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How we do 5S

How we do 5S

In our last installment, we discussed What 5S is and how you can use it at home. Now let’s talk specifics. How can you do 5S in your own life? Well let’s talk about how we do 5S.

But first let’s quickly revisit what 5S is:

5S is a methodology of management consisting of five steps that are repeated in a manufacturing or industrial setting to ensure quality, limit waste, and maximize employee time and efforts. 5S was developed in Japan and was documented during a study of Japanese manufacturing methods in the late 1980’s. It was first heard of as one of the techniques that enabled what was then termed ‘Just in Time Manufacturing.’

Alright, back on topic. Here’s how we at Triton Products do 5S:

1. Sort
For me (Zach, Community Manager at Triton), I am constantly sorting things. I have a hard time throwing things away that I think may be useful someday. So what works for me is a three-stack keep or toss system. For example, when I am sorting through papers on my desk I start by assigning a Toss pile, a Keep pile, and a File pile. As you’re going through things, decide to throw them away, keep them handy, or store them away for future uses. Don’t hold back though, if you don’t need it anymore just dump it!

2. Set in Order
As you sort things into piles, stacks, or bins you should start to see where these things belong. Order your stuff by size, shape, date, or alphabetical order. Sticking with my example above, I tend to organize my paperwork by category (bills, invoices, flyers, coupons) and then chronologically by date received. File them away in these same order so you can easily find them later.

3. Shine
Now that you’ve cleared some clutter, move on to cleaning. Clean everywhere. If you find something else that needs sorted and set in order, move back to step 1 and start again! You’re on your way to a much cleaner space!

4. Standardize
Standardization involves taking the first three steps and making them better. Standardize your storage by making sure that everything you’ve sorted and set in order has a designated place. Take it from ehow.com on Step 4: “Use labels here to keep things organized. Color code commonly used items. Pegboards are handy for hanging garage artifacts and washroom items.”(1) You know who has pegboards (insert shameless plug here :D)? Want to see them?

5. Sustain
Keep it up! Maintain a once a week schedule of 5S in your life. Take the time to stick with it. The more you stick with it, the more you’ll be able to enjoy your new, clutter free lifestyle. One thing at a time, though. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do it all at once. If you pile it all on at once, you can bog yourself down and you won’t stick with it in the long run.

How do you stay organized? Do you use 5S at home? Let us know on our Twitter or Facebook pages!



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