I work in a church office. And while we have a good number of ladies on our staff, we have a huge amount of dudes. And basic math tells you that lots of dudes = lots of mess. Not to be too judgmental, but there are days when “looks like a frat house” would actually be a nice description of our office’s cleanliness. Messy desks, cluttered bookshelves, bathrooms with bacteria so big you could rope ’em up and ride ’em in a rodeo.
So a few weeks ago, the – ahem – neatniks on our team took some action. We developed a quick and dirty guide (pardon the pun) to keeping things clean around the office.
Why is that important? Is it because we like mandating regulations and ruling with an iron fist, crushing anyone who dares to violate? Well, yes. (Who doesn’t?) But more than that, it’s because we believe that a First Impressions culture has to start with the leaders. And if we can’t pick up after ourselves, we can never expect volunteers to help us keep a clean facility and therefore be ready to welcome company on the weekend.
Maybe your staff culture works the same way. Maybe “culture” doesn’t describe a code as much as bacterial crud. So with that in mind, I present our ten point manifesto, slightly amended for public use.
Enjoy. And keep it clean out there, kids.
Ten Practical Tips to Keep the New Space (and Old Space) Clean:
1. Pick up the trash. Inside. Outside. Your space. Someone else’s space. If you see a gum wrapper, SummitKids pick up sticker, or discarded copy of People of God, consider it yours and throw it away.
2. Wipe down the sink. When you wash your hands (and you should), spend an extra fifteen seconds wiping up the water. Don’t forget faucet handles and walls that you might have splattered.
3. Be choosy with leftovers. We get it: your meeting participants only drank ¾ of that 2 liter and you want to bless others with it. But ask yourself: will anyone drink the Sam’s Choice Diet Cola in the kitchen? Probably not, because you’re cheap and it’s gross. Pour it out.
4. Turn out the lights. Make Al Gore proud. If you leave a room and you have reason to believe no one will reenter the room within 15 minutes, save some electricity.
5. Return the space as you found it. Scratch that: return it better than you found it. Chairs up, table clean, white board erased.
6. Pick up your packages. UPS, Fed Ex, and USPS delivers daily. As you’re wandering by the front, check the labels and take your stuff where it should go. And even if you didn’t order any stuff, somebody did. And if it looks good to you…
7. Clean the kitchen. Seriously…no one should have to say this, but your mama doesn’t work here. Facilities covers a lot of areas, but washing your dishes is a big NO in every category. If you’re not willing to wash it, don’t use it.
8. Report what’s broken. Burned out bulb? Chipped paint? Stopped up sink? You can always go to [internal form] and put in a request.
9. Take out the trash. This is varsity level stuff right here. If you’re at the end of an event or the middle of your work day, don’t assume that someone else will come along behind you to take out overflowing trash. If it’s full, bag it, take it to the dumpster, and replace the bag.
10. Keep your space clean. Having an office is a HIGH privilege at the Summit (ask any intern with a plastic folding desk). If you possess one, keep it presentable. Spending just 5-10 minutes per day straightening up can make a world of difference.
Related post: Leaders Pick Up The Trash