If you love your pets as I do with mine, then your house is full of their stuff. We have toys, different kinds of treats, health supplements, and flea and tick care. Also, we have grooming supplies, cleaning supplies, travel gear, and many others. How do you keep all that organized?
The best way to organize and keep it that way is by using 5S. 5S stands for the first letter of the methodology steps. The steps are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. It is a method used in all types of industries to build a nice work environment. Like many other continuous improvement tools, it is useful at home as well. The result is a clean, uncluttered, safe, and well-organized space.
The first step is Sort, which means that you need to sort all the items between what you need and what you don’t need. Start by taking out all the pets stuff you have around the house. By looking at everything in one place, you will be more effective in your sorting exercise. Check for things like:
- expired items – medicines, health supplements
- broken things – brushes, feeders, or scratchers beyond their useful life
- duplicates – four carriers for one cat is too much, maybe you need only one nail clipper
- stuff that you don’t use – like a cat carrier where your cat doesn’t fit anymore, or toys that your pet never uses
While sorting things follow this rule when in doubt, take it out. Do not store back anything you haven’t use in one year or more. There are a couple of options for those things, recycling, a donation to a local shelter or a friend, yard sale, or the trash bin.
The second step is Set in order, everything in a place and a place for everything. Find a house for every kind of item. Have toys, medicines, grooming supplies, travel items, and others with the like. Have the items close to where you use them. Check these ideas:
- You can have by the door the items needed for a walk like a leash, poop bags and a collapsible water bowl.
- Place a basket with bath supplies on the area where your pets get bathed. Shampoo, conditioner, brush, and towels go there.
- Have a small cabinet in the same area the litter box is with litter bags and cleaning supplies. It can have a hook on one side to hang the scoop.
- Keep a basket with toys in the area where they play the most.
- Depending on how much you have, dedicate one cabinet or closet for the pets stuff.
- Use bins or baskets to keep items like medicines, treats, health supplements, and grooming supplies separated.
- Use clear bins so you can see through, no need to open to check what is inside.
- Separate the items for pet type also. Color-coded lids are the best, let’s say, blue for dogs and red for cats.
- Use a hanging wall organizer to keep the pet records in one place.
The next step is shine or clean. Get those carriers, pet towels, and other items clean before storing them again.
In the fourth step Standardization, is about creating procedures and visuals. This step is absolutely necessary for the office or business. It is about creating written procedures that define who is responsible for what, when, and how. If you decided to use labels or color-coded bins, this is when you create your system. If you want to make sure everybody cleans the litter box the same way, this is the time to decide who, when, how and what cleaning supplies.
The last step is to Sustain, find ways to keep things cleaned and organized. You need to make a routine to keep everything in its place. Until you and your family have the habit of keeping stuff on their homes you can hang some signs to remember the procedure. Once a week, while sweeping the house check for compliance. Communicate with the family if something was out of place, keep working on creating the routine.
Your life will be easier following these steps, no more wasted time looking for items. Of course, you can do this exercise with toys, sports items, books, office or school supplies and many others. 5S is an excellent way to keep everything organized.