How to Declutter Your Home with the 5S Method

By: Ivan Montes
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How to declutter your home with the 5S method. It’s a process used in manufacturing to keep the workplace in the best condition possible. The 5S method was developed for lean manufacturing, but it has gained popularity recently as an effective tool for decluttering and organizing homes. It is a five-step process, including Seiri (sort), Seiton (set in order), Seiso (shine), Seiketsu (standardize), and Shitsuke (sustain), aimed at eliminating waste and improving productivity through the organization and standardization of the workplace. Using this method of decluttering your home, you can create a better living space with less mess and more space for the things that truly matter.

1. Seiri (Sort)

The first step in the 5S method is “Sort”, which involves identifying and separating items in your home based on their usefulness and importance. This step helps to eliminate clutter and unnecessary items, creating more space and improving overall organization.

How to Implement

To implement this step, begin by identifying all the items in your home and categorizing them based on their usefulness. Important questions like: when was the last time this was used? Do I have multiple items serving the same purpose? Is this item damaged or broken? Sorting through your belongings will help you identify what you truly need and what can be discarded or donated.

Once you have gone through all your items, creating a system might help keep track. This might include labeling boxes, creating designated storage areas, or using a color-coding system. Remember, the goal of the Sort step is to eliminate clutter and create more space in your home. By identifying and separating your items, you’ll be well on your way to creating a more organized and efficient living space.

2. Seiton (Set in Order)

The second step in the 5S method is “Set in Order,” which involves organizing and arranging items in a logical and efficient manner. This step helps to optimize space, reduce clutter, and improve productivity by ensuring that everything has a designated place.

How to Implement

Implement this step. Begin by identifying all the items that you need to keep and organizing them based on their frequency of use and importance. Items that are used more frequently should be the easiest to grab. Items that are used less frequently can be stored in a less accessible location.

Now that you know which items are used more or less, it’s time to create storage depending on their use. Use labels, dividers, or color-coding to help you identify each storage area and keep items easily accessible. Make sure that you store similar items together and keep frequently used items within arm’s reach.

When implementing the Set in Order step, it’s important to remember that the goal is to create a logical and efficient storage system that works for your specific needs and reduces clutter.

3. Seiso (Shine)

The third step in the 5S method is “shine,”, which involves cleaning and inspecting your workspace to ensure that it is in top condition. This step reduces the risk of accidents and increases the efficiency of your home.

How to Implement

Start by thoroughly cleaning and organizing your space. This includes dusting, sweeping, and scrubbing any areas that have accumulated dirt or grime. Address any issues that you find promptly to prevent further damage or potential hazards.

After the initial cleaning and inspection, it’s important to establish a regular cleaning routine. This routine should include daily cleaning tasks, such as wiping down surfaces and organizing items, as well as regular deep cleaning tasks.

When implementing the Shine step, it’s important to remember that the goal is to maintain a clean and organized living space that is free of messes. Take time to regularly clean and inspect your home.

4. Seiketsu (Standardized)

The fourth step in the 5S method is “standardize,”, which focuses on creating and implementing standard procedures and practices to maintain the improvements made in the previous steps. This step ensures that the improvements are sustainable and can be easily maintained over time.

How to Implement

To implement the “Standardize” step in your home, start by writing down the practices developed during the previous steps, such as sorting, setting in order, and shining processes. Develop clear and concise guidelines that everyone in the household can follow to maintain the improvements made in the previous steps. This can include specific procedures for cleaning and organizing each room, as well as guidelines for maintaining tools, equipment, and other items.

Create a system to ensure the standard process is being followed. This can include regular inspections to ensure that everything is in its designated place and that cleaning and maintenance tasks are being completed on schedule.

In addition, it’s important to continually review and refine the procedures and practices developed in the previous steps. As you live in your home and use the space, you may discover areas that could be improved or find that certain procedures are not working as well as anticipated. By regularly reviewing and refining the procedures, you can ensure that your home remains organized and efficient over time.

Overall, implementing the “Standardize” step can help ensure that the improvements made in the previous steps are sustainable and can be easily maintained over time. By developing clear procedures and practices, tracking progress, and continually reviewing and refining the system, you can create a home that is organized, efficient, and easy to maintain.

5. Shitsuke (Sustain)

The fifth and final step of the 5S methodology is “sustain.” This step is all about making sure that the changes made during the previous four steps are maintained over time. It involves creating a system to monitor and continuously improve the organization and cleanliness of your home.

How to Implement

Establish a routine or create a checklist for regular cleaning and decluttering, making it part of your daily or weekly habits. It is also important to involve everyone in the household in maintaining the new organizational system and to hold each other accountable for their individual responsibilities.

Another part of sustaining the 5S method is to regularly review and evaluate the system to identify areas that may need improvement or adjustment. This should be done by taking everyone’s opinion into consideration.

With this fifth step of the 5S methodology, you can be sure that the benefits of decluttering and organization are sustained over time, allowing you to enjoy a more organized and stress-free home environment.


This system was originally created for business manufacturing, so while it was created with a workflow in mind, it will be a big improvement in your home’s “living flow.” Once you have created your home’s system, there is always room for improvement, so don’t hold just this system accountable; there are far more that you can use or combine with the 5S to make an ultimate guide.

What now?

Another process that can keep your home moving in the right direction is Feng Shui, luckily, we have created that post so you don’t have to get up from your seat.

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Ivan Montes

Ivan Montes is a Business Management Engineer that enjoys spending time with family and researching how to improve quality of life with quality products.

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