Home-cleaning version of 5 S’s (Sort out, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain)

Some of our LSS readers may think that this “Crap Creep Elimination Project” is a 5 S’s activity all by itself. Yes, it is. But I needed to upgrade the ‘cleaning my home’ activities to a project in order to gain my stakeholder’s (my wife’s) Buy-In. She seems to like and accept this business-like method.

I researched online and found a few web sites that try to apply LSS to home cleaning like I am. I used their insight and I made a basic presentation about the home-cleaning version of 5 S’s as shown below and gave it to my team member (my wife). I hoped that she would be motivated even more by it for the progress of our project.


1)  5 S’s was created by Toyota and is one component of Lean Six Sigma.

2)  “Benefits of adopting 5 S’s

  • Home looks clean, tidy and beautiful.
  • Feels great to live in such a home.
  • Impresses everyone.
  • Improves hygiene at home.
  • No one at home wastes any time in searching and retrieving the things.
  • Home is a safe place now (no sharp toys underfoot – hello, Legos?).
  • The environment around is clean and healthy.
  • You don’t need to purchase extras of whatever it is that you can’t find.
  • You don’t need to spend money to procure additional storage space or equipment for that clutter. So, you are saving lots of money.”

–From (http://5s-housekeeping-home.blogspot.com/)

3)  “5 S’s stands for:

  • Sort out – Clear out rarely used items by red-tagging.
  • Set in order – Organize and label a place for everything.
  • Shine (cleanliness) – Clean it.
  • Standardize – Create rules to sustain the first 3 S’s.
  • Sustain – Use regular management audits to stay disciplined.”

–From (Jeffrey K. Liker, The Toyota Way, Page 150)

4)  Red-Tagging: Putting a red tag on items that should be thrown away notifies that to everyone (Visualizing).

  • Decide the target for the red-tagging.
  • Decide criteria for the red-tagging.
  • Inspect all the targets and put on red tags.
  • Examine each red-tagged item and get rid of it.


 Then, after I had finished my presentation, I looked at her expectantly and asked her what she thought.

She said “That’s 5 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. At least there wasn’t any math involved this time.”

She said her plan was better. She had written some action plans when we conducted the root cause analysis meeting. But the problem is that I can’t read her writing, so she said she’d type it. (She was able to focus well enough for typing, actually. She’s never been able to do that when she does cleaning.) She completed a 4-page-long action plan that is very organized. I wondered if my presentation affected her. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is that we got a lot of progress on our project.


*5S Red Tag image used with permission from Fabfacture UK

One thought on “Home-cleaning version of 5 S’s (Sort out, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain)

  1. I Hope it was a success. In fact people have posed me this question too, stating that they bet my home wont be maintained according to 5S principles though I advocate it and implement it at work.

    Wish you all the best with your project! 🙂



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