Periodically I like to get back to the basics of cleaning since we all can benefit from reminders along the way for the steps necessary to clean a facility effectively and safely.

Following are some general points to consider in cleaning an office area:

1. If an occupant is present, always courteously ask if you can enter their space. Be aware if they are on the phone or in a meeting with someone else. Some will wave you off to come back later or they may offer their trash can to you and then go back to the task at hand. Do not operate loud equipment or get into a loud discussion with anyone near the occupied space.

2. Do not disturb paperwork on desks. Make note of papers or boxes on top of a trash can that may be serving as a shelf and not intended to be thrown away. A question now can save a trip to the dumpster later.

3. Do not unplug computers or share a strip plug with sensitive devices. The additional electrical surge may overload the plug and/or contribute to static on the computer or monitor. Using the dot system to identify approved outlets can reduce this risk in most cases.

4. Assuming there is no occupant present, inspect the area (including blinds, ledges, tops of book cases, etc.) for accumulated dust. Only clean the contracted areas on the frequency specified by the supervisor.

5. Empty the waste basket, spot clean on required days, replace liner as needed and return container back to its original location. Most tenants have a "favorite spot" and resent our efforts at remodeling.

We will look at other steps in a future article. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or