Storage Musings

One of the funny things about having a hoarder background is that I lack any sense of organizing objects into space. Selling stuff on Ebay requires you to organize things precisely.  When you don’t, you lose money, like I did recently.  Anyone can organize 50 items with a few boxes and piles, but when you get into the low hundreds, “piling systems” fail.

Well, fellow hoarders and children of hoarders: there’s an entire study of how to store things, and it’s called “inventory management”. People write about this. Here are some pages I’m reading about it.

How to Name Inventory Locations

5 Lean Inventory Principles

Inventory on Investopedia

KonMari – Interdisciplinary Inventory Ideas

I’m not a member of the KonMari cult, but I did try her folding technique.  This is the one very odd technique that many writers have mocked – but I think it’s pretty brilliant.

Here it is if you don’t know it: basically, it says to fold clothes and then store them vertically in your drawers. She’s applying the principles of inventory management and office filing to storing your clothes; this takes large-system ideas and brings them into the home.

Here are the principles being used:

  • Divide your inventory by type, and keep each in a “bin”, which is a drawer.
    • The size of the inventory should match the size of the storage bin.
    • The size of the bin should accommodate enough objects to supply clothes until the next scheduled washing. This is a “lean” principle.
  • Store objects to make retrieval simple.
    • Apply sorting rules, by size, color, number, alphabetic, etc. This is a basic principle from office filing systems.
    • Store objects vertically, so the edge is visible, easing retrieval. This is just like a bookshelf. Again, this is from office filing systems.

This achieves, ideally, a 1-to-1 mapping from objects to spaces, and holds enough inventory to supply clothing between washings.  This is “lean inventory management.”


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