People think lean manufacturing is only for big industries and organizations. They do not think about the possibility of using these concepts in day to day basis. Every major concept and tool can be used in day to day life to make the life easy and use our resources efficiently.
Want an example and an activity which will make you believe in this. Minimize this window and have a look at your desktop. How many icons are there on it? How often do you use them? Does your desktop looks nice? If your answer is yes then you have done a good job. Keep it up. If your answer is no for these questions you can do a simple exercise in order to rearrange your desktop and feel the difference. If you really want to monitor the difference you can do a simple study on the time taken to find a file now, and after applying 5S principle to your desktop.
Now in to the business, first you will have to learn about 5S. After reading this webpage now you can sort all the documents on your desktop. Sort them according to a logic. For an example first of all you can sort them as wanted and unwanted. Then you can discard the unwanted documents and then arrange the required documents according to the projects they belong to or according to the importance they should get. Then you can rename the folders accordingly and then keep the folders which are accessed frequently on the desktop and others in some other drive. You can save time in searching and accessing the documents every time you want to open any document. Although this seems simple, application of 5S in an area like this can save you lot of time and make you feel better.
After you do the initial cleaning you will have to keep it up and continue good habits. When you want to save a file think where should it go and save in that folder not on your desktop. Lean manufacturing imparts a very high importance on the sustainability of good habits.
So you don’t need to have a big organization to implement lean manufacturing concepts. You can start with your desktop and implement 5S principles, and feel the power of this simple tool.