No matter what your warehouse deals in or what kind of products come through your facility, there always seems to be a lot of waste and clutter left behind.

From leftover packaging material to unsold inventory and everything in-between, you might find yourself constantly dealing with a flow of clutter and junk that needs to be removed.

And even if you throw it out, it seems like it always comes back. So what are you to do? There’s ways to cut this sort of clutter off at the pass, as it were, if you’re proactive and willing to put in the time. Here’s a few of our favorite ways to reduce waste and clutter in warehouses:

 

Reduce the amount of shipping/packaging materials used

A great step in reducing clutter and ‘going green’ in warehouses is to reduce the overall amount of packaging and shipping materials used in each shipment. Find ways to streamline your packaging so that smaller boxes can be used with less filler and padding, even for big orders, and make sure that smaller items can be shipped in appropriate-sized packaging to reduce cardboard and paper waste. This may require the development of new packing/picking methods to accommodate the reduction in packaging size, but the impact on your clutter, your overhead, and the environment as a whole will be worth it.

 

Improve organization on shelves

Speaking of picking methods, improving organization on your shelves can help reduce clutter and keep everything right where you need it. By optimizing your wire shelves and pallet racks to accommodate the highest amount of items possible, you can reduce the risk of products cluttering up your other shelves or getting lost around the warehouse. Carefully study the weight and dimension limits of every shelf or storage unit you use and figure out how much of each product can be stored, and where. It’ll save a lot of time and energy in the long run.

 

Look into reusable materials

Just like you do at home with that pile of plastic shopping bags, identifying ways to reuse products in the warehouse can reduce waste and do wonders for your bottom line. Things like wooden pallets and plastic storage totes can be used over and over again to store pallets and small, easily-lost items, and are ideal to prevent having to dispose of and replace costly storage items. For certain larger items, you may also be able to introduce reusable packaging: by sending your products to your clients using larger, reusable crates and shipping containers, you can offer discounts and incentives to ship them back and cut down on overall waste.

 

Cut down on paperwork

A lot of industries need to retain paperwork for the long term, such as medical storage and auto repair, but for businesses that can store their documents digitally, moving to an all-digital record keeping solution is ideal for reducing waste. Digitize as many records as possible and convert as much of your future work to a cloud-stored digital solution as possible, and provide your managers with laptops or tablets where possible. Not only will you reduce the amount of waste your warehouse creates, but the space freed up by no longer having to store physical documents and records will increase the amount of room your warehouse has to work with overall.

 

Got any other tips for decluttering your warehouse? Drop a comment below!

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