This past week, I have been doing a lot of Seiri.
As of next week, I will be shutting down my office and working from home. For the past 6 years, I have been sharing office with a couple of friends and associates. But recently, they have gone separate ways, and so to cut costs, I have decided to give up the office and work from home.
The volume of work that my firm has been handling has reduced quite significantly over the past 2 years. And as I approach my 55th year, I think it is good time to move back home and reevaluate my options. I will continue to do free lance consultancy, specializing in 5S; but what I really enjoy doing most at this stage of my career is writing. I have been doing a self-study course with the Writers Bureau and if the opportunity arises, I certainly would like to diversify into this area of work. I ask myself, If not now, when?
Initially, I wanted to bring back 2 steel cabinets to store all by stuff. Then I decided, I better put into practice what I have been teaching others. So I did the first ‘S’ in 5S which is Sort and Discard. Over the past 10 years, I have accumulated tons of equipment, books, files, course notes and documents which I don’t really use or have too many copies of. So, I discarded most of them. I even gave away a mini-fridge, an old photocopier and a pc and laser printer. I also left behind some furniture for the next tenant. Now, I don’t even need the 2 steel cabinets. To save space, I converted many project reports to soft copy, videos tapes to DVDs and CDroms to an external hard disk.
One important principle that you should bear in mind in Seiri is this. You should do it regularly and not wait till an occasion such as the one I am facing, when you are forced to make quick decision. Your chances of making the mistake of accidentally throwing away things you actually need, and keeping things that you don’t need will be much smaller.