Keeping employees on deck can be rewarding, but are you keeping up with your staff’s cleaning “headquarters”? By headquarters, we mean the company janitorial closet. This is your office’s “hub” for all your cleaning products. It may not be at the top of your list when it comes to workplace organization, but it has more of an impact than what you would suspect.
If you want to avoid rummaging around for decades looking for Kleenex, check out these best practices for your work closet below. Many people probably think it isn’t a top priority—discover why you need to be concerned about the propriety of your closet.
Why Should You Care?
Keeping your workplace closet clean is something that most people imagine isn’t that big of a deal. This is usually the case until you attempt to clean a spill. You may look in the closet for paper towels only to find that they’re buried under mountains of supplies and janitorial cleaning chemical solutions.
It’s important to think long-term before you get to that point of disorganization. One small problem can quickly evolve into permanent property damage if your janitorial closet remains an afterthought. In addition to this, maintaining this space will help your janitorial staff do their jobs more efficiently. Putting things back in their proper place and making sure everything is in order is the considerate thing to do. It’s something you would want other people to do for you—it’s only right that you treat people with the same kindness.
Let’s go over some best practices to help you structure your janitorial closet organization system.
One of the first things you should do upon opening your closet is to take inventory of what’s inside. Pull out every item in your closet and document what supplies your office has on hand. You’ll probably find that you’re low on certain items. This process is a boon because there’s nothing worse than looking for a soap container and finding out you’re low or all out.
Take stock of what’s low, full, and what you can use more of. Make a list of things you need to replenish if necessary. Give the janitorial staff an opportunity to list what they know is missing and what they need for their role.
Be proactive, and if you’re missing a type of product—say tissue or toilet cleaner, take the time to stock back up or alert your office manager that inventory is low.
Once you’ve taken inventory, what else should you do with everything you’ve pulled out of the closet? You need to start the organization process.
At this point, you’ll want to put everything thing back. However, you don’t just want to throw the items in the closet and walk away. Instead, try and group them according to use. For instance, heavy-duty cleaners should go together, while tissues and paper towels can pair up elsewhere. Of course, any cleaning tools might go on the ground, such as mops, wash rags, and brooms.
If you don’t have shelves and instead have random cleaning solutions stacked on the floor haphazardly, your closet will be a mess. You should install shelves when you get the chance, as they are an essential tool for organizing your office closet. You’ll also want a janitorial cart, which makes it easy to carry all the supplies you need to clean. There’s nothing worse than looking in the closet and trying to urgently carry an armful of cleaning supplies to wherever the mess happens to be.
Labeling the Products
It’s also wise to label the shelves that hazardous chemicals go on. That way, people know where they go and where they don’t. In the case of hazardous chemicals, you don’t want to take the wrong item accidentally. Make sure to label the cleaning solutions appropriately—you might know where everything is, but new hires might have a tough time.
Limit the Number of Products
This might also be a good time to limit the number of cleaning products on hand. You shouldn’t just start taking things and throwing them away without talking to your janitorial staff. Keep them in the loop and work with them to determine what they need and what they don’t. Any old supplies are worth throwing out. What haven’t you used in a while? Is there anything in the closet beyond the expiration date? If so, throw it away! Let go of things that expired years ago and restock. Your janitorial staff will thank you.
Set a Cleaning Schedule
It might also be wise to set a cleaning schedule. While it’s certainly easy to put this project on the janitorial staff, it might be easier to “share the responsibility.” If you find yourself pulling something from the closet and have the time, organize it! Having your staff spend 30 minutes cleaning the closet once a week—alternating between employees—is easy. It also teaches responsibility. You’ll be surprised how much more responsible your employees will be if they must clean the closet occasionally, rather than having one person on the janitorial team take the burden.
Be a Handyperson
It might be wise to either hire someone or DIY your closet organization. You can install racks and light bulbs, making it easier to know where everything is. Make sure your light bulb isn’t bare and hanging on a string. Put up a nice fixture—it demonstrates professionalism. Racks provide air circulation and enhance the organizational structure. Small mount holders can hold several different tools, including mops and box cutters. Having a place to put your dangerous implements is another best practice for your workplace closet. You can also paint the walls and clean the empty closet during the initial phase when you remove and document inventory.
While it may seem like it’s only the purview of janitorial staff, it’s probably safe to say that everybody uses the supply closet. If that’s the case, everyone can chip in to organize the closet and ensure it stays that way. Keeping an organized closet is professional, and it’s a huge help to your janitorial staff, who will be grateful that you did it.