How to Apply 5S - Home Office Desk - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Your desk can reflect your mind. A cluttered, unorganized desk often leads to scattered thoughts and ideas – and ultimately, lowered productivity.

Here’s a photo of my desk before applying 5S. It sure could use some organization!

How to Apply 5S - Home Office Desk - GoLeanSixSigma.com

5S - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Step 1: Sort

I needed to first sort through everything that was on my desk. I removed many items that I rarely used. These items included my GoPro, Xbox, school papers, receipts, watches, old decorations, etc. I placed these unnecessary items into the storage drawers below the left side of the desk. I also relocated the storage drawers to my closet, as they contain nothing pertaining to the workspace itself. I also went ahead and redid the wires so that they are more aesthetic and less noticeable.

How to Apply 5S - Home Office Desk - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Step 2: Set In Order

I set in order what was left on my desk, which included only my daily desk essentials. These items included my Apple TV, Mac Mini, monitor, Macbook, keyboard, mouse, notebook, pen and speaker. I did however leave one decoration, just for aesthetic purposes. (Who doesn’t love a little eye candy?) I placed the essentials in the same general area of the desk so that I wouldn’t be wasting time moving around the desk. I also placed small strips of clear tape at the front of each object so that I know the exact location of where the item should be at the end of the night.

How to Apply 5S - Home Office Desk - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Step 3: Shine

To shine all of my belongings that were going to be on my desk, I took a dry towel and used cleaning spray to wipe down and dust all items on the desk, including the desk itself.

Step 4: Standardize

To standardize the location of every element of my desk, I took a picture using my phone so I can refer to what the desk should look like at the end of every day.

How to Apply 5S - Home Office Desk - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Step 5: Sustain

The most important step of 5S is to sustain the gains that were made. In this case, the gains I made were the overall cleanliness and functionality of my desk/workspace, along with relocation of the storage drawers. In order to keep my desk organized, every night I purge all unnecessary items collected on the desk throughout the day and refer to the “after” picture to make sure it is back to the desired 5S’d condition. Also, I’ve created a schedule so that on Sundays before bed, I will wipe down all items on the desk to ensure that the shine aspect is sustained.

Do you 5S your desk? Please share a photo in the comments! We’d love to see how organized you are. And be sure to check out our 5S hub page – 5S: An Easy Way to Eliminate Waste – for other great ways to apply 5S!

Darion Mabe

As our Operations Assistant, Darion supports GoLeanSixSigma.com's day-to-day operations, enabling our Team to deliver exceptional service to our clients and learners.