5S is a reference to five Japanese words that describe standardized cleanup:
Seiri (整理): tidiness, organization. Refers to the practice of sorting through all the
tools, materials, etc., in the work area and keeping only essential items. Everything
else is stored or discarded. This leads to fewer hazards and less clutter to interfere
with productive work.
Seiton (整頓): orderliness. Focuses on the need for an orderly workplace. Tools,
equipment, and materials must be systematically arranged for the easiest and
most efficient access. There must be a place for everything, and everything must
be in its place.
Seiso (清掃): cleanliness. Indicates the need to keep the workplace clean as well as
neat. Cleaning in Japanese companies is a daily activity. At the end of each shift,
the work area is cleaned up and everything is restored to its place.
Seiketsu (清潔): standards. Allows for control and consistency. Basic housekeeping
standards apply everywhere in the facility. Everyone knows exactly what his or her
responsibilities are. House keeping duties are part of regular work routines.
Shitsuke (躾): sustaining discipline. Refers to maintaining standards and keeping the
facility in safe and efficient order day after day, year after year.