Sunday, June 03, 2007

Seiri Seiton Seiso Seiketsu Shitsuke

The stuff diet continues. We are getting rid of things we no longer need. We are also adding more storage so we can easily get at the things we need. I spent the day going through stuff in the home office/guest room and the sewing/exercise room. Mark has been assembling and hanging IKEA kitchen wall cabinets and shelves in both rooms. The dust and mess kicked up by this process is unreal. I will post pictures later, when the office is put back together.

This evening, we discussed a different furniture arrangement than I had previously sketched. Why is this a big deal?

I had arranged things in the shelves based upon where they would be used. If the furniture is placed differently, then the stuff needs to be arranged differently. All that work today might be for naught.

Serendipitously, Kathleen over at Fashion Incubator blogged about 5S; Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke. (Yes, Kathleen, I am exploring your archives and enjoying them immensely.) She linked to an entry explaining 5S on Jon Miller's blog, Panta Rei. Jon quoted Taiichi Ohno, author of Gemba Keiei:
Seiri (Sorting) is throwing out what you don't need and Seiton (Straighten) is arranging items so that they are ready when you want them. Arranging things neatly is only Seiretsu (lining up in rows) and proper shop floor management requires Seiri and Seiton.

Ohno further explains the correct meaning of Seiton. The "ton" part of that word means "right away" or "immediately" and suggests that when you do the second S (Straighten or Set in order) this means it is in the place where you need it and accessible immediately.

If you need to move other things out of the way to get at it, you have not done Seiton. Chances are, you haven't really done Seiri either and there's more there than you need.
Since I was a little girl, I put things away before going to bed. I slept better that way. I am also more productive in an orderly environment where my tools are ready where I need them.

Mark and Iris appear to be missing that gene. One day, when I was too tired to straighten up Iris' room for the nth time, I told her to do it on her own. She looked at me and said, "Mom, I like it messy. Why can't you just accept me and my mess?"

Perhaps because you are allergic to dust and you can't breathe in your own room?

Read her father's take on mess.

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