Office Organization Hacks: The 5S Methodology

Do you feel like your workspace seems cluttered no matter what you do? If you said yes, you might consider trying the 5S Methodology. It’s an efficient Japanese workplace organizational method that’s been tried and tested for years. The name 5S specifically stands for Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. The general principle behind it is in order to have an efficient workspace, you must identify the items in the space, store them by category, maintain them properly, and of course sustain this organizational order.


Sorting is the first step to the 5S Method; it is also one of the key elements to its success. Sort through all your items, clear out everything you no longer need or is damaged, and classify the items according to use. Classification is an important step to this process since objects should be arranged according to its use to establish an efficient workflow.


Once you’ve arranged all your items categorically and by use, it’s time to put them in their proper places. When arranging your items, make sure they’re efficiently and ergonomically placed. All objects must be readily accessible and easy to find. Place items that are frequently used in a location that is always within reach.  


Now that you’ve sorted and organized your belongings, it’s time to let them shine! Make it a habit to clean up your entire space daily. This will make your items last longer, allow you to clear out unnecessary clutter, and maintain a refreshed and aesthetically appealing workspace. Anyway, isn’t it just great to walk back into your office the next day and see it look amazing?


The best way to enforce this organization system is by creating a detailed schedule, a customized coding system, and/ or a checklist. This system will be your official guide for automation until the whole process becomes second nature. It also helps as an instructional guide for anyone you want to share the process with inside your office.


In the Japanese version this step is called ‘Shitsuke’, which translates to ‘do without being told’. Having the discipline to maintain order and cleanliness on a daily basis is what we’re aiming for. Sustainability is the key to the success of the 5S organizational methodology in your office.
If you’re thinking of implementing this concept across your whole office, we suggest incorporating it as part of your work culture. Set 5-10 minutes at the end of each day for everyone to clean up their respective areas before they leave. Ensure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities and knows how to properly sort, organize, and clean. If needed, provide tools, gadgets, or organizational hacks to create uniformity across the whole office.
Lastly, remember to follow the structure of the process but always be open to improvement.
Here are a few items that may help you kick off the 5S in your office:

Wooden Adjustable Monitor Riser

computer monitor stand with storage

Use an elevated monitor stand so you have space to place your frequently used items within reach in an organized way.

Expandable Deep Drawer Organizer

clear plastic drawer organizer

Customize your drawers with these transparent adjustable drawer organizers.

DYMO Label Manager

black label maker

Don’t be afraid to go old school, label makers work!

3M Desk & Office cleaner

desk and office cleaner

Keep your workspace clean with the 3M Desk & Office cleaner.

5S for Healthcare

5s for Healthcare book cover

Read more about the 5S system specifically for healthcare from Thomas L. Jackson.