Top Small Space 5S Tips


How long does it take you to find what you need to complete a specific task in your workspace? Sure, your space is limited – but your time is valuable. Why continue to waste productive time searching your workspace for the items you frequently use? If you’ve ever wondered how a space so small can become such an unorganized nightmare, then these Small Space 5S Tips are for you!

Messy desk, a small space in need of 5S tips

5S practices are designed to help you maintain a workspace that’s effective, efficient, and functional. Below you’ll find a brief overview of what the 5S’s mean, and practical tips to help you succeed.

the 5s principles in a circle graph

Sort (Seiri)

Take everything out of the office, closet, vehicle – whatever the small space is and to start with a “blank slate.” Then, only bring back what you need (not what you’re emotionally attached to). You might need to red tag larger items to identify what doesn’t bring value, that hasn’t been used for a while, and/or needs to be disposed of.

Small Space 5S Tips: Take pictures of your environment before and after to showcase improvements. Use these pictures to help you determine the next set in order phase and to influence your coworkers to have a cleaner and more productive workstation.

Set in order (Seiton)

Now that you know what you need, it’s time to put what you have back in order – this is the real organizational stage. This step focuses on storage, labeling, and location methods. Use shelves, containers, labeling, or tool shadow boards to keep your items in order. Additionally, it is important to use ergonomic principles to locate items where they minimize movement and reduce stress.

Small Space 5S Tips: Consider where are the most logical places to keep items? Storage containers and/or visual displays provide great organizational lean efforts. Remember to place frequently used items nearby for easy access.

Shine (Seiso)

Just like the community refrigerator at work – you can’t clean it once and ignore the untouched leftovers – it’ll start to smell. Your workspace, although small, still requires frequent cleaning, organizing, and upkeep – otherwise, it will revert to an unorganized, dysfunctional, and smelly space.

Small Space 5S Tips: Make it your daily duty to inspect your workspace to ensure everything is in the appropriate place. Remember, a place for everything and everything in its place.

Standardize (Seiketsu)

As the top three stages of 5S become a habit, standardization becomes attainable. When you consistently place your tools, clipboards, and work supplies in the correct places, you’ll know where to find them right away. Who wants to waste valuable time trying to find that tool again?

Small Space 5S Tips: Create a simple inventory checklist and put aside a few minutes before you leave your workstation to check that everything is where it should be.

Sustain (Shitsuke)

The fifth and final phase requires proper support from the entire company. Routine inspections are 100% necessary to reap all the benefits of 5S practices.

Small Space 5S Tips: Conduct 5S audits to measure any faults in the process. If you’re still struggling to find the tools you need, review all phases to discover what steps need extra work.

Bonus Small Space 5S Tip:

Remain flexible and adopt new procedures as you see fit so you can make 5S part of your daily routine. Think of organizing as your friend – it exists to help you maximize your workday. With 5S practices, your daily work routine will become easier to manage and you’ll become more productive. So what are you waiting for? Start using these tips today!

Remember, your friends at are always here to help you and provide a full range of 5S-related products.

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