Category of things, arranged systematically in groups, resolve (a problem or difficulty) to separate according to kind or class.
This is the beginning of all things. Look at your junk drawer (everybody has one), your glove compartment, bedroom, kitchen, desk, work environment...wow!! We need to organize. First step after you identify a mess (bagunça) is to take a picture and then REPEAT! Take Several pictures of the mess. Now let’s identify with red post it notes everything that can be thrown away...STOP!!! DO NOT throw anything away, just identify it. After everything has been red tagged it is time for a meeting with ALL people that are associated with the mess. If you or someone does not want an item thrown away, it needs to be explained why it is being kept and when it will be used. Next part of the process is deciding the amount needed. If you identified toilet paper as a product needed (I agree on this item) do you need 400 rolls or will 8 suffice? Choose the amount, then sell the rest or put in a warehouse and monitor. If you don’t have space for 392 rolls of toilet paper it is yard sale time. This is the beginning of a new you and a new environment.
STEP 2: STRAIGHTEN
Make tidy or put in order. This step is key, the easiest way to think about this step is giving everything an address.
Everything has its place. You or your group need to decide where the best location is to place the items that made it past the chopping block. If you needed 8 rolls of toilet paper then create that place and make it a location that will only hold eight rolls. You need to be very clear on this, you can even go as far as painting outlines of toilet paper in the location so even a 5 year old can see that there are three empty spots that can be filled with new rolls of toilet paper. This can be done and should be done with everything. Make your house, workplace, garage, and every room tidy so when complete strangers walk in and see a broom on the floor, they see a painting of the exact broom on the wall and can go put it away in its proper address. This will bring order to your life.
Step 3: Shine
Give out a bright light, perform very well.
Whenever this topic is brought up I love to watch the eyes roll... 'Oh here we go, this is nothing but a cleaning program.' I hope you all have had a chance to visit a clean McDonald’s and a messy McDonald’s. Both franchises cook Big Mac’s but does the food taste different in a spotless McDonald’s compared to one with greasy fries on the floor, spilled milkshakes, and lettuce everywhere? There is a difference. But, aside from all that, cleaning is an actual tool. It is an aide in maybe discovering loose parts on a washing machine. Cleaning the lint out of the dryer helps identify a possible fire hazard. By cleaning and organizing you will be able to identify problems and possibly save a life threatening accident before it happens. I love the saying and it is my motto... Shine On!!
Step 4: STANDARDIZE
Systematize to adopt, to bring into conformity.
This is not just a one time event. We have spent a lot of time getting to this spot but we are not done. We have to make it a habit, it being 5S, has to become a daily thing. It will improve every aspect of our life. We don’t want to let go of what we have created and return to mediocrity. This is where the battle is fought day in and day out. Continue to improve by repeating the three prior steps in other areas and then make sure to not lose any ground by getting lazy and thinking “this is good enough” WE/YOU can continue to improve daily.
Step 5: Sustain
Strengthen or support physically or mentally.
Welcome to the world of unfulfilled dreams and goals. When something isn’t accomplished in life, you can always look to this category. This is were quitters go to die. This is the difference between champions and couch potatoes. This is were we find out just how strong of a person you are and it comes down to one core ingredient, SELF DISCIPLINE!! We have made so much progress on this journey but tomorrow is another day. In order for this program to survive and thrive you have to be willing to commit. Maybe the boss, co-workers, significant other, or kids stop doing what you committed to... but don’t give in!! You are different! You have the power to see this project through and you are committed to this new life. Trust me, without sustainability, you are better off saving the time and money and booking that cruise. It will bring momentarily happiness but without the self discipline to sustain what you have set in order, it all just remains a dream of improving.