5S for You Organizational Junkies

My friend Matt Lane told me about a Japanese-inspired organizational process that is used especially in the industrial world. It’s called “5S” and has a lot in common with David Allen’s Getting Things Done. If you have a garage or a shop, you could make use of these 5 steps:

1. Sort – perform “sort through and sort out” by placing a red tag on all unneeded items and moving them to a temporary holding area. Within a predetermined time the red tag items are disposed, sold, moved or given away.

2. Set in Order – identify the best location for remaining items, relocate out of place items, set inventory limits and install temporary location indicators.

3. Shine – clean everything, inside and out. Continue to inspect items by cleaning them and preventing dirt, grime and contamination from occurring.

4. Standardize – create the rules for maintaining and controlling the first 3 Ss and use visual controls.

5. Sustain – ensure adherence the 5S standards through communication, training, and self-discipline.

The Farmer


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by That Liberal on January 18, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    How many organizational junkies do you think are out there? I think there is a good possibility that you are more alone than you think.


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