24 Hours to Improving 5S in Your Home March 10 2015

The 5S system of workspace organization may be something you are incorporating into your daily life without even realizing it. Originating in Japan as a way to enforce cleaner and more economical practices in the work place, this system has worked its way across the globe and is used in large and small enterprises, alike.

If you're looking to maximize your efficiency both in the workplace and in your personal life, you can take these simple steps to increase your time and energy available for all aspects of your life.

You may want to clear away most of the unused or less used items from your counter tops in your kitchen, restroom, and other areas of your home to implement the 5S pillar, Sort, which aims to keep your workspace organized, swept, and clean. By having less clutter on surfaces of your home, you will have less distractions and will maximize your time spent in any one area.

After making decisions about what will be removed from surfaces, you can red tag these unnecessary items for disposal, recycling, or re-organization to a new storage area. By eliminating these items, you will gain precious floor and counter space. This will allow you to move more efficiently in your home. If the items being disposed are valuable, you may even be able to generate revenue by selling the items still in good condition.

By organizing the contents of the cabinets and the surfaces of counter tops in your kitchen to keep your most used items and ingredients closest to your reach, you will be using the 5S pillars of sorting and setting. Pushing items used more sporadically to the back of the cabinet will allow you to waste less energy sifting through your unused items to get to your sugar for your morning coffee even faster – and who wants to be wasting time and energy before a morning coffee?

Another great perk to clearing away the clutter in your home is that it will allow you to keep up the organization system more easily. Rather than spending an entire weekend afternoon giving your home a deep cleaning, you will be able to wipe down surfaces and vacuum or sweep the same space in a fraction of the time. This pillar of the 5S system is referred to as the “shine” process. The goal of this pillar is to maintain your established system of organization and to keep you more aware of your personal surroundings. With everything unnecessary cleared away, you will also be much more likely to notice when a vital piece of your life (like that amazing new coffee maker that sustains your very existence) is malfunctioning.

Standardizing this new system in your home and workplace is the next pillar of 5S. This is the aspect of organizing that encourages accountability for maintaining the efficiency and cleanliness that you have worked so hard to implement. Give yourself a five minute checklist to follow each day to ensure that all of your surfaces remain orderly and clear of unnecessary items.

The ultimate goal of 5S is sustainability. It can be easy to fall back into old habits if you don't hold yourself and others in your household accountable for the system of organization you have set up. By keeping the mindset that this is the way things are done now, you are on your way to maximum efficiency!