There is something awe-aspiring about having a home and garage that is neat and clean. It goes beyond having a beautiful or expensive home; it actually brings more value to who you are as an individual or a family. As an individual, it says you take pride in your home, and as a family it says we are all working together in harmony.
Luckily, Six Sigma has a magic tool to help you achieve a clean, well-organized household. It is the Lean 5S tool.
The Ease of The 5S Tool Applied to the Home
Here’s a quick breakdown of the 5S tool as applied to your home:
Sort (Seiri): Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so choose one small area at a time to tackle. Choose an area that has been particularly bothersome and start. Let’s take your home office. Label three separate boxes Trash, Donate, and Give away.
Categorize anything you haven’t used in the last couple of years or don’t have an interest in, such as old fax machines, books on topics that don’t interest you, old cellphone cables…you get the idea. Also categorize any paperwork that doesn’t serve you any longer (mainly because of online and internet storage). This excludes tax returns for the last seven years — those you must keep in a safe place!
Straighten (Seiton): Organize the items you have decided to keep in such as way that the frequently needed items are easily obtained. For example, keep trays for:
- Unpaid Bills
- Paid Bills
- Important to Remember — You can use a fill-in calendar to accompany the important to remember tray.
Shine (Seiso): Clean, dust, and organize so that the easy to get items are easily obtainable and everyone can see where they are located. This will eliminate the waste of buying something over again.
Standardize (Seiketsu): This Lean Six Sigma tool works great in a garage, where storage takes place. Many times, the garage is where you store items not frequently needed, so until you really need them, they are buried and hard to get. This Lean SS tool could be used to have a more efficient and effective way of location placement of such an item.
Sustain (Shitsuke): Everyone in the family is held accountable for maintenance. This could include the once-a-month chore of making sure all items are well organized and in their place. The Sustain part of the Lean SS tool is easy as long as there is consistency in the chore.