Benjamin Franklin was a very orderly guy.

In fact, many of his personal habits have been used by people all over the world since the 1700s.

For instance, his method of planning was adopted by Hyrum W. Smith, in 1984, who founded The Franklin Planner Company.  

Executives took to the planner like a duck to water. It helped many order their day and prioritize goals.

But Benjamin Franklin also had a very interesting practice that included a list of 13 virtues:

Temperance: “Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”

Silence: “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”

Order: “Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”

Resolution: “Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”

Frugality: “Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”

Industry: “Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”

Sincerity: “Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”

Justice: “Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”

Moderation: “Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”

Cleanliness: “Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.”

Tranquility: “Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”

Chastity: “Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”

Humility: “Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”

Franklin even kept a small book with 13 pages. On each page, he listed at the top the days of the week.

On the left, he listed each virtue.

He evaluated himself at the end of the day. Next, to each virtue he had failed to follow, he’d place a dot in the box.

The goal was to minimize the number of “dots,” so as to indicate he was living a “clean” life, free of vice.

Each week, Franklin would focus on one virtue, placing that virtue at the top of the chart, along with a short explanation of its meaning.

After 13 weeks (approximately 3 months), he had progressed through all 13 virtues and then would start over again.

I have a feeling Benjamin Franklin would love the 5S methodology.

The well-known 5S phrase “A place for everything and everything in its place” is widely considered to have come from Ben Franklin.

Franklin’s virtue, “Order” reminds me of the fourth 5S phase.

Seiketsu. Otherwise known as “Standardize.”

It means to sort, order and clean the workplace.

The goal is to create procedures and schedules to ensure the repetition of the previous three ‘S’ practices.

At The 5S Store, we’re committed to order and efficiency.

We also carry products that can help you sort, organize and clean your workspace for greater productivity.

We carry floor marking, tool control solutions, color-coded cleaning tools, and more.

So many ways to bring order into your world... even old Ben would be proud of them.

Why not check out our stock so you’re ready for 2019?

Perhaps grab one of our starter kits to kick things off right!

For more 5S tips and ideas, give us a shout.

We’ll make sure you get answers.

Yours for a Worry-Free 5S Environment,


P.S. To celebrate the holidays, click here for a small gift for you, “Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues Record Log.” Print it to start bringing “order” to your own world in 2019. Happy Holidays!

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