5S: The Japanese Method to Having an Ordered Home

If tidying your home feels overwhelming, discover the Japanese 5S method. Get down to business with enthusiasm and enjoy more well-being and comfort.
5S: The Japanese Method to Having an Ordered Home

Last update: 26 November, 2022

The 5S method originates from Japan, a country characterized by order. This technique arose in search of organizing workspaces and is based on optimizing the use of office space. However, the method is now popular in homes, and little wonder!

It invites us to keep our intimate and personal spaces tidy based on concepts such as classifying our belongings and spaces, cleaning, and standardizing our habits. Do you want to know more? Keep reading!

What is the Japanese 5S method?

The 5S method is related to these Japanese words: seiri, seito, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. Each one has a special meaning that’ll help keep your spaces as tidy as possible.

If you like Marie Kondo’s method and her various tips to keep your home organized and clean, you should know about this new technique. Next, we’ll break down each of the words so that you can apply them to your home.

1. Seiri: start sorting

Formulas to maintain the order of notes and documents
Start with the first of the 5S and classify your belongings to identify the ones you really need.

The first of the 5S is seiri, whose concept is basic: classify your belongings and spaces. This is the first thing you should do to order your home. Classify your decorative objects and spaces. Only then will you know which things are necessary and which are definitely not.

By the end, you’ll have a series of things to store, others to donate, others to throw away and others to accommodate. But here’s some advice: don’t overthink whether you need it or not, there’s nothing to analyze.

Executing seiri will allow you to free up space and make your home a free and orderly zone by default.

2. Seito (5S): start ordering

The seito process of 5S is also known as the art of order and it’s the second step you need to take. After retaining the things that are useful, functional, and important to you, it’s time to organize them.

Necessary things must be within your reach and you should be able to see and find them quickly. Let’s give you an example, if we consider your kitchen, these belongings should be in the first drawers or in the most recurring ones. So you can easily locate them when you need them, preventing you from turning everything upside down because you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Following seito as part of 5S will bring harmony to your home by reducing visual noise and establishing a specific place for everything.

3. Seiso: start keeping everything clean

To achieve an orderly and harmonious home, you’ll need to guarantee cleanliness and for this, we have the third process of 5S: seiso. This word is an open invitation to have everything neat and dirt free. 

The best way to achieve this is by establishing daily cleaning habits. Ideally, spend a few minutes each day cleaning, either before you go to work or before you go to sleep. What happens is that energy circulates throughout your home, especially if you ventilate your home at the same time.

By applying seiso or cleaning your home, you’re removing bad energies and negative charges that accumulate during the day.

4. Seiketsu (5S): start standardizing acquired habits

Wicker baskets for the bathroom.
The last of the 5S process invites us to identify the best way to order our things and turn this into a habit.

After selecting what contributes and what doesn’t to your home, tidying it up, and cleaning it, it’s time to standardize the habit. As we said before, it’s important to make a habit out of cleaning and one that you repeat every day. Seiketsu reminds us to be constant.

You must make an effort to keep everything in its place, clean and tidy. Take the opportunity to purchase storage baskets or organizers that you can label. By doing this, you’ll never forget where your important things are. Do the same in your kitchen, with glass jars, in your bathroom, with drawers, and in your closet. When you start using storage boxes and baskets, you’ll notice how effective organization can be.

Moreover, in the long run, this method saves you time and minimizes stress when looking for something. This is because you’ll always know where to find what you’re looking for. Remember, repeating your actions should become a permanent habit.

5. Shitsuke: start with self-discipline

The last of the 5S process is shitsuke and it invites us to be self-disciplined enough to maintain good habits. It complements seiketsu because it appeals to a personal commitment to have a tidy, clean, and clutter-free home. Positivity should surround every corner.

To achieve such self-discipline, it’s essential to complement daily order routines with monthly ones. You’ll soon notice that you’ll also feel proud of your space, begin to enjoy it more, and grow what you have. It’s a healing and empowering feeling!

The seiri of security: a lost 5S

Although this method is called the 5S (implying that there are only five categories), there is a sixth that was lost. But, we have found it for you! It’s the seiri of security. This one appears in more modern manuals on the Japanese technique and it refers to protecting your home. It’s performed by identifying the bad habits that prevent your space from being harmonious, clean, and orderly.

Once you follow the 5S method, you can then achieve the latter. This is because when you classify your things and keep what’s useful, order them, and clean them, maintaining this habit will ensure the ultimate harmony.

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