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Spring Cleaning: How to Organize Your Work-Space Using 5S

Posted by Eryka Cazenave on Mar 20, 2018 8:56:32 AM

Spring is in the air and it appears that both the pollen and the clutter on your desk are out of hand! There are few things more satisfying than an annual Spring Cleaning. Why not start with your work-space, as that is probably where you spend the majority of your time each day? Having a clean work-space is important for numerous reasons.

  • A clean work-space can help improve air quality
  • It can make you look more professional
  • It can help keep you on task, therefore making you more efficient
  • It can help keep private information secure and supplies easily accessible
  • Your co-workers will appreciate you for it

It’s time to do a little spring cleaning to optimize your work-space for efficiency using 5S lean practices.



First things first- what in the world is 5S and how do you use it to optimize your work-space for optimum efficiency? 5S is a derivative of the Japanese words Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke. The philosophy is designed to help build a quality working environment so that work can be performed more efficiently and safely.

When translated, the original Japanese words are Sort, Store, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. The 5S practice is often implemented in manufacturing environments, but can be easily applied to all work environments. It’s easy to remember because each of the words represents one of the S’s in 5S.

1. Sort

  • Get it started: Necessary and un-necessary items are identified; those not needed are removed.
  • Continuous Improvement: Problem areas are eliminated so you can continually seek improvement opportunities.

2. Store

  • Get it started: Needed items are safely stored and organized according to usage frequency
  • Continuous Improvement: Abnormal conditions are visually obvious and corrective action measures are in place

3. Shine

  • Get it started: Utilize any necessary cleaning material to remove dirt, grime, and dust from work area.
  • Continuous Improvement: A continuous cleaning schedule if created and maintained.

4. Standardize

  • Get it started: Make workplace method improvements and labels visible and understood by all who may encounter your work space.
  • Continuous Improvement: Continually seek elimination of waste and update / document all changes.

5. Sustain

  • Get it started: Create a checklist to help you maintain all of your hard work
  • Continuous Improvement: Continually seek elimination of waste and update / document all changes on your checklist.


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Topics: spring cleaning, Lean Business Practices, 5S, Career Tips, organizing tips