The Household hygiene matrix: A suggested model for the households to develop, implement and sustain a culture of house hygiene in the current safety period.

Paddock N 300 Paddock
6 min readMar 26, 2020


Stay home!

That’s the most commonly spelled/ listened/ visualised phrase this week across the globe as the entire world is in the journey of adopting a lock down to battle against the alarming situation. This article will shed light on ways to introduce health and safety process in our home during this pandemic.

At this juncture, it is becoming crucial for the households to ensure that they reap the best results of adopting “Social distancing”.


1. To make use of Total quality management technique 5’s in deriving a house hygiene culture amongst the households, there by minimising the probability of allowing foreign bodies in to our home.

2. To use the model as reference material for developing check lists amongst households that can enhance hygienic practices.

5S: Conceptual understanding, Getting the basics right:

Of all the tools in Total quality management, 5’s is widely adopted for creating and maintaining an organised, safe, clean and efficient workplace. In order to derive an approach for better health and safety culture at home a checklist has been prepared with the help of 5S tool.

The household matrix: 5+1 s Framework for ensuring a healthy household

In implementing the 5+ 1 framework for a healthy household it is crucial to classify the most important components / activities that we perform at our home on a day to day basis. The following list of classification is not limited, as you can always add or remove any further classification for preparing the checklist for your home.

The most common classifications comprise personal hygiene, food, kitchen, pet’s management, health and fitness, entertainment /living / work respectively.

Table — 1

Across the article , various examples of the matrix for each Household classification is depicted.

Step — 1 — Sort — Seiri

A hygienic household is the one that has essentials sorted across dimensions such as food, kitchen, pet’s management, health and fitness, entertainment /living / work respectively.

Objectives of this step:

  • Ensure ample stocking (without overstocking) of the essentials for home.
  • Reduce unwanted interaction with the outside environment to the possible extent.


A. Call all members in the home and classify the “Most essentials” from the “Non-essentials” for the operations of house.

B. List down what activities / habits to “Increase” and “Decrease” for coming days/ months.

C. Prepare a customised matrix of essentials and Habits (Refer to Example Table — 2) .

C. Allot Budget and Purchase (*Do not over stock) the essentials and leave out the Non Essentials.

Table — 2 (Sort: Matrix of essentials / Habits)

Step —2 — Straighten — Seiton

“A place for everything and everything is in its place” is very much essential for sustaining a healthy household in the safety period.

In the current scenario, essentials such as

Sanitizers / Disinfectant sprays





First aids

are to be placed in ease of access for the members at home. Archiving least frequently used products such as blazers, party wears, gadgets, cosmetics can help in ease of housekeeping and cleaning process.

Objectives of this step:

- Reduce the time spent in accessing the essentials in household.

- Avoiding unnecessary movement / interactions of the individuals within in the house and outside the house.


  1. Based on the products / things identified in the last step, go ahead with finalising the location for “Common Access” and “Individual Access”.
  2. Place things / products with “High frequency” usage in nearby accessible location. (Refer to Example : Table — 3 Ease of Access column)
  3. Educate peer house members on its location for ease of access across all household management domains.
Table — 3

Step : 3 — Shine- Seiso

The act of non-sanitized and infected products within the house will be too costly . After sneezing, coughing, using rest rooms, buying a grocery / visiting a public place it is very important to wash our hands prior interacting with the doors / handles / mobile phones / peer members at home.


  1. To help house members cultivate a habit of cleaning their hands/things that they come in contact at frequent intervals.
  2. To remember consciously on the act of washing / sanitizing Hands, things that they come in contact at frequent intervals.


  1. List down events that house members may perform in the coming days that may demand stringent personal hygiene.
  2. List items that they must Wash / Sanitize / Bath / Dispose after use across all house management domains.(Refer to Example : Table — 4 and Table — 5 Wash / Bath/ Sanitize column)
  3. Always make sure that the masks are either disposed or sanitised at the entry point (door / first room) prior entering in to the house.
  4. Educate peer house members on importance of hygiene in this safety period.
  5. Educate peer members on the location of the tubs, water, common detergents for their access.
Table — 4
Table — 5

Step — 4 — Standardize- Seiketsu

Another crucial step is standardization. Implementing the 5’s approach within the home across house members calls for getting their fullest commitment and interest.


  • To standardise the culture of house hygiene for an increased timeline.
  • To introduce standards, protocols, process and metrics that will help peer home mates monitor the House Hygiene.


  1. Share views and agree upon mutual standards to be followed to ensure hygiene at house.
  2. Introduce Techniques such as observation, visual cues, frequent reminders, checklists for housekeeping.(Refer to Example : Food Management)
Table — 6

Step — 5 — Sustain: Shitsuke

Of all the steps, the act of sustainability is the most challenging one. A well-defined process that has yielded good house hygiene in this turbulent time, can lose its power if even one member of the house fails to adhere to the defined standards.


  • To bring about a permanent house hygiene culture at least for the next few months.
  • To develop and sustain hygiene to ensure that no foreign body enters our sweet home.


  1. Detect and correct non conformance immediately through positive criticism and feedbacks.
  2. Reward peer house members with small gifts, foods, chocolates for their contribution to the House Hygiene.

Step — 6 — Safety:

“Safety First” is the moto behind the house Hygiene model as it will help our home members in the coming months to save themselves from the alarming situation.

Sample Matrix / Checklists:

Table — 7

- The example checklist matrix are developed based on the “SEQUENCE-ATTRIBUTE MODIFICATION MATRIX” J.D.Brooks by means of incorporating dimensions from the 5S+1 matrix.

- The checklist are purely fictious and are developed based on assumptions to give reader an idea of the ways in which they can ensure a healthy household in this safety period. The writer does not take responsibility on the use / implementation of the tool and it outcomes as its only listed as a reference material.