Housekeeping: Why Is It So Important?

LEANHousekeeping. It’s something we hear about on every site and every shop we work in. We clean at the end of a shift, when a customer comes through, when people come to visit our area, and at many other times. But why is it so important?


Successful housekeeping drives safety, LEAN, a company’s culture, and its image to the customer. Poor housekeeping causes us to lose materials, tools, time and access to an area, and it can injure us and those around us by causing accidents. Here are some tips to keep our areas clean, LEAN and running smoothly:

  • Only have the material you need to complete the task in your area. Remove old material and try not to have new material delivered too early.
  • Pick up your area throughout your task, have waste bins next to you to put material and try to keep all items off the floor.
  • Only have the tools you need in your work area. Remove old and broken tools from the site, and when you are done with your task, properly inspect your tools and return them to where they belong.
  • Don’t walk over or past a mess. Everyone needs to own housekeeping. If you have to walk over or around something, then it has the potential to hurt you or someone else. Don’t let it.
  • When you leave a floor or area, it should be left in “broom swept” condition.


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About Bryan Decker


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Bryan decker is the LEAN champion at McKenney's. He started his 12-year career in the U.S. Army in 1992, during which he was part of the Army Aviation Logistics team. In 2004, he transitioned to a civilian logistics role for Target Corp. Since then, Bryan has worked to optimize operations and supply chains through continuous improvement and LEAN principles.

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