Empowering Lean Solutions for Everyone

5S Housekeeping

After all, it is hard to standardize the whole plant at once.

So, when the time is right and you initiate a general cleaning of the plant, everybody will perform the first 3S.

5S Housekeeping Steps

They are in logical order:

  • Sorting
  • Setting in order, Straightening, Simplifying
  • Sweeping, Shining, Systematic cleaning

For the purpose of keeping the material organized on this site, I’ll repeat here the definitions of the three components of the 5S housekeeping system. You can find them also on the 5S Principles section.

Without further delay, let’s talk about each component.

1. Sorting

You separate the things you need from the ones you don’t need.

Sort through items in the work area and remove what is not essential to conduct your business there.

Why do that?

  • To eliminate unnecessary items
  • To free floor space for the required items
  • To reduce your inventories (be they supplies or work in process)
  • To free resources (things that other areas might need and not have)

To sort, you could use red tags. simply attach a red tag to every item you want removed.

What do you sort:

  • Stock
  • Machinery
  • Equipment
  • Tools
  • Furniture
  • Stationery
  • Locations
  • Others

Be Red Tag obsessed. Tag anything that doesn’t belong.

But please, please DON’T TAG PEOPLE!

2. Setting in order, Straightening, Simplifying

Organize the workplace in such a way that it is Easy to see, Easy to get, Easy to return. That is a good reason to pursue it now, isn’t it?

A motto often used in the industry is:

“A place for everything and everything in its place”.

How do you set in order?

Ask yourself:

  • Why are the items located where they are?
  • Is it a better location for each of them?
  • Are the items in closed stores where it might make more sense to have them in the open?
  • Are the frequently used items close by, easy to get?
  • Are the tools and equipment close at hand?

To make it easier on yourself, clean and straighten as you go.

Which brings us to the cleaning concept.

3. Sweeping, Shining, Systematic cleaning

As the name says, it means to wash, dust, sweep, clean everything. It’s understandable that you cannot make parts without any mess.

But it should not be acceptable that the machines and floors have residual grease, dust and whatever you have there.

Why clean?

First, it improves overall plant safety for obvious reasons.

We say: “Cleaning is Inspecting”. So true! Each time you clean, you may find leaking hoses/valves, broken switches, etc.

So, it helps with TPM (Total Productive Maintenance)

Also, it promotes pride in your people, it boosts morale. Who doesn’t like to work in a safe, healthy and clean place? And they get to be involved and make a difference.

So now you have the 3 steps that are part of any 5S Housekeeping program.

3S Audit

Use the 5S audit check sheet and just complete the first three sections.

As you were able to see, a good 5S housekeeping program can have an easy start and should be applied immediately.