In laymen terms, 5S is associated with a housekeeping activities. In fact, the house keeping is one of ultimate objectives in the factory environment where supposedly we can work with safety and produce items with high quality and rapid delivery; just like in our house.
In our private life, first of all, we have plenty of things. I take clothing for an example. Please observe you cabinet, how many clothing do you have? How many of them are in regular use? How many of them is not in use anymore? It is not wise to buy another set of cabinet just because you could not decide which one is more important than others. Surely, it will be a joke, if you “expand” you cabinet despite the fact that your total room can only cater for such space area. From there, you should be able to understand the importance of Seiri (separation).
Then, you should indirectly identify which clothing is used for work, for leasure, for picnic or even for making social activities. This identification is considered under Seiton (arrangement) activity. In a manufacturing when we invove thousands of materials, it is very difficult to recognize items which out visualizing it. Complimentary activity in this step is Fix Item, Fix Quantity and Fix Location. Don’t mess-up!
Then, you should diligently clean up your cabinet. Surely, you don’t want your expensive clothings end up with multiple holes due to termites, right? so, please clean it regularly. Understand if there is any hidden problem by inspecting the clothing one-by-one is also consider as Seisou (cleaning) activity.
The reminding 2 activities, is to make education and self discipline/standard. After all the hard-work, you practically do not want all great effort wested just because your spouse or children do not understand the rule. So you have to educate, inform or train them. On top of that you also must maintain and uphold the rules. These steps are considered as Seiketsu and Shitsuke.
Therefore, I think the 5S (housekeeping) is always relevant for every one of us. The important point is that consistency and determination of the standard. Such standard is applicable every where, so it is good to try, at least from your house, if you a laymen..
Mr. Wanda Abubakar