Office break rooms can quickly become ignored and disorganized because there typically isn’t any one person in charge of it. Whether your workplace has five employees or 500, we have tips to help keep your office break room clean and organized.
To start with, identify one person in your office to be the break room organizer. This person will start the organization process and help keep the break room tidy. They should also create a rotating schedule for employees to keep the break room clean if you don’t have a regular cleaning crew.
Here are four tips to help keep your office break room organized:
1. How to keep an office refrigerator organized
There are several ways that we can keep that office refrigerator free of looking like a disaster area, we need to make sure the fridge does not become like a treasure chest for all things new and old. Yes it’s great to keep your late grandmother’s pearls and your corsage from your college graduation in your trunk at home, but the fridge is not the same. The goal here is to keep up to date with expiration dates and rotate food out of the fridge back into the freezer or in the garbage if you know you won’t look back at it again. If you do bring all your lunches for the week on Monday morning, be considerate of the limited space and put some of them in the freezer. The other important part of this is clearly labeling food and containers, you wouldn’t want to tuck into your colleagues lasagna, only to realize that you actually brought and ate that last week would you? Put your name on your stuff…it’ll make it simpler for everyone. Make sure that a weekly clean out is done, and ask employees to take home what they brought on Monday morning before they leave for the weekend.
2. How to keep break room cupboards organized
Label your shelves so everyone knows when they look in the cupboard where things are to be returned and placed. Make sure there are storage bins for things like extra sugar packets and communal snacks. Have you ever been to your best friend’s house and everything is neat as a pin and when you ask them where something goes it’s a definite “it goes there!” instead of “ummm, where ever you can find space..” OK. We’ve all been here, it’s just a matter of organization and planning. And it takes a bit more planning with a whole organization to follow that plan and take it on individually, which brings us on to our next point:
3. How to easily get associates to clean up after themselves
If you provide your employees with a bit of a bonus of a nice break room with a couple of amenities, they are generally willing to keep up the space due to your investment. However, as time passes this investment may start to be a bit of a blur in their mind. Now is the time to start hanging posters and writing on whiteboards in your break room to give helpful reminders.
Also make sure to review with them at least quarterly why it is important and how it helps the overall morale if cleanliness and tidiness in the break room are observed. If you have at least ten people in your organization, you will need to designate an employee as the break room tsar, or hire a janitorial or cleaning service that comes weekly. Make it easy for them to clean up after themselves by having plenty of trash cans and an all purpose spray on the counter so they can clean up if they have any major soup spills or something that needs a bit more cleaning. Which brings us on to our last point:
4. Best break room cleaning products to keep on-hand
What do you need in you your break room to keep it clean? An all purpose spray is great. However you will want a windex or a similar product to clean the microwave and possibly the inside of the fridge. Depending on the type of appliances you have, you may want a stainless steel cleaner. You will also want this possibly for cleaning out your sink. Obviously you will want to vacuum and mop the floors on a weekly basis. Also depending on the type of break room furniture, wipe it down with some furniture polish or vacuum out the crevices.