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Comportamento / 06/08/2020

The Japanese 5s method to harmonize your life

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The Japanese 5s method to harmonize your life

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The Japanese method of 5S is characterized by the identification of five basic principles to improve our quality of life. These principles are based on two pillars: order and cleanliness. Japanese technique can be applied to various circumstances of life, whether professional or personal. Many companies also choose to use them to increase their production. In doing so, they also change the way they handle the workday.

The 5S method was used at the Toyota company in 1960. For what purpose? To guarantee a much more orderly, hygienic and efficient workplace. The company was looking to increase its productivity. This was one of the most used methods alongside the Kaizen method.

Since then, and thanks to its wide distribution, the 5S method has been used in several organizations in different sectors. It can also be applied in the educational field. Makes it possible to develop hygiene habits at an early age. Its psychopedagogical foundation is based on promoting a cultural change in relation to the cleaning habits imposed by educational institutions.

What is the 5S method and what is it for?

The Japanese 5S method refers to five basic principles that start with the letter S. This is a methodology that can be applied very easily in everyday life, as it does not require special preparation. However, it is necessary to respect it strictly to obtain the best results.

The ideal is to practice it in an orderly and systematic way so that it is really effective. Perseverance is one of the keys of technology and a way of adopting it as a way of life. Here are its principles:


Seiri is a ion process in which we put all superfluity aside. The person makes an analytical effort to identify what he really needs. It then separates it what occupies only space. Ideally, after this classification, we get rid of everything that is useless and that is synonymous with congestion.

Another advantage of this classification is that it allows to identify elements that are needed. The person must be aware of the objects they are not using. One of the criteria for whether an object is important is to ask when we last used it. If we realize that we haven't used it in over a year, it's better to get rid of it.

This classification prepares the work material for the next step, which is to choose the best place for each item.


This is the second step. It is characterized by one word: the organization. We will have to place the objects in a suitable place. After that, we will need to identify those that are most important to store them in the most accessible places.

In doing so, we can delimit and label specific classification areas. Ultimately, it's all about organizing the entire workspace. The loss of energy and time must be minimal when searching for objects.


This is a phase we clean ourselves up. The idea is to remove all the dirt to do a complete hygiene job. In addition, the ideal is to identify what causes dirt and prevent it happening again.


Reporting anomalies by detecting and resolving them to prevent a chain reaction occurring, here is the fourth step of the Japanese method. This will allow us to realize that cleanliness must be maintained every day to avoid a potential mess.


Finally, a doctrine is established to continue to improve daily through discipline. We must continue our work with 5S in mind. These guarantee us three things: order, hygiene and efficiency.

Applying the Japanese 5S method to work is a way to control spaces and optimize time. However, we must remember that this is a methodology that can be used perfectly in everyday life. Let us not forget that the classification, organization, cleaning and signaling of anomalies or other problems facilitate the path to well-being.

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