Apply the 5S System to Your Spring Spruce-Up Projects

The need to organize and “spruce-up” is apparent in everyone’s life, from our own personal homes to companies and manufacturing facilities. The 5S system of organizing is a great way to organize any room in your home, office, or other space that needs to remain clutter-free.

By definition 5S is the name of a workplace organization methodology that uses a list of five Japanese words, which are seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke. Translated into English, they all start with the letter “S”. The list describes how items are stored and how the new order is maintained. The decision-making process usually comes from a dialogue about standardization, which builds a clear understanding among employees (or family members) of how work should be done. Working together instills ownership of the process in each participant.(Wikipedia)

This same practice is easily transferred to any organizing situation. Weather you are sprucing up your home or office, the 5S steps help make the task easier and more fun.

1. Sort: Eliminate unnecessary items by purging and/or relocating items to their proper places.

2. Straighten: Place items in an area that will make using them more efficient. For example, you may place dishes above the dishwasher or writing utensils in an accessible desk drawer.

3. Shine: Keep the work area clean and clutter-free. Take 5 seconds to put items back where they belong to avoid mess.

4. Standardize: Create a system to ensure the work area stays orderly, clean and clutter-free. The systems should enhance your current lifestyle in small, incremental ways, not change it dramatically.

5. Sustain: Make a 110% commitment to the process by keeping your goal (ex: keeping the island free of papers, putting dishes away more quickly, filing papers on your desk) in mind and reevaluate the progress after a period of time. With the 5S system at your side, your spring spruce up project will be done in no to time, affording you the opportunity to enjoy the things you really love about spring!

Also, do not forget to Ask the Organizer. Email me your time dilemmas and I will help you make the most of your time.  It’s a great way to get some free, personalized attention.


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Lori Bruhns

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