I urge you to try a little 5-S-ing.  You don't need to do it all at once, though it is probably most efficient if you do.  However, if you can only do a little at a time, do it anyway.  If your kitchen is like mine, you can't be any worse off.

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