What is 5S? Definition and Example

Adriana Girdler

Confused about 5S? Here’s a clear introduction! Do you have a workspace that has not been organized in years? The 5S technique is super easy …

Confused about 5S?
Here’s a clear introduction!

Do you have a workspace that has not been organized in years? The 5S technique is super easy to implement! It’s heavily used in the manufacturing world, and you can use it, too!

If you want to be productive and efficient, it is key to keep your surroundings organized. So, if you’re looking for a way to keep your space organized both at work and at home, then you need to know all about 5S!

What is 5S?

For starters, it’s exactly what it sounds like – 5 words that start with the letter ‘S’!

Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, Sustain!

This is a technique that is used heavily in the manufacturing industry. It is part of efficiency and productivity work. If you’ve ever heard of lean methodology, it all comes from that.

If you want to be productive and efficient, having a clean space is an essential foundation. 5S is a reliable way to make your space organized, clean, and functional and keep it that way.

The First ‘S’ – SORT

This is the first ‘S’ and also the first step in 5S.

Sort means exactly what it says – you’re going to sort everything!

Go into a particular area and start compiling things.

  • What do you want to keep?
  • What do you want to give away?
  • What is broken that you want to get fixed?
  • What needs to simply just be thrown away?

As you’re going through items, think about the 6-month rule. In the area that you’re organizing, have you used each item in the last 6 months? If you haven’t used it in that area, but you still have a need for it elsewhere, you may want to give it a new home so that it’s not cluttering up your space.

The purpose here is to sort through items so you’re left with only things that you truly need to use constantly.

What about the 4 other S’s?

This is a topic that I really want to ensure you understand properly so that you can implement it almost effortlessly. That’s why I’ve created a video detailing the rest of it!

If you really need to organize your space (and let’s be honest, don’t we all?) then head over to YouTube with me so we can finish this conversation.

See you there!

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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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