Category Archives: office cleaning

Spring Cleaning Part II- Office Exterior

Spring has almost sprung!  Time to say farewell to snow piles, salt stains on the windows, and residue on the exterior walls of your office building.  Last blog we discussed spring cleaning and organizing your office interior.  Now we have some tips for spring cleaning the exterior of your business for a fresh, clean start to this season of new beginnings.

Time to shake off the winter blues and make a clean start.  Consider these tips:

  • Squeaky clean windows – Winter storms can leave a nasty residue all over that glass. A trick to cleaning is to clean the screens at this time as well.  Then start on the windows outside using warm water and soap first. Then use glass cleaner.  Once the gunk is off the outside head indoors to finish the job.
  • Gutters – Hire a professional like J. Barrett to clean out all the debris from your gutters.  Leaves, twigs and ice chunks may still be lodged in the gutters and will need to be removed.
  • Exterior pressure washer – The outside of your business may have gotten covered in salt and dirt from the splash of snowplows and storms this past winter.  Whether you need power washing for your entrance way, deck, driveway, patio, or roof, this cost effective method can quickly clean up all that grime.

Just by doing these three simple tasks, your company will look fresh and clean.  J. Barrett can help you with these tasks and keep the clean exterior maintained throughout the warmer months.

Spring Cleaning Part I

Now that this dreadfully long, cold winter is coming to a close, it is time to kick off the spring season.  Spring means sun and flowers and warm breezes.  It is also a chance to do a big spring cleaning of your office.  This is a great time to think about hiring a commercial cleaning service either for a one-time cleaning or long-term regular cleaning contract.  Depending upon the size of your business and your company’s  specific needs, J. Barrett Cleaning can help you and your company get off on the right foot this spring season.  Here are some tips that we find helpful in organization and cleanliness.

  • Sort, sort, sort – Chances are that your office has lots of papers.  Some may need to be filed, others need to be shredded and yet others can be trashed.  Now is a good time to sort out all the papers into those three categories and get yourself organized.  For the papers that need filing, make sure you follow the system that has been set up for your office.  If the system is not working, now may be the time to review a new filing system.
  • Take a Supply Inventory – Spring is a perfect time to update supply lists and organize those items in a supply closet or file.  Keep a list of items that need to be restocked.
  • Computer clean up – When your favorite desktop background starts getting obscured with icons, it’s time to de-clutter your virtual desktop. File away documents that you’ll need again, and send everything else off to the virtual recycle bin.
  • General cleaning – After you have organized and restocked your supplies now it is time to clean.  Wipe all surfaces down, clean computer monitors, and disinfect all machines with a moist disinfectant cloth.  (see next month’s blog on maintaining a germ free work environment).

A professional cleaning company can help you maintain this new organization and cleanliness.  Contact J. Barret for a quote and a description of our services.  Check out our next blog on exterior spring cleaning for your office.

Benefits of Professional Power Washing Part II

There are numerous benefits to hiring a professional cleaning service to power wash your business.  Cleaning the roof, patio, walkway and entrance to your business can not only create a positive first impression of your company, it can rejuvenate the grimy surfaces that have been exposed to the elements for many months.  Let’s look at the major benefits to hiring a professional to clean the exterior of your business.

  • Get those hard to reach spots.  When walls and windows are out-of-reach, a pressure washer’s wand can deliver better results than taking out the ladder and scrubbing away the discoloration or dirt.  Many people try to do this task on their own but a trained professional will have the right tools for safely cleaning areas.
  • Environmentally friendly.  By using a straight water wash or choosing a green solution, washing with a power wash will take away the dirt and residue without harsh chemicals.
  • Bring on the gleaming sparkle. If used correctly, it is a very safe way to bring back the sparkle. But the key word in that sentence is “correctly”. It’s easy to over-wash an area, exposing a part of your target that you didn’t want to see. Being prepared before the job or hiring a professional is the best way to avoid this mistake.
  • Preventative Maintenance. Preventive maintenance on the exterior of your office building is a must to keep the appearance looking the way it should. Preventive maintenance by pressure washing helps to cut down on costly repairs due to damage caused by algae, mold and mildew.  By keeping the exterior of your property maintained and clean, you will extend the life of building materials.

Habits of Effective Cleaners

When it comes to business, nothing is more important than making a positive first impression.  This includes your brand, web site, print material, employees and, of course, your offices.  Have you ever wondered how some companies do it. . . keeping the office spotless, organized and neat around the clock? It is a common question we get here at J. Barrett.  Here are some of our tips of effective cleaners.  Obviously hiring a professional team would be optimal in keeping your office in “tip “top” shape  from the carpet to windows and bathrooms and kitchens – but if that is not an option here are some ideas to follow.

  • Practice – Cleaning is something that all of us can do but doing it often brings a special skill the more one practices it.  Practice makes perfect!  The more an employee gets used to cleaning a specific area the more routine it will become.
  • Create  a cleaning plan  –   Plan for specific employees to tidy each area “as they go”  to maintain the visual appearance throughout the day.  Then have specific areas  assigned to employees to clean at the end of each day. For example,  one may take care of the coffee service, the lobby, the furniture, the carpeting, windows.  “Many hands make light work.”  The more people who are invested in the cleanliness of the office the better.
  • Stay organized – If paperwork is overwhelming at your company, you may want to have a ritual to file and shred daily to stay on top of the mounting piles that can look unsightly.  If you don’t have a system to file and store documents, you may want to discuss this with a specialists or professional that can help you with both physical documents and electronic filing.
  • Keep supplies handy – Most offices keep supplies well out of view of clients and visitors but it is a good idea to keep them handy enough for quick clean ups between appointments.  There are often spills of messes that need to be dealt with so keep wipes, towels, and sprays safe but nearby.

Cleaning Resolutions for 2014

Now is the time for  New Year’s Resolutions.  While most people make it a priority to eat healthier, exercise more or set personal goals for themselves, as a business owner you may want to consider some cleaning resolutions for your business.  Let’s look at some things that you may want to consider in the new year for the health and benefit of your company both  in the eyes of your employees and clients.

Stay Organized – One thing that small businesses always should stay on top of is the clutter in and around work stations.  Create a system for filing this year that makes it easy and keeps counter and desk tops free of paper work.  Possibly set up a schedule that makes filing and decluttering a priority.

Think about Employee and Client Health – With the rise of the flu and colds this winter season, many people feel like they are being inundated by germs at every turn.  A properly cleaned and disinfected work space can mean the world to people working and visiting your office.  Make it a resolutions to keep disinfectant wipes nearby for post client visits, and to maintain the health of workers.  Keep antibacterial gel available in the bathrooms and common areas sending the message that you care about your clients and want to defend against the spread of germs and sickness.

Clean the Heating/Cooling Systems – While most companies may be happy with a dust free lobby and spotless bathrooms, maintaining a health heating and cooling system is a great resolution this year.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy the average six-room house/office collects 40 pounds of dust, dirt, and allergens in its ventilation system each year.  A regular cleaning of these systems can save you money in illnesses and equipment maintenance.

Let 2014 be the year your business reaches not only new heights in services and products but also in the cleanliness and healthiness for your business interior.

Stop the flu at Work

The percentage of the U.S. population that will get the flu, on average, each year is between 5% and 20%. The number of Americans hospitalized each year because of flu complications tops 200,000. While these are scary statistics, a little bit of knowledge about the spread of the flu and the ways to prevent it could halt the fast spread at your business. 

The cold and flu season typically runs from November – April. Readily spread when people are indoors, cold and flu viruses are often passed along from person to person and surface to surface in the workplace. According to the CDC, people are most contagious during the first 2-3 days of contracting a cold and almost immediately and for about 5 days thereafter after being infected with the flu – even before symptoms develop. However, there are many actions you can take to prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses at work.Here are some common sense reminders about stopping the spread of flu at work.

  • Maintain a professional cleaning crew that is knowledgeable about the spread of flu viruses.
  • The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu can help slow the spread of influenza.

Year End Office Clean Up

As 2014 is quickly coming to an end, businesses are gearing up for the new year with new plans for marketing,  business performance and sales goals.  Start 2015  with not just business goals but with a fresh start in the office in regards to organization and cleanliness.  The surroundings of an office may not increase your growth figures but it is a good indicator to clients of how you run your business.  Let’s look at a few steps you can take to start the year of fresh and clean.

  1. Papers, Papers, Papers!  Take an inventory of the stacks of paper that are cluttering up your office.  Separate them into categories of papers that need to find a home (file them), papers that need to be shredded and papers that can be disposed of through recycling.  Papers are one of the largest cluttering factors in an office.  Stacks of papers can send the message that you are disorganized, so clean up regularly not just during an end of year clean up.
  2. Office Supply Inventory – The end of the year is the perfect time to make lists of supplies that are low.  For example is the stapler jamming? Is the copier machine in need of repair?  This is a great time to see what works and what doesn’t work.  Maybe some rearranging more than the monthly supply run is in order.
  3. Computer Clean Up – Now that your desk is more organized and you have taken inventory, you may want to “clean up” your desk top.  Get rid of files that are no longer needed.  Back up files that are are critical and organize folders to start the year off right.

Now that you have taken these simple steps, your office can convey the most positive light upon your business practices.  Happy Organizing!

Winter-Proofing your Business

Winter weather is right around the corner.  The New England climate and precipitation can be unpredictable and harsh.  While hardy New Englanders  know how to stay warm and  bundle up, don’t forget to winterize your workplace.  Here are some of our ideas for winter-proofing your business for safety and cleanliness.

  1. Duct Cleaning – Now that the heat is needed daily the duct work that brings the warmth to your office should be cleaned and checked seasonally for safety and for dusting.  Airborne bacteria, dust and mold can build up in the duct work and should be thoroughly cleaned
  2. Protect the floors – Whether your office has hard wood , tile or carpeting, keeping the floors spotless from the debris, mud, snow and dirt that is brought in from outdoors is just one of the things to consider when winterizing your business.  Regular cleanings, especially after storms is a must along with ensuring the floors are not slippery or unsightly.
  3. Sidewalk and Parking Lot winterizing – Snow, ice and salt are major parts of daily life here in New England.  Making sure your parking lot is free of hazardous conditions is important when hosting clients at your office.  Be sure to maintain the integrity of the outdoors as well as the indoors.  Professional cleaning indoors and out can make your business safe and inviting to clients and employees.

Forgotten Cleaning Spots

No one likes to hear, “You missed a spot!” when they have been dutifully cleaning whether it is the office or at home.  There are many spots however that most people, either accidentally or purposefully miss when cleaning.  Professional cleaners know not only how to clean but the where cleaning can sometimes be overlooked.  Getting all those nooks and crannies is important to keep the view of your business positive.  Let’s look at some of the places that many people miss when cleaning the office that could be detrimental to the way clients may perceive you and your company.

  1. Underneath furniture – While most clients will not move the furniture to check that it has been cleaned underneath, dust and dust piles can build up and create a dirty look around the footprint of your furniture.
  2. Behind Electronics – Most offices have desktop computers, servers, televisions, copiers and faxes that need cleaning behind and around to stop the build up of dust and dirt.
  3.  Light fixtures – These areas tend to be a haven for bugs and spider webs that can show up at inopportune times.  A thorough cleaning regularly will eliminate unsightly bug silhouettes
  4. Ceiling fans – Fans gather dust and can cause embarrassment if the dust flings off while a client is in the office.  Regular cleanings can stop the dust from building up on the blade.
  5. Baseboards  – An area that can gather dust and all sorts of stains are the baseboards.  Most people don’t even think about them until they start to notice the dirt and grim.
  6. Behind the toilets – The most overlooked area in the bathroom are the tiles and the floor behind the toilet.  This is mostly because they are hard to reach and require getting down on the floor to clean them.
  7. Plant Leaves – While plants can spruce up any office the leaves gather dust just like a piece of furniture.  While it is labor intensive, a damp cloth or a quick spritz of water can shine up the leaves and make a world of difference in the overall look of the office.

Importance of a Clean Lobby

A first impression can never be made again.  When a client visits your office you want that first impression to make a statement about the type of business you run.  What does your lobby say about you and your company?  Does it convey your organization, professionalism, and cleanliness?  Putting your best foot forward in your office lobby is one of the best ways to make a positive first impression.  Here are some easy ways to make a great impression in your customer reception area.

  • Keep high traffic areas clean – You know the areas in your reception area that see the most foot traffic.  These are the areas to keep an eye out for soil or other stains that can detract from the overall appearance. One of the best lines of defense is an entrance mat for your lobby. These are perfect for trapping dirt, debris, and moisture carried in from outside.  Mats can also be customized to include your company’s logo – adding to your lobby’s professional appearance.
  • Keep HVAC clean and working properly – Other than visual cues, customers rely on their sense of smell to tell them how clean an area is.  If your office has a musty smell be sure to have the HVAC system cleaned regularly.  Office deodorizers are also a pleasant way to have a client enter into a pleasant smelling lobby.
  • Dust, Dust, Dust – Keeping tables, lamps and nicknacks in the lobby free from dust is also an important part of leaving clients with a good impression.  As clients wait for appointments they have a chance to look around the lobby and may notice dust and unclean items first.  Make dusting a weekly ritual.
  • Windows!  If your lobby has lots of windows you will want to maintain them regularly.  Smudges, fingerprints and streaks can detract from the sun shining into your lobby.

Making sure your lobby sets the tone for your clients experience with you and your company.  Regular maintenance from employees or a professional cleaning company can set you apart by making a positive impression right from the start.