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by Jon Fesmire
There are huge benefits to keeping your storage facility clean. It creates a great first impression to new customers and keeps existing tenants happy. It also creates a comfortable environment for your employees, with fewer visual distractions, making it easier to think and work.
Few people enjoy cleaning, yet it has to get done. Here are a few ways to make sure it gets taken care of daily.
Create a Cleaning Checklist
So that no one misses a step when cleaning, create a checklist of chores. You can do this in Word or Excel. Print one each morning, put it on a clipboard, and hang it where employees can easily reference it.
Create a section for each room, with the tasks to be done there. For the bathroom, you’ll have tasks like, “check soap,” “clean sink,” and “mop floor.” For the store area, you’ll have tasks like, “mop/vacuum floor” and “straighten displays.”
Once you have the checklist complete, there are a few ways you can go. One way is to delegate cleaning tasks to your employees. One person can be in charge of cleaning up the store, another the kitchen and bathrooms, another of sweeping the leaves off the ground outside, and another of going around the property and throwing out any trash they find.
You can rotate the tasks to make sure everyone knows how to do all the cleaning assignments. When a task is done, the employee who performed it can jot their initials next to it on the chart.
Hire Cleaning Staff
The next option is hiring two or more people to keep the place clean. For an average-sized facility, these could be part-time jobs. That way, you ensure that someone is there to clean every day. You may have the cleaning staff come in a few hours before closing, to make sure that everything is tidy for the next day. Meanwhile, during the day, the regular staff can take care of small cleaning tasks as needed.
Hire a Maid Service
Rather than directly hiring your own employees, you can contract out to a cleaning company. They’ll handle the employees, and send them out when you need them.
This may cost more than hiring your own employees, but you won’t have to worry about someone calling in sick or needing to take a vacation day, and having no one to substitute for them. The service will make sure you have a cleaner there on time.
Having a couple of trees, grass, and flowers around your office can make your facility especially inviting. (Of course, you don’t want to have foliage near the storage buildings, as this can invite pests into the area.) Have an employee keep them watered, or set up a timed sprinkler system to do this.
Also, you may want to hire a groundskeeper service to come in once per week. They can mow the lawn, pick up any dead leaves and branches that have fallen, and perhaps fertilize the area. If you’ve ever lived in an apartment complex with groundskeepers, you know that they can get a lot done quickly, and that it keeps the area looking beautiful.
Keeping out pests is another aspect of keeping a facility clean, and ensuring there are no plants growing around your storage buildings is one way to keep out pests. However, bugs and rodents may still find their way onto your property and into your buildings.
To combat this, consider hiring a pest control company to come in periodically. They can seal up cracks, set out the proper traps and poisons, and drop any pest problem to a minimum.
Your tenants, of course, are supposed to follow the rules and not store prohibited items, such as open food containers and live plants. When they don’t follow these rules, their units may attract pests. A pest control company may be able to tell you if pests are going to certain units. You can then inform the tenants in question that they need to check their units for anything that might be causing this problem.
Call several pest control companies, and check their reviews on Google and Yelp. When you find one you like, they’ll work with you on how often they should come by to check the grounds.
To ensure that the office and grounds are clean for the next business day, have a manager quickly look over the office, the store, the bathrooms, and the grounds, before going home in the evening. It’s best to do this when employees in charge of cleaning are still there. If something hasn’t been done, they can remind the cleaning staff or employees, so that it gets taken care of.
Use any combination of the methods described in this article to keep your facility clean. There’s sure to be some combination that will work for you, your business, and your employees. Remember, a clean facility is a happier work environment that attracts more customers.