Excess Inventory Example – Christmas Cards

Posted on December 25, 2011 | in Christmas, Inventory, Lean Wastes, Personal, Time Savings | by

Many Novembers ago I decided that, for the first time in my life, I would send out Christmas cards. I was in graduate school and I figured I could simply hand them to the recipients since I see them every day. I collected a plethora of card designs and tossed them into a box for safe keeping before writing them up. Unfortunately they have these events called “final exams” in college, and they happen to coincide with the holiday season.

Thusly, the cards never stood a chance.

Not only that, but they remained in this same box for years. The box was never opened season after season and move after move.

This year I was digging through a closet and discovered the box. I decided I would do what I could to spread some Christmas cheer AND consume the inventory I had collected. Fortunately for me, Christmas cards never expire if they don’t have date stamps.

So upon my trip south to stay with my family in Georgia, I stayed up to complete my Christmas cards. My inventory is now considerably lower but not quite exhausted, 150 cards and stamps later. (Had I started sooner, the cards would all be gone.)

The wise thing to do would have been to not purchase the Christmas cards until I was absolutely ready to start writing, enveloping, licking, sticking, addressing, stamping, and sending. I would have had more liquid assets available, I would not have had to move this box over and over and over, and the space in my closet could have been recovered. While minor in comparison to other material possessions, the value of my wasteful activity probably came to $150 in inventory, space consumed, and effort in transporting the box – just on Christmas cards.

Here’s to a more flexible, nimble, leaner lifestyle in 2012.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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