It is finally getting cooler here in the Northeast and therefore it is time to bring out the warm sweaters.
I love sweaters, but I hate the process of changing over and organizing my closet twice a year because it always turns into a full day project with straggling things like dry cleaner trips and Goodwill runs left hanging on for weeks.
A few weeks ago I was preparing a presentation on Kanban so I was re-reading Kanban from the Inside by Mike Burrows. Those of you familiar with Kanban know that one of the main tenets of Kanban is to limit Work-in-Progress (WIP). The reason for this is that there is a limit to the number of things you can do simultaneously and still do them well and get to done-done. This got me thinking about my closet. My problem is that I try to do it all at once.
So, this year I decided to limit my WIP. I made a list of things I wanted to do (tasks) to get my closet organized for winter, I gave them a size (as in effort) so I could decide what I had time for, and I tackled them one-by-one over the course of a few weeks instead of losing a full, precious weekend day in my closet alone with my clothes and shoes. I mean, I love my shoes, but I prefer when we are out together. I also employed the “1 Minute Rule” which helped with things like “I’m not sure if that fits me anymore” and “Are these shoes too worn out to keep?”
I got through my list of closet (and dresser) tasks rather painlessly this way and it was done in about 2 weeks not including the Goodwill drop-off. I wish I had tried it sooner. I was able to do as much as I had time for at a single sitting. If I had an hour I chose a bigger task, but if I found myself with 15 minutes there were a good number of small tasks on the list as well. And throughout I never felt like I “lost” any time to the job.
Kanban is the quiet cousin of Scrum, but it really deserves its own show. I love it.
Here’s the checklist I created for this exercise: