The organization of our kitchen is a daily task that sometimes can be a big frustration somehow. Not knowing whether to start at the sink, countertops, ranges, the floor, the refrigerator or even the ceiling. Organization needs proper organization. And it is a situation that every field of living (livelihood) faces, from the mechanical industries to your very own kitchen. The solution…the 5S (no, it’s not the iPhone 5s that is released by Apple).
5S is the summarization of 5 Japanese words, namely seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. The 5S is a workplace organization method, translated in English as “sort”, “straighten”, “shine”, “standardize”, and “sustain” respectively. The method of 5S is one way to engage people, contribute to culture change and foundation for more disciplined actions. The 5S mainly applies to productions to create order and objectivity, but as time tends to pass, it is adapted by every discipline (culinary included). People like to work in a well-organized and clean environment. They feel better about themselves and better about their work, and they restore the self-discipline that is found in every famed kitchen.
“Seiri” or Sorting, included here are the task of separating the needed from the unneeded. Sorting activities aim to remove unneeded items from the work area and to perform an initial cleaning.
“Seiton” or Simplifying, the tasks of finding a place for everything and everything in its place, clean and ready for use. Make things easier and arranges the workplace to make certain of safety and efficiency.
“Seiso” or Systematize, cleaning for inspection. Systematic daily cleaning and inspection of cooking areas and equipment that can help you understand their current conditions and determine if corrective actions are needed.
“Seiketsu” or Standardizing, the step of developing common methods for consistency. Standardizing aims to make irregular conditions visible and to keep a record of arrangements to ensure consistency and sustainability.
Lastly, “Shitsuke” or Sustaining, holding the gains and improving. Sustaining is expecting of maintaining the improvements from the other 5S activities and improving further.
The 5S results to cleaner and safer work areas, less wasted time through more workplace organization, less space, improved self-discipline and improved culture in your own kitchen.