Costly Holiday Shut Down Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

commercial floors that need to be cleaned in a factoryThe holidays are an empty time at most businesses. The usual buzzing office and production floor make holiday shut-downs prime for facility cleaning and maintenance.

While daily operations may be minimal, the holiday shut-down should be optimized for efficient execution of the preventative maintenance and deep cleaning tasks that can’t be completed during busy periods. Many tasks should be planned and carried out efficiently in a short period time to maximize funds and time; making costly holiday shut down mistakes can slow efforts and get in the way of accomplishing both goals.

Avoiding outsourcing

When trying to stick to a budget, it can be tempting to handle all holiday shut-down maintenance and cleaning in-house. However, spreading staff thin over the holidays can be a major expense; this is especially when factoring in overtime and holiday pay (if the company offers the latter).

Utilizing vendors for certain tasks can also be an efficient use of funds because tasks can be done simultaneously. This ensures that less funds are spent on staffing and that the scheduled tasks are completed quickly and proficiently. Determine what tasks should be done in-house versus outsourced; contact vendors for quotes to do a cost analysis of each holiday shut-down maintenance and cleaning task.

Not having a plan

A carefully scheduled effort is imperative for adequate preparation. Parts can be ordered for maintenance tasks. Vendor schedules can be coordinated so that many tasks are completed in different areas or so that one task is finalized before the next comes in.

A holiday shut-down schedule can also be helpful when selecting vendors. For example, if remodeling office space is on the list, it can be advantageous to hire one vendor for the remodeling and deep cleaning that follows. Draft a schedule and contact the vendors for quotes accordingly.

Not scheduling floor cleaning

A floor cleaning should be an obligatory task on every holiday shut-down maintenance and cleaning list. In addition to maintaining a professional facility impression, an empty facility guarantees an easier floor cleaning. Beyond that, a deep commercial floors cleaning can remove deep-ground debris and salt from carpet fibers and grout. This build-up can cause facility floors to get slippery, increasing the risk for slips, falls, and other common workplace injuries.

The build-up of grime is not only a risk to employees and visitors; it is also a costly mistake. Facility floors that are not regularly cleaned can cost more to strip and clean. Schedule floor cleaning so that areas are cleaned when maintenance is not planned in that area (and visa versa).

Ignoring a restroom sanitization

A thoroughly cleaned and disinfected restroom is necessary for employee health and productivity (especially during cold and flu season), as well as creating a favorable impression with guests and clients. Regular restroom cleaning can be done during regular office hours; a deep clean is infinitely easier when staffing is low.

During a holiday shut-down, a meticulous restroom sanitation should be scheduled (use this complete restroom sanitation checklist). When staffing is needed for other holiday shut-down maintenance and cleaning tasks, or for a more efficient use of time, contact a commercial cleaning service and schedule accordingly.

Holiday Home Cleaning: 22 Tips that Get You Started (and Done!)

living room cleaned and decorated for the holidaysThe holidays are (almost) here! It’s time to get ready for the family Thanksgiving, Christmas, and holiday celebrations. Holiday cooking, preparing guest rooms, mopping, washing counters…it’s all part of holiday preparations. While we can’t help with the holiday cooking, we can give you cleaning tips that help you clean your home efficiently and completely so you can move on to enjoying the holiday parties.

Pre-Holiday Cleaning Tips

  1. Make a list of cleaning tasks (or use this holiday cleaning checklist) for an efficient and quick holiday clean. Designate the tasks so the holiday cleaning is a team effort.
  2. Start cleaning at the top of the room (i.e. ceiling fans, tops of furniture and appliances, etc.) and work to the floor.
  3. Put down rugs by all the doors to prevent tracking in water and dirt.
  4. On dirty floors, test floor cleaners on areas of flooring that is not visible, so the cleaner does not damage or discolor flooring.
  5. Vacuum and sweep before deep cleaning floors (or hire a cleaning service to tackle the floor cleaning while you’re gone).
  6. Carry cleaning supplies from room to room for faster cleaning.
  7. Clean windows on a grey day so the cleaner doesn’t dry and leave streaks.
  8. To remove pet hair from furniture, use a lint brush to remove stray hairs from cushions and chairs.
  9. Remove all the garbage bags throughout the home at once for an efficient clean (and better-smelling home).
  10. Hire professionals for rooms that need a deep clean, such as the kitchen or bathroom.
  11. Make trash clean-up easier; put out separate containers for trash and recyclables.
  12. Launder all linens and curtains early to ensure they are ready for the holidays (and holiday guests).
  13. Put out extra towels and toilet paper last (after all the cleaning is done) so your home is ready for guests.
  14. Don’t forget to clean walks and driveways so guests are not injured from ice and snow.
  15. Strategically place towels, wash cloths, and cleaning supplies near gathering rooms for easy and fast clean-up (of spills and other accidents).

After Holiday Clean-Up Tips

  1. Wipe down tables and counters as soon as the party is done to eliminate stains and hard-to-clean spills that dry on the surface.
  2. Immediately soak dishes that are dirty to make the dish washing easier or wash dishes after the meal is done.
  3. Sweep and clean as soon as the holiday gathering is done to reduce the chance for scratches and stains on floors.
  4. Hire a floor cleaner to deep clean floors after guests are gone (schedule the appointment before the holidays so it is done as soon as possible).
  5. Don’t wait to clean guest rooms after they leave.
  6. Pre-treat stains on table linens so they are not permanently stained.
  7. Make it easy. Hire a professional home cleaner to completely clean your home as soon as the holidays are over.

Company Shut Down Maintenance: How to Maximize Plant Down Time

warehouse floor after cleaning ready for winterCompany shut downs are a part of business operations. Plant down time is also an opportunity for necessary maintenance and deep cleaning that can’t occur during regularly scheduled hours. As a commercial property landlord or maintenance manager, a facility shut down is a time that should be optimized. Every second of company shut down should be utilized efficiently to ensure that all preventative maintenance and deep cleaning is completed before employees arrive.

Preventative maintenance and deep cleaning tasks should be a top priority; both options play a key part in preventing equipment break-downs, improving productivity, minimizing employee illness and injuries, and meeting customer deadlines. Machine and IT preventative maintenance ensures that all equipment is lubricated and maintained to prevent breakdowns that cost money and time. Deep cleanings of common areas, such as kitchens and restrooms, ensures that employees and visitors are in a healthy environment and minimizes interruptions to employee productivity.

The optimal time for company shut-downs is around holidays when the facility is empty, such as over the winter holiday or in the summer when employee vacations are planned. Scheduling for the facility shut down should occur months in advance to ensure efficient use of time and prompt service delivery by staff and vendors.

The following maintenance and cleaning tasks should be completed during facility down time:

A full analysis of company shut down maintenance and repairs are vital for the efficient user of time and funds. Make a complete list of maintenance and cleaning tasks; analyze each task to ensure efficient scheduling and task assignment. For some tasks, it can be more cost-effective to use maintenance and cleaning staff who are more familiar with the facility. In other cases, outsourcing the task to a maintenance and cleaning vendor with appropriate expertise and scheduling flexibility is a more efficient use of budgetary funds. Evaluate each task on the list, contact vendors for a quote, and schedule each staff member or vendor accordingly.

What is the cost of a home cleaning?

sink full of dishes at home in need of a home cleanerThere are a variety of factors that go into the average cost of a home clean. We’ve cleaned homes across southeastern Wisconsin; every homeowner has a different cleaning list for their home cleaner. To complete that list, the extent of the deep clean varies as well; obviously, it takes longer to clean a large kitchen over a smaller, more compact room.

The best way to answer the question is work through a multi-step process. The first step is to decide what cleaning tasks need to be done in the home. A home cleaner can do any of the following tasks: laundry, floor cleaning, bathroom and kitchen deep cleans, carpet cleanings, seasonal cleaning (i.e. spring cleaning, washing windows), or a full-home deep clean. Make a list of cleaning tasks, document the estimated square footage of the room or home, and the frequency of the home cleaning (i.e. weekly, monthly, annually, etc.) This information is going to be needed when contacting a local home cleaning service.

The next step in determining the cost of home cleaning is to determine whether to hire an individual home cleaner or home cleaning service. There are pros and cons to each home cleaning option.

  • An individual home cleaner tends to cost less, but doesn’t always have the flexibility to meet the needs of a thriving home. A home cleaning service should be able to meet the set schedule, as well as any “emergency” cleanings that need to be completed (i.e. before a party or the holidays, after a mess, etc.)
  • When an individual home cleaner has an emergency, there are no back-ups. A home cleaning service has a team of flexible and experienced home cleaners available at request, and to cover scheduled cleanings when a cleaner is sick or another issue arises.
  • Not all individual cleaners carry insurance that can be invaluable to a homeowner in case of an issue while cleaning; home cleaning services typically do (this should be one of many questions asked when hiring a home cleaner).

The last step is contacting home cleaners and asking them a series of questions. These questions can be asked in-person or via message. Make sure you are clear on all prices; some home cleaners charge hourly while others charge per square foot. To ensure a satisfactory performance and experience, make your expectations clear and keep an open line of communication with the home cleaner or cleaning service.

Facility Managers: 6 Fall Building Deep Cleaning ‘Musts’

commercial building that needs summer building maintenanceFor facility managers, fall is more than a time of changing leaf colors and dropping temperatures. The fall season is the ideal time to check items off the fall cleaning checklist and prepare company buildings for the freezing temperatures to come.

Flooring Cleaning

The upcoming season dictates a full facility floor deep clean and advanced planning. Plan a fall facility floor cleaning for common company down times or contact a commercial cleaning service that can deep clean floors during off-hours. Schedule floor cleaning for times when office staff are gone (such as weekends) or factory shut-downs when the floor is empty. A regular floor stripping and deep cleaning protects facility floors from long-term damage. Regular floor deep cleanings also can save money in other ways, as well; if floors are not deep cleaned, incidences of workplace injuries can increase and the next floor clean can cost more because of excessive build-up.

Duct Cleaning

Duct cleaning is an essential facility deep cleaning task, both for the health of the HVAC system and for employees. A comprehensive duct cleaning can improve system efficiency and overall employee air quality. Specifically, allergy sufferers are sure to thank facility managers; duct cleaning removes many common allergens, such as dust, mold, and mildew, and improve indoor air quality.

Restroom Sanitation

Regular restroom sanitation prevents the spread of illness and infections (i.e. cold viruses, stomach flu, influenza, hepatitis, etc.) which can reduce employee productivity and increase the amount of employee sick days (these other tips can keep employees healthy as well). Since winter is typically the time of year when illnesses spread, a complete restroom sanitation is a critical preventative measure.

Office Common Areas

Printers, conference rooms, kitchens, and other common areas can become a hotbed for germs and dust. Before windows are shut, and employees are trapped inside, do a general deep cleaning of office common areas.

Exterior Cleaning

A facility exterior cleaning is an important part of building maintenance; gutter cleaning, for example, can prevent ice dams and other issues throughout the winter. Other items on the exterior cleaning checklist should include parking lot maintenance, tree and bush trimming and clean-up, building pressure washing, window washing, and concrete washing. Allocate staff for exterior cleaning tasks that can be handled in-house, and outsource other exterior cleaning tasks to companies that can meet the seasonal deadline.

Rug Laundering

Rugs and mats are your first facility’s line of defense against tracked-in gravel and water. Strategically place rugs by all doors and in high traffic areas, such as hallways, restrooms, and break rooms. Track your employees’ activity to ensure that all high traffic areas are covered and the flooring does not wear down (and needs to be prematurely replaced). Have all rugs laundered regularly and promptly so they are ready to be replaced before more gravel—and even snow—is tracked in.

15 Tips for Organizing Your Cluttered Mudroom

coats in cluttered mudroomA clean and organized mudroom is worth its weight in gold, especially when you’re leading a busy life (there’s a lot of gear that comes with school, work, and hobbies!). That’s why we’ve put together a list of cleaning and organization tips that’ll give you a functional space that makes life easier (to make life even easier, hire a professional cleaner to keep it clean and organized).

Mudroom Organization Tips

  • Clear out everything so you can efficiently deep clean and organize.
  • When you clear all the gear out of a mudroom, divide the items into piles (i.e. shoes, winter gear, winter jackets, hobby gear, sports gear, pet items, etc.)
  • Get storage solutions for each pile, such as containers for winter gear and a shoe rack for footwear. (For other ideas, check out this list of mudroom storage ideas.)
  • Add hooks and cabinets at “kid level” so kids can easily put their items away and hang up coats.
  • Maximize the space you have; hang cabinets, hooks, and shelves so they efficiently use space.

Mudroom Cleaning Checklist

  • Clean the ceiling and remove spider webs.
  • Wash the walls. (Walls in a mudroom can get dirty easily from gear and foot traffic.)
  • Clean duct covers.
  • Deep clean flooring.
  • Vacuum mudroom rugs.
  • Clean trim work.
  • Dust and sweep benches and shelves.
  • Wipe down hooks.
  • Clean containers (i.e. baskets, fabric drawers, etc.)
  • If you have asthma and can’t handle the dust, a bad back, or don’t have the time, hire a cleaning service to take on your mudroom organization so you can enjoy an organized and functional space.

Back-to-School Cleaning and Organization Tips

Smiling schoolboy with backpack ready for back to school looking at cameraWhere did the summer go? And how did it go by so fast? The first day of school is near (and coming too fast for most kids). In addition to buying school supplies, it’s time to tackle those other back-to-school cleaning tips that make a very busy time of the year a little easier (on everyone!).

Organize your mudroom.

Your mudroom is the front line for getting out (and in) the door easily every morning and evening. Ready it for all the back-to-school activity that is to come (use this helpful back-to-school checklist). Clean from the bottom up: floor, shelving, lockers, walls, and ceiling. Organize as you go, including making room for coats and shoes (all the back-to-school shoes!). Clean out any gear that doesn’t fit any more; less clutter gives you more room for the backpacks, sports equipment, and other back-to-school necessities.

Tackle the pile of laundry.

A student with a busy school day plus after-school activities needs a lot of clothes. Be ready with whatever gear your child needs for the school year; get as many clothes through the laundry room as possible (or hire a cleaning crew to launder and fold clothes). Once the school year starts, make sure to launder bedding before the cold weather hits.

Prep the homework area.

Don’t tell your student, but the start of the school year comes with homework (cue kid groan). Ready your preferred homework area for the task, whether it’s a table, desk, or another quiet area. Stock up on school supplies that are running low. Wipe and dust the surface so your student is focused on their homework—and not on sneezing.

Get EVERYTHING ready for the first day.

If you want to improve the odds of getting everyone out of the house smoothly, prepare for a smooth departure on the first day of school. Pack books and all school supplies in backpacks. Lay out clothes and shoes. Have the pantry stocked with your student’s favorite lunch foods or money available for a delicious first school lunch.

Make a list of cleaning tasks to be done during the school day.

An empty house is the perfect chance to tackle cleaning tasks and organization. Schedule a floor cleaning (perfect for days when foot traffic is low) or a deep clean. For more specific tasks, give your home cleaning service a list of tasks (here’s how to vet cleaning services and find the best one for your home). When your kids are at school, make cleaning a little easier by de-cluttering and removing items that don’t fit or aren’t used.

Restroom Sanitation Checklist

restroom signs pointing to bathroom where cleaners used restroom cleaning checklistNo business owner or manager wants to deliver the ultimate customer experience, only to lose repeat business because of a grimy restroom. To be sure, nothing repels and repulses customers faster than a dirty restroom. A filthy commercial restroom can also spur negative online reviews and mar an otherwise stellar relationship with your clients.

To avoid the negative consequences of a dirty business bathroom, a regular restroom deep cleaning and sanitation is a necessity. Instead of entrusting this important cleaning task to an employee, use this restroom sanitation checklist or outsource restroom deep cleaning to a local commercial cleaning company.

Counters

___Sanitize counters, sink bowls, and faucets with disinfectant.

___Clean mirrors.

___Wipe down paper towel dispenser.

___Clean hand dryers.

Restroom Stalls

___Disinfect trash receptacles in stalls and change bags.

___Clean entire toilet exterior (including handles).

___Disinfect urinals.

___Clean toilet bowls.

___Wash bathroom stall walls.

Other Restroom Areas

___Deep clean flooring and grout.

___Sanitize air duct covers and HVAC ducts.

___Dust and clean light fixtures and fans.

___Wash walls, baseboards, and ceiling.

___Restock restroom supplies (i.e. soap, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.).

___Replace trash bags in receptacles (i.e. stall, main trash, etc.).

___Clean trash receptacles.

Going on Vacation? Get these Home Cleaning Tasks Done

woman with suitcase after cleaning home before vacationYes! You’re going on vacation!

The countdown to vacation has begun, and you’re dreaming about all the fun. But before you head out to the serene beaches, create your own calm at home.

Think about it. There’s something to be said for coming home to a nice clean home, with the only item on the to-do list is to recover from your vacation.

Prioritization is the key. The time before a vacation can get fairly hectic, with a hurried rush to get packed and take care of any last-minute vacation prep. Tackle the cleaning tasks that need to get done first (or contact a cleaner so you can work or pack while they clean), and then roll up your sleeves and get those “it would be really nice to…” cleaning tasks done next (we’ve put the top priority cleaning tasks first on the list).

Wash dirty dishes.

If you don’t want to come home to mold and a nasty smell, wash your dirty dishes. Clean the sink out and wipe down the faucet.

Take out the trash.

A foul odor is not something to come home to. Remove bags from every garbage can in the home, such as the kitchen and bathrooms.

Clean out the refrigerator.

It’s amazing how fast items in the refrigerator can go bad, even when you’re only gone for a few days. Go through the refrigerator and pull out any items that would be unsafe to eat or drink, such as milk and fresh produce.

Wipe down the counters.

Ants and other pests can move in quickly, especially if you leave out temptations. Wipe down the counters to ensure that you don’t have to come home to pest extermination and cleaning.

Sweep the floors.

A floor full of debris can be just as much as an attraction for pests. Sweep the floors as thoroughly as possible and vacuum carpets. If you have time, mop the floors as well or contact a local cleaning service to give you a home of pristine floors you can come home to.

Clean the bathroom.

A clean bathroom definitely fits into the “it would be really nice to…” but it doesn’t have to be done. However, there’s no denying that a clean bathroom is a very nice luxury, giving you peace of mind while you’re away and one less thing to do when you get home. If you don’t have time, schedule a cleaner to get the job done while you are away.

Launder bedding.

Clean sheets feel and look great, and feel like heaven after a vacation. Launder all sheets and bedding before you go on vacation; make sure the bedding is hung up to dry or dry before you leave to prevent having to rewash the bedding.

Event Clean-up Tips

floor clean and ready for eventA grand opening, special event, or company picnic can be hugely beneficial for any business, but it can also be a colossal undertaking—especially when it’s time to return to business as normal. Event clean-up just adds to an already long facility maintenance checklist and requires more staffing time and resources. The event clean-up process doesn’t have to be lengthy or a major interruption to operations, however, especially if you follow these event clean-up tips.

Maintain the clean.

Before any event, an intense deep clean should be undertaken. Floors should be scrubbed and waxed (or the task should be outsourced to local floor cleaning professionals during off hours). Restrooms should be sanitized and restocked. The front lobby should be dusted and polished. During the event, take steps to maintain that deep clean. Hire day porter services for cleaning and restocking restrooms or allocate staff members specifically for the task. Put out a large amount off trash cans for guests to ensure that litter is not an issue and the clean-up is less labor intensive.

Organize materials for a clear clean-up process.

As much as possible, organization is key to an efficient event clean-up. During set-up, items get thrown haphazardly into storage closets and back rooms. This leads to a long take down and clean-up process as items are searched for. Or possibly worse, items are left wherever they were put, leading to storage and disorganization issues.

Outsource as needed.

The preparation and post-event cleaning checklist can get long; analyze costs to determine whether it is more cost-efficient to pay for additional staff hours or to outsource to a local cleaning service. If cleaning is needed during off-hours, such as an intense floor waxing when staffing is low, make sure the cost of overtime or late shift is used in calculations.

Be conscientious.

Moving large items is often part of event clean-up and take down; make sure that care is taken to protect doorways and walls. Assign conscientious staff members for moving or outsource the task so the clean-up is as successful as the event.