Without that inspiring rush of inquisitive students across the campus every few hours, a college or a university can be a lonely place. It’s also, as everyone schooled in the art and science of operations knows, an opportunity to tackle a to-do list that constant occupation makes impossible to complete efficiently. Pulling all-nighters may be a rite of passage for students, but for janitorial and maintenance staff, not so much.

In fact, one key summer cleaning to-do may require more scope to complete efficiently, and that’s residence hall turnover. Let’s be real: if keeping their dorm clean each semester was a class, a lot of brilliant students would flunk. That doesn’t mean they (or their parents) don’t expect a pristine room when they first arrive in the fall.

Every television show with a college-age kid has featured that scene. The boxes are heavy, the emotions are heavy, and then there’s always that shot of the student looking around themselves, maybe excited, maybe worried, but definitely thinking: “this is me, now.” That first impression, of who they are in that space, could be making a big ripple in your retention efforts later.

To set that scene properly, janitorial and maintenance have an entire year of student living to answer for. To make sure that process is tackled cost-effectively, make sure there’s a labor plan for the scope of the task, accounting for all the other big-ticket summer to-do, from repairing and deep cleaning lecture hall seats, to the multi-step process of floor refinishing.

While the summer deep clean is in full scrub, that volume of tasks puts efficient process to the test. Take a look at your procedures, especially exception management, since your deep clean is likely to bring to light maintenance issues that have been missed over the year.

Gordon Buntrock is National Director of Service Delivery for education services at ABM and has more than 40 years of experience in the facility services industry. He joined ABM in July 2016.