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Sssss… You should know this to organize your place!

May 7, 2008

Ah! nothing unusual. Yesterday we were talking about cleaning up our home by this weekend. Cleaning home is definitely not an easy process, first you have to move/remove things, wash clothes, mop the floors, vaccum clean the carpets, dust your windows, arrange things, remove things… The list is huge.

By the time I move the furniture and things, I get tired. Each time the cleaning finishes, most of things that I use are misplaced elsewhere and have to search all over including the dust bin 🙂

Well this post is not yet entirely about cleaning the home. For that, you might want to read this. I will address the arranging things part. Because that is – the major problem and tricky one too 🙂 Its not uncommon to misplace things and search everywhere else. So the idea is to implement the “SSSSS” methodology or you may call it 5S. Wikipedia has a wonderful definition for this:

The 5S’s are:

* Seiri (整理): Sorting. Refers to the practice of going through all the tools, materials, etc., in the work area and keeping only essential items. Everything else is stored or discarded. This leads to fewer hazards and less clutter to interfere with productive work.
* Seiton (整頓): Set in Order. Focuses on the need for an orderly workplace. “Orderly” in this sense means arranging the tools and equipment in an order that promotes work flow. Tools and equipment should be kept where they will be used, and the process should be ordered in a manner that eliminates extra motion.
* Seisō (清掃): Sweeping, Systematic Cleaning, or Shining. Indicates the need to keep the workplace clean as well as neat. Cleaning in Japanese companies is a daily activity. At the end of each shift, the work area is cleaned up and everything is restored to its place, making it easy to know what goes where and to know when everything is where it should be are essential here. The key point is that maintaining cleanliness should be part of the daily work – not an occasional activity initiated when things get too messy.
* Seiketsu (清潔): Standardising. This refers to standardized work practices. It refers to more than standardized cleanliness (otherwise this would mean essentially the same as “systemized cleanliness”). This means operating in a consistent and standardized fashion. Everyone knows exactly what his or her responsibilities are. In part this follows from Seiton where the order of a workplace should reflect the process of work, these imply standardised work practice and workstation layout.
* Shitsuke (躾): Sustaining. Refers to maintaining and reviewing standards. Once the previous 4S’s have been established they become the new way to operate. Maintain the focus on this new way of operating, and do not allow a gradual decline back to the old ways of operating. However, when an issue arises such as a suggested improvement or a new way of working, or a new tool, or a new output requirement then a review of the first 4S’s is appropriate.

Thanks to Wikipedia for this article.

Well, to start with if we live in a place that is not only clean but also well organized, it would make us feel good and stress free isn’t it…! Basically I think keeping the things in right place and putting it back in the same place would be the first step in organizing things.

I have a friend who keeps everything in its own place and never misplaces things, but at times if something is kept in a different place, he gets tensed as he now have to search the entire room. Another guy, who just throws things into his room without care is in fact happy because “nothing is lost, everything is only inside the room” is his argument 🙂

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