Straighten: The Second S in the 5S Process Part Two of 5S Review Series

Even if you’re not familiar with Lean Office principles, you can still benefit from their 5S process of keeping an area organized and operating smoothly.

Those steps include:

  1. Sort
  2. Straighten
  3. Shine
  4. Standardize
  5. Sustain

Straighten – Items kept in an orderly fashion so they can easily be accessed.

Wouldn’t it be great to never have to “go on the hunt” for something again? According to research, the average individual spends 150 hours each year looking for misplaced information. That’s almost four work weeks!  So how can you avoid this? By assigning a “home” for everything.

Begin by asking yourself a few important questions:

  • “Where does it make the most sense to store this item?”
  • “How will I recall this file when looking for it in my filing cabinet or on my hard drive?”
  • “Is this an item that I use frequently?”

When it comes to your desk surface, only allow items you use on a daily basis to take up space in the prime real estate area of your desk. You should be able to visually see if something is missing or out of place. In an office that is practicing true Lean culture, individuals sometimes use electrical tape to outline items on their desks such as staplers, three-hole punches, tape dispensers, etc. It’s just like outlining tools hanging on a peg board.

Labeling shelves, binders, cabinets and filing cabinets is one more way to make sure items are assigned a home.

This article was created by the team at Organized Audrey. This material may be reprinted or reposted, but please credit the author and our website:

For booking or more information, please call Audrey at 952-944-9470, or visit her website

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