Using the 5S Method to Create a Clean, Organized Home

What is the 5s Method? How to use it: A clean and organized home starts with the desire to have a tidy, uncluttered space. When we are able to identify the unorganized and chaotic areas of our living space, then we have a chance to make lasting changes.

The 5S philosophy is more than just a cleaning method, it is a way of thinking that focuses on workplace standards, making sure that efficiency and quality of work take precedence. Work becomes difficult in messy and cluttered environments when employees are always searching for tools or misplaced important papers, meanwhile the chance of accidents increase with disorderly spaces. You may step on something that has fallen on the ground and hasn’t been picked up or messes are not dealt with in a timely fashion because cleaning supplies are too far out of reach. With the same line of thinking you can implement the 5S method in your own home, preventing stepping on Legos on the stairs, at the same time reaping similar benefits to a clean and orderly workplace. 5S is an acronym comprised from 5 Japanese words. This cleaning methodology is now practiced the world over and every language tries to adapt convenient words to describe each part of the 5S method.

Seiri: sort and separate all what belongs in a particular room or workspace. Keep only those items that provide value and are in good working order, broken items should be tossed/recycled as they serve only as clutter. Seiri helps us get rid of things that we may use someday and allows us to keep what we are using right now. From a simple living perspective, it pares down the items in our home so that we have enough, not more than what we need.

Seiton: straightening, setting order and clarifying value of each and every item. The goal of Seiton is to arrange “stuff” in order so that everything can be spotted easily. Minimalism helps a great deal in this part of the process: the less you own, the easier it is to know all that you have. Organizing and decluttering fall in this category as well as developing systems to keep photographs and important documents in order.

Seiso: shining, sweeping, sanitizing, scrubbing are all cleaning actions that we can make good habits of by implementing them every day, in essence creating a cleaning routine. When your home is clean and tidy, you will automatically notice when something is out of place or missing altogether. Ultimately, it is easier to clean more frequently than to invest extra energy into “deep cleaning” on a very random basis. We know that maintenance is crucial for the upkeep of our cars if they are to run with the same efficiency every time we turn the ignition key. It is the same for our homes as well.

Seiketsu: standardizing is akin to embracing order and guidelines. It is about repeating the first three steps of the 5S method on a regular basis and refining them, so that they could be carried out by any member of your household. Seiketsu helps to overcome the natural tendency to become lazy, by creating a structured work pattern that can be reproduced time and time again.

Shitsuke: sustain the previous steps. Complete the above actions on a recurring basis and perform a self-audit to make sure you are complying with your own expected level of hygiene and cleanliness. In the workplace one will find that the 5S method of cleaning improves safety, enables efficient maintenance and enhances business image along with customer trust.

In your private home, you will find that you are no longer tripping over edges of rugs or badly placed furniture, you will quickly take note when items in your pantry have run low and you will free up space for living and playing by storing your belongings in an organized way. When you approach the regular cleaning of your home as a point of inspection, then you can better notice when your faucet is leaking, when something is broken, or when minor repairs should be done to prevent major, more costly repairs from occurring.

You can simplify your home and organize your life by implementing the 5S method. Not only will you find yourself reducing waste (by readily taking note of what you already have), you will also be improving the quality and wellbeing of yourself and your home.