With sunnier days ahead, give your office a brighter and fresher feel with these cleaning tips and products from our spring cleaning shop.
Create a cleaning to-do list
Before you do anything, you need to figure out what parts of the office you’re going to start cleaning first.
As a general rule, you should begin with those places that visitors or customers might see. This should also be the basis of your cleaning rota.
For example, all your loos should be freshly stocked with toilet roll, hand soap and air fresheners. But if you have loos that customers use, those should be checked the most often during the day to make sure that the floors are mopped, bins are emptied of paper towels and sinks are sparkling clean. (New toilet brushes might also be a good idea.)
When it comes to cleaning sections of the office that customers don’t often see, concentrate on the busiest areas. For example, the office kitchen is an important social hub and so deserves to be stocked with washing up liquid, new sponges and all-purpose cloths. Make sure there’s plenty of kitchen roll for spills.
(That rarely visited storeroom at the back of the building should also be dusted and swept, but put farther down your list.)
Don’t forget to vacuum – cleaning a carpet thoroughly can make a huge difference to how ‘fresh’ an office looks. Going around the space with a powerful hoover makes it look almost as good as repainting the walls.
Get everyone cleaning at the same time
A clean office is good for morale. Nobody likes to work in crusty, cluttered spaces. Yet spending time cleaning can feel like it’s taking colleagues away from ‘proper’ work. So what do you do?
If your office doesn’t need a deep, deep clean, consider giving departments or work groups their own ‘mini’ cleaning kits – disposable gloves, sponges, furniture polish – and setting up an office-wide ‘cleaning event’ where everyone blitzes through wiping down and tidying up their work space in 30 minutes or so, with the promise of tea and biscuits afterwards.
This way the spring clean becomes a group effort with a shared reward. It doesn’t eat into the day, yet it gets results. It can also give staff a sense of ownership of their space. When you clean something once yourself, you’re going to want to keep it clean in the future.
Get rid of old files for charity
Part of spring cleaning is about reaching up to dusty shelves and pulling down bundles of paper that haven’t been read for months (or years). Are those documents and files really needed?
Set up a three-tier system where you discard what you don’t need, keep what’s essential and have a to-do box where you temporarily store documents you’re unsure if you have retain permanently. Set a date to come back to them.
For files that can be thrown out, make sure you have a shredder (for data security) and plenty of bin bags.
When you’ve decluttered properly, you’ll see how much office space you’ve gained back. Now’s the time to think about how you can use that space more effectively.
Have you created an area that could fit fresh filing cabinets? Did you carve out space for new shelves and storage boxes, so newer files are kept in an orderly and secure way?
To give staff an incentive to be ruthless when getting rid of old files, offer to donate money to charity for every bag of shredded paper they fill. You could even extend this to all bags filled during the entire spring clean.
See what needs replacing
During your spring clean, you might find that there are pieces of office furniture or other items that have seen better days. Functional – but shabby.
Firstly, try to spruce them up with a bit of polish and elbow grease. But if you still think they’re not office-worthy, you should look to replace them. Just consider what can be repurposed or donated. For example, metal office bins can be upcycled into plant pots for community gardens. Perhaps scuffed storage boxes would be useful to community workshops to hold art or sports supplies.
Don’t forget the windows
Though you’ve spent all your time looking into the office, take a moment to look out of it. Make sure to give your windows a thorough clean and wipe down, so you’re not sitting at tidy desk, but looking through grubby glass. This will even make your office good look to passersby.
Remember that spring cleaning the office isn’t the end of the process – it’s the start of looking at your workspace in a new way.