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5S is the Japanese concept for house keeping.

1.) Sort (Seiri)
2.) Straighten (Seiton)
3.) Shine (Seiso)
4.) Standardize (Seiketsu)
5.) Sustain (Shitsuke)
I think the concept of 5S has been twisted and its real meaning and intention has been lost due to attempts to keep each element in English word to start with letter ‘S’, like the real Nippongo words (seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke). For the benefit of the readers who would like to develop and establish their own understanding and applications, the following are the real meaning of each element in English:

Japanese – English Translations
——– ——————–
Seiri – Put things in order (remove what is not needed and keep what is needed)
Seiton – Proper Arrangement (Place things in such a way that they can be easily reached whenever they are needed)
Seiso – Clean (Keep things clean and polished; no trash or dirt in the workplace)
Seiketsu – Purity (Maintain cleanliness after cleaning – perpetual cleaning)
Shitsuke – Commitment (Actually this is not a part of ’4S’, but a typical teaching and attitude toward any undertaking to inspire pride and adherence to standards established for the four components)

Reference: The Improvement Book
By: Tomo Sugiyama
Productivity Press, Cambridge, MA / Norwalk, CT

First S-Sorting(good and bad, useable and non-useable)
Second S- Systematic arrangement (once sorted keep systematically to have traceability)
Third S-Spic and span (keep arranged things always ready to use and in dirt-free and tidy status)
Fourth S-Standardize (make a process for the above three stages. Make standards and review them)
Fifth S- Self discipline (Individual has to commit).

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