There are a number of factors to consider when taking on new cleaning tasks. For one reader, those new cleaning tasks include 20 elementary, junior high and high schools.

My initial response is very carefully since this is a rather complicated contract that requires you to work outside your basic service experience. Once you have a comprehensive inventory of each site, location and relevant data, you need to determine what work will be performed during the day and what is performed at night and what is performed during the vacation times. Daily tasks can run from servicing rest rooms, spill clean up, assisting in the cafeteria for breakfast and lunch, cleaning the cafeteria after breakfast and lunch, grounds/litter pick up, entrance maintenance and other non-assigned tasks as requested by the school staff. This could include moving furniture, setup/take down of rooms and assisting in other ways. As to night work, this could include thorough cleaning of rest rooms, class rooms, cafeteria/auditorium area and other tasks that cannot be performed during the day. Don’t forget ball games, PTA meetings, carnivals, exhibits and other events that have to be supported.

These tasks apply to the 180 day school year which is broken up by holidays that can allow for deep cleaning of carpet, hard floor maintenance (stripping/scrubbing, recoating) and other tasks. If the school has summer school or special events, these will have to be scheduled in as well. Remember that servicing a hallway is one thing; whereas emptying a class room of all desks, chairs, equipment, etc. so it can be stripped/recoated is another matter. Oftentimes it can take as long to take down and set up the class rooms as it does to actually perform the floor work. Remember that this is a good time to perform high dusting and other periodic work as well.

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