Day: August 17, 2011

Let’s Get Organized! How to 5S your desk!

Guest Post by Allie Olano, Student Process Improvement Coordinator

Look around your desk; are there papers everywhere, folders stacked in piles, sticky notes all over your computer, stapler missing, etc.?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep reading so you can get organized. 

Even though spring has already past, it’s not too late to do some cleaning, so let’s get organized before the school year starts!  So how do you even begin to get that messy desk organized?  If you follow Lean 5S concepts and principles you will be organized in no time.  5S is a Lean concept that contains five components; Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain.  Let’s get started!

Sort-Eliminate the unnecessary items from your desk by placing everything into three piles; retain (keep), return (doesn’t belong on your desk), rid (you don’t even use).

Set in Order-Now that you have everything sorted, everything now needs a place and everything needs to be put in its place.  The retain pile items should be placed close or on your desk because these are the things you use the most.  The return and rid piles need to be put back where the items belongs because you don’t use them. 

Shine-Everything is in its place now so it’s time to clean.  Clean your desk by dusting, sanitizing, and at the end of the day clean up any lose items that are not in their proper place. 

Standardize- So now your desk is organized and clean and you would love to keep it that way.  To do this you need to create a standardize process for yourself of sorting, setting in order, and shining every time something new is given to you and could potential end up on your desk.

Sustain-The last and final step to make your organization of your desk successful is to apply the 5S principles to other areas of your job.  Examples: supply closets, book shelves, file cabinets, colleagues’ desks.  If you start applying these principles it will sustain the culture of organization throughout the office and you will continue to keep your desk organized.

Follow the 5S’s and your desk will become organized and stay that way.  Good luck!