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Get Lean In 5 Steps! - Part 3

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

A good clean-up lets you begin to shine.

In the last issue, we set things in order. Tools have the right place so they can be accessed easily, reducing the time spent on acquiring them. Now the question is, is your workspace clean?


I have a love-hate relationship with cleaning. I love clean spaces as I can think clearly and work with ease. However, I am just as good at making messes as any child can and I hate to clean up.


Well, let me clarify. I like things to have a place so that clean up is easy. When things don't have a proper place, cleaning is a drag and I procrastinate. I don't mind cleaning as long as I can get things clean. I mean shiny and spotless. I have had to mellow a little since having a child. Spotlessness is now pure fantasy.


Cleaning might be a joy or might be the bain of your existence either way having completed Step 2 will help you with the next Lean Step.


Step 3 Seiso - Shine


The third "S" in the 5S methodology translates to "cleaning" or "cleanliness" in English. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the workspace keep it clean and orderly. This not only helps identify potential issues or problems early, but it will also help with mental clarity.


No need to be intensely meticulous and have it scrubbed and polished. All you need is to keep clean enough so that you can see what needs to be done and are not hindered by stuff that gets in the way of getting things done.


Here are two key points to remember:


1. Establish a Cleaning Schedule: Create a regular cleaning schedule that outlines when and how different areas or items should be cleaned. If you have team members, assign them responsibilities so that everyone knows their roles in maintaining cleanliness. This schedule helps ensure that cleaning becomes a routine part of the work process.


If you are solo, getting into a scheduled habit of cleaning things on a regular basis will save you time in the long run. Have daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly schedules.


2. Implement 5-Minute Cleanups: New habits take time, so start with short, focused cleaning sessions throughout the day. Take a break from the computer and put something away or wipe down your desk.


Then start to set aside a designated time, such as before or after work or during breaks, for quick cleanups. During these sessions, you can tidy up workstations, discard any unnecessary items, and wipe down surfaces. This approach prevents clutter from accumulating and keeps the workspace consistently clean.


Remember, the goal of "seiso" is not just to achieve a clean environment but to make cleanliness a fundamental part of your working systems.


Doing quick regular clean-ups saves a lot of time. No need to have massive spring or fall cleaning (although you might still have a few of those if you have a space to put all the items you aren't sure you need or not.)


And I am sure that a golden halo will surround you and your workspace helping you be more abundant in clarity and prosperity.


We will dive into the next 5S which is Seiketsu - Standardize.


Until next time shine on!

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