Use the 5S's to streamline your home processes

What is 5S?  5S is a simple methodology that has been used in many companies around the world.  In these companies it serves as the foundation to drive quality into every process.  Imagine if you could utilize this methodology in your home to improve your life and make things run smoother.  It improves the way you GTD at Home.
This simple yet powerful methodology was created by a pioneer in the modern quality movement named Hiroyuki Hirano. The five "Ss" are five Japanese words—seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke.  The origin of 5S is rooted in the work of Frederick W. Taylor and Henry Ford.  Their methodology was the CANDO program (Cleaning up, Arranging, Neatness, Discipline, Ongoing Improvement), an obvious predecessor to the 5S system.  However the 5S system has been utilized much more and popularized to great use across industries throughout the world.  Before proceeding you'll want to select a focused location to target your efforts. Consider a room in your house, or the garage, deck, etc.
The first S is called SORT.  Sort out what is needed and unneeded.  Get rid of what's not needed.  This is a critical point in the process requiring great discipline.  You must really decide what you NEED.  In a corporate environment there is less at stake and it's easier to part with unused items, but at home we become fond with trivial items.  The motto of "when in doubt, throw it out" is the rule in this stage.  If you are not sure, put it in the garage or basement and consider again in a month.  Another motto to use is "no pain, no gain".  It may be painful to part with some items, but you'll reap benefits in the long run.
The second S is called STORE.  Store whats left over.  This can be fun, as you can really see that you have more room.  It's liberating, but make sure you do it properly.  Consider the frequency of use as you select the location for each item.  Obviously the least frequently used items should be stored in location further away than items used daily.   This seems like a no brainer, but as you begin to rearrange the items in your home according to this principle, you'll find that you can find what you need faster and GTD easier.  This is a great time to consider storage systems.  Many stores carry systems that will make finding and using things easier.  Consider IKEA or Target as they both have these systems.  Beware of buying systems that will collect more stuff as this is not your objective.
The third S is called Shine.  This means to make "like new".  In this phase you want to clean, refurbish and update any areas where you see it's necessary.  At this point make a task list of areas that need attention.  Give yourself a few hours to begin working on these items.  As in the GTD system, if anything on the list will require a lengthy separate project, put it aside to work on at another time.   Then you need to do top-to-bottom cleaning.  You should see some real impact on the area at this time, but don't stop now.
The fourth S is called Standardize.  You now need to make it work on a day to day basis.  Make storage locations obvious to everyone who shares the space.  Make it fool proof.   Set a schedule to follow up to maintain the work that you've completed.
The last S is Sustain.  This just means that you'll need to review on a regular basis and complete the first 4 S's again.  Keep Sorting, keep Storing, keep Shining, and keep Standarizing.
As you can see, the 5S system is very simple and easy to use and will help you GTD at Home.
As you read and utilize this system, please leave comments so we can hear your best practices.

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