• Cecilia Macaulay

Life without windowpanes: 'Clean' gone radical

Updated: Apr 3



My neighbour Anna doesn't have to wash her windows - she doesn't have any. She doesn't have to sweep the floor: the wind does that, as she keeps walls to a minimum. Sometimes she gets lucky, and the rain does her dishes for her, in her open kitchen.

The Japanese concept of 清掃、Seiso, translated as shine, sweep, or sparkle, is one of the most misunderstood of The ‘5 S’ principles in The Toyota Way. As everyone alive knows, forcing our personal clean preferences onto the people in our lives only ever leads to tears, eroding relationships and making it easier to just 'do it all yourself'.

Whether you are the slob or the uptight one on the richter-scale of clean, looking closely at Anna’s ‘left of field’ example will equip us to choose a level of clean that satisfies everyone, and a desirable, do-able way to make it happen.


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