Although we touched on the importance of the custodial closet(s) and office/storage area being inspected and cleaned the same as any other area of the building, we need to go a step further in suggestions on how to organize it for maximum effectiveness and safety. The custodial closet is where chemicals are stored and accessed so it is important to have uniformity to enhance productivity and reduce the chance of errors.

In some aspects, these areas are some of the most important rooms to maintain, although few tenants or visitors will ever see them. Remember that “first impressions” can have a profound impact on a new-hire who may unconsciously get his/her standard of cleaning the rest of their space from how their closet appears the first day of work. After the first day, they may tend to let this area and their cleaning assignment slide even more unless someone in supervision enforces the right standards.

One avenue to consider is to take a new-hire (or veteran employee) to their assigned custodial closet. This may be the one on their floor or perhaps the office/storage area that is part of their cleaning routine. The frequency of cleaning these areas can vary but it is important that they be maintained for cleanliness and safety.

If possible, the onsite supervisor, quality control inspector or lead worker will help them to clean and organize the closet/area from top to bottom. This may mean removing/replacing chemicals (no longer used) as well as scrubbing the sink area and floor. Only supplies that are relevant to the cleaning involved should be allowed with old buffing pads, rancid mops, soiled rags and hazardous chemicals removed. All equipment (especially mop buckets, wringers, etc.) should be clean (including power cords with correct plugs) and well maintained. Bags, belts, filters and other items should be readily available to reduce down time. Under ideal conditions the walls should be painted/cleaned, shelving installed, hangers set up, proper lighting installed and other items repaired/replaced so that it is a “professional” looking closet that sends the message that your team takes cleaning seriously.

Once the area is organized the lead person should take one or more digital pictures, print, laminate and attach to the inside wall with guidance that this assigned area should look like the picture every day at the end of the shift. If the assigned worker finds it out of order not due to their deficiency, they should have the means of reporting it to supervision for follow up. Regardless of outcome they are still responsible for its appearance until it is assigned to someone else.

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