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Helping to clean your home more efficiently and organize your daily life: what is the essence of the "Kanban method"?

Yulia PoteriankoLife
A method invented for the automotive industry can help with cleaning at home

When it comes to tidying up your home, all methods are good. Someone practices time limits so as not to overload themselves and set tasks on a stream, someone declutters according to the calendar, throwing away one more thing every day. And some people need a visual stimulus to make their work easier.

The "kanban method" can be such a visual stimulus. OBOZ.UA explains what it is and how you can adapt it to your household.

What is the Kanban method?

The word "kanban" is translated from Japanese as a billboard, an advertising board. It was developed to control the supply chain in automotive production. It sounds boring, but, if you look at it, it helps to establish effective and harmonious work in completely different areas in a very pleasant way.

The method was based on the supermarket principle. The buyer can get the necessary amount of goods at the right time, and the supermarket itself keeps in stock only those products that it will soon sell to the buyer. The result is a harmonious continuous cycle where everything is always in abundance and there is nothing superfluous. And signage helps to organize it, directing the customer to the right place - indicating discounts, marking the location of goods, etc. This is how kanban cards were developed.

The task of these cards is to clearly describe the tasks for a certain time, to show what is needed and where there are gaps in the work that need to be filled as soon as possible. It sounds like something that can be adapted to the home, doesn't it?

How to apply the kanban method to cleaning?

You can use kanban cards to organize your household chores. For example, define several color codes for tasks of different urgency. For example, red can be used to indicate what needs to be done right now; yellow for what needs to be completed by the end of the day; green for the end of the week; and blue for the end of the month. This distribution is approximate, you can create any option that suits you.

You can also create special marks to delegate work to someone in your household. By combining both approaches, you get a more complex system where everyone has several tasks of varying degrees of urgency.

These cards can be hung right in the area that requires attention. You can also use a whiteboard to display the cards, moving them from the "to do" column to the "in progress" column and then to the "done" column.

Why does it work?

This approach allows you to break down a big cleaning into small, doable tasks, like loading the dishwasher or mopping the floor. And it turns a routine into a controlled process. Also, the kanban method helps to evenly distribute the workload among family members, which can be very useful for those with children. They usually hate cleaning and may worry if they feel like they have more responsibilities than their siblings. This way, all the processes will be right in front of their eyes, and everyone will be able to see that the distribution of responsibilities is fair, as well as the effectiveness of each family member.

Of course, this method will not work equally well for everyone. However, it can turn home maintenance into a clear and understandable sequence of actions. You will no longer have to keep a list of actions in your head and constantly check what has already been done and where you haven't started anything yet. Therefore, the kanban method is worth trying at home.

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