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2 years ago

August 3, 2021

 5S is a Japanese workplace organization methodology which aims to achieve a clean, neat and properly organized workplace through employees’ initiatives. If we maintain an orderly environment it will surely improve efficiency.

It will enable us to concentrate more on the task at hand and not get side-tracked on organizational issues, whether it be in a factory, office or a store.

So what does 5S means?

In Japanese term, it is Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke

It means Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.


It is distinguishing items that are needed or unneeded and eliminate those unneeded items.


Keep the place neat by having a correct place for our things in order to allow for easy and immediate retrieval.


Keep the workplace neat and clean.


This is how making a habit of sorting, straightening and shine.


Maintain established procedures


Our HR recently launched a contest regarding 5S. They emailed their invitation to all departments in different affiliates. They call it a SMILE Challenge.

Simplify, Monitor,  Invest, Leap & Engage.

The goal of this challenge is to build good habits and establish healthy routine to improve behavior and attitude towards work.

So far only these two challenges are being put in place.

Simplify – implement the 5S

Monitor – monitor your progress

Out of 3000 employees, only 5 joined the individual category, 2 for the pair category and 3 for the team category.

Why is this so? Is it really difficult to do the 5S?

A few years back, I let my staff attend a seminar about 5S. It was an echo seminar by one of my colleagues who also attended a seminar about 5S. She showed us visuals and videos during her echo seminar.

After the seminar, my staff started to sort out their area. After sorting we have plenty of full trash bags ready to be collected by our janitor.

For a week, our department was spick and span. But as time passed by, little by little documents are piling up, boxes were littered around. It just cannot be helped as accounting is document oriented and time bounded. We just don’t have enough time to keep on sorting and cleaning our area Therefore, we cannot sustain the 5S.

5S does not apply to the workplace alone but may also apply in our home.

I tried sorting out my closet, separating those that will not fit me and those that I am not comfortable wearing anymore. I put these unneeded clothes in a container to be given away when the need arises. But then again, new clothes were bought or some were hand overs and the closet will be brimming again.

Have you heard of Marie Kondo? I first heard about her from my daughter, Danie. She has been watching YouTube videos of Marie Kondo. Her videos are about declutter and tidying tips.

Danie tried to apply one of Marie Kondo’s tips on closet decluttering. She get an item in her bedroom, may it be a dress, a shoes or anything that she can get her hands on. She then asks herself if that item sparks joy to herself. If it does not, then it goes to the garbage bin or to the “for donation” box.

She has been doing this for a few hours but eventually got tired and stopped. But she did clear a small place in her closet.

Danie tried using this method to my wardrobe, one time when we were all in my room. It just lasted a few minutes as I cannot directly decide if the item sparks joy or not.

It is really difficult to sustain the 5S principle anywhere, whether at home or in the office especially if you have a hoarder (I don’t want to say: disorder) ability.

I have seen a lot of Youtube videos too about hoarder disorder but theirs is really too much. Almost the whole of their house are full of things, unnecessary things, to the brink of having their health being affected.

I don’t think I am in that stage. But I do want to watch videos like that as it triggers me to clean up, even just a little, of my place.

I heard that it needs 21 days of repetitive action to make that action a habit. I don’t have that 21 days to keep on sorting, straightening and making my place shine in order to make it a habit, much more sustaining.

Or am I just making some excuses?

What about you? Be honest, is your place spick and span? Not a single item not in its proper place? Lucky you then.

Thanks for dropping by.

Thanks for the 🧡🧡🧡.

Plagiarism checked!

Lead image by Unsplash.

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2 years ago


Hello dear Judith, a pleasure to greet you, the truth is that I did not know this Japanese practice of the 5S, I knew it was of the Quality circles, however, this one seems curious to me.

However, we are talking about a somewhat complicated subject, because it is not about doing this practice. After all, it is good, but it has to be born, obviously, at first, it seems difficult if only reading you already gave me a headache, to imagine me ordering all my room daily, strictly, no, with this I do not mean that disorder is good, on the contrary, we must have certain limits to live with the order, it is necessary in life, but I think we must create each one a simple way to order things because imagine in your work case, or work or clean, but doing both things at the same time is impossible, the most logical would be to distribute the tasks and rotate them, every day at the end of the workday someone responsible for ordering and discarding the papers, that will create certain habits of cleanliness that perhaps we can apply at home, but it is difficult to carry this rule of the 5S, at least I could not.

I have to admit that I do have some sheets and documents out of place, but every night I try to put everything in order, to start a new day with "order", even if it is going to get messy later hahaha, greetings and great article.

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2 years ago

NO for me lol! I tried but after a few hours, it's just as messy as it was. It does really need discipline to avoid clutter and to maintain order. Also, we know more where we put our things when they are not neatly arranged lol! That's my excuse :D

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2 years ago

I will be honest, companies have great enthusiasm for 5S, they start initiatives and then it falls away and is forgotten. That is my experience of 5S.

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2 years ago

That really is a good way to simplify life - getting organized. I once watched a TV series about hoarders few years back and they are terrible.

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2 years ago

I find it a very interesting article. I particularly think that although I try to have everything organized in some places it is not. As I read your post I imagined myself putting things in order. Thank you for sharing this information.

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2 years ago

Great reminder, ate. Sometimes, I forget.

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2 years ago

Thanks for this article I am reminded of 5s.

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2 years ago

Glad to be of help. 😁

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2 years ago

5s is really helpful, should start applying these😊

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2 years ago

Yes it does, but it just need a lot of time and dedication. 😁

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2 years ago