Get a jump on the New Year’s clean up organization and start 5S now.

Join BrainSTEM Learning in bringing 5S to your home or workplace. Declutter, get organized and relieve stress.

Are you feeling like your life is cluttered, unorganized and you are unable to move forward. Does your stuff feel like it is controlling you instead of the other way around? Don’t know where to start your organization journey? Start 5S.

What is 5S? 5S is a Japanese workplace organization method. A form of it has been in use since the 1600s. 5S was defined after 1945 as Total Production system, (TPS) by Sakichi Toyoda and son Kiichiro and a Toyota engineer, Taiichi Ohono.

It is as follows:

  • Seiri / Sort – Sorting only the materials or inventory needed for each task at hand
  • Seiton / Straighten – Create an orderly workplace where everything has its place
  • Seiso / Shine – Extreme efforts to keep the workplace clean for functionality
  • Seiketsu / Standardize – Similar and controlled task assignments that are uniform
  • Shitsuke / Sustain – Safe manufacturing process policies

5S has come to Brainstem Learning’s inventory, class appendices and prototpyes:

  • We recycle what we can, and cleaning out materials we can not use.
  • We have been organizing our filing cabinet with our class appendices into different classes: Aerospace, Chemical, Civil, Environmental, Manufacturing, Marine, Mechanical, Robotics, Software, STEM 360 and Camps. Then we have been organizing our class material in the same fashion. Then our Lead instructors will improve their efficiency and ease of finding materials when it comes time to prep the materials for classes. We can see what prototypes we need to make to demonstrate to the students and this helps train the Lead Instructors for upcoming classes.
  • We can also see what we have and need more of by using Kanban materials replenishment. We use clear containers and Kanban is a response to seeing a near or empty container and we know to go get more materials. 
  • Then you keep on doing this system and sustain your organization. 

To reduce stress and worry, I have been doing this at my home too:

  •  Sorting through clothes and shoes, donating the clothes that the kids have grown out of to charity organizations,  I have a storage system for summer and winter clothes switching them over at the end of the seasons. 
  • Reorganizing my kitchen to increase efficiency, and be organized, pots, pans, electronic accessories, baking sheets, food storage for lunches and leftovers, water bottles all in their own drawers. Everything has its own place and is in its place. 
  • Fixing repairing, sewing, changing batteries, gluing and mending broken toys, clothes, tools, machines.I even fixed a bird feeder so that I could enjoy seeing the birds.
  •  I organized my pantry and spice rack. I am reusing spaghetti mason jars to store spices in my spice rack. I labeled the jars and pantry baking supplies and can find what I need. I used to have purchased spices in those little bags and they were cluttering up the spice rack with things falling out when I needed to find different spices. 
  • I am in the process of organizing my linen closet, donating extra items, folding sheets into a compact way and putting a set into the pillow case. Folding and sorting towels. 
  • I have been using aluminium can tabs to make more space in my closet by putting the tab on one hanger and then hooking another hanger onto the tab. To add space in my shoe closet, I sorted the shoes into the seasons and switched them out. As well, instead of buying them, I repurposed 2 litre plastic milk containers into shoe containers stacking one shoe into the container and one shoe sits on top. It essentially reduces the space that your shoes take up on one shelf and let you put double the amount of shoes on one shelf. 
  • Come spring I will repurpose some cans or glass mason jars and make some mason bee hotels and hang them in the backyard. I rolled up paper from grocery paper bags and put them in the cans or jars providing hotels for the mason bees. They should be set up from March through July (near mud to plug up the end). 
  • In my master bathroom, a shelf has been added to the centre of the cabinet, giving us more space to organize containers for my make up, lotions, and nail accessories. Also added is a mirrored medicine chest which I put all the toothpaste, toothbrushes, magnifying mirror for storage up and out off the countertop. They say and I agree a clean bathroom countertop is so satisfying. 
  • Another hook has been added to the broom closet to hold the mop and keep it off the floor. Also on a hook is the ironing board and iron. There are high shelves for the chemicals to keep them out of the way from the kids.
  • My garage is next on the list and I have confidence that I can accomplish this goal through 5S.

These are is a fun activity for you and your kids. Lead your kids by example and get everyone at your house in the habit of using 5S.

All this organization gives me a sense of peace and calm, knowing that I have a process to follow, I don’t have to be done all at once and that as I started this project that I will finish someday. My personal motto has been “you have to start to finish.” I also get the sense that I am making my house more enjoyable for my family to live, mentoring my children, and making our lives better. At Brainstem, we are empowering and training our staff to use 5S to give them confidence, take a sense of accomplishment and pride in the organization and efficiencies by using 5S. You can do it too. Ask our Lead instructors about 5S projects or processes you can use. 

5S WHEEL of Organization

Thank you for supporting Brainstem Learning Canda

Sarah Baldwin