Earlier this week, it was finally warm enough to spend an evening sitting outside. I made myself a nice mug of tea, put down my phone, and tuned into the sound of birds singing in the pines by my porch. It’s official, folks. Spring is finally here! My cozy evening on the porch didn’t last too long, though, because spring’s arrival makes me think about one thing, and one thing only: spring cleaning.
Whether you’re airing out your home or decluttering the office, throwing the windows open and doing some spring cleaning is a great way to welcome warmer weather. Deep cleaning the workplace is especially important as working in a freshly cleaned space benefits physical and mental health and improves focus. If you’re like me, it can be difficult to start the cleaning process. When I do get started, I tend to cut corners in order to finish quickly—often at the cost of my personal safety.
When deep cleaning the workplace, it’s important to remember that personal safety comes first. It may take a bit more time to be a cautious cleaner, but you’ll thank me in the long run. Here are Troomi’s ten spring safety tips for the workplace that are sure to make this year’s spring cleaning the most effective (and safest) yet.
1. Take Your Time
This first tip is the simplest, but the most important: take your time as you clean. If you try and smash out a whole office’s worth of cleaning in one day, you’ll be inclined to cut corners and compromise your safety in favor of speed. Speeding through the cleaning process isn’t only unsafe, it also makes your cleaning less effective.
Spring cleaning is tiring work, so don’t forget to take it slowly and pause when you think you need a break. Take a seat, drink some water, or go outside and reset your mind so you can return to the cleaning with a fresh outlook geared towards safety.
2. Get Rid of Clutter First
Before you break out the heavy-duty chemicals and run the duster over old bookshelves, clean up any clutter that may be in the way. Organizing before you scour makes cleaning easier. This way you won’t have to work around stray pieces of trash. It also prevents potential accidents that may arise by tripping on stray items.
Decluttering is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress. According to WebMD, “Getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control. A tidier space can make for a more relaxed mind.” I don’t know about you, but a more relaxed state of mind when I’m spring cleaning sounds pretty nice!
3. Be Careful Walking on Wet Surfaces
Scrubbing the floor is an important part of workplace cleaning, but wet floors pose a pretty serious safety hazard. This is because the water reduces friction between your shoes and the floor. When you step on a wet surface, your shoe can’t grip it properly and may slide out from beneath you.
If you’re the one wielding the mop, be sure to inform coworkers and customers that the floor may be wet. If your workplace has a yellow wet floor sign, put it out! That simple sign could be the difference between a successful day of spring cleaning and a surprise trip to the emergency room.
4. Be Cautious on Ladders and Stools
Ladders and step stools can be great tools to help get rid of dust that has accumulated on hard-to-reach surfaces like the tops of bookshelves and the spokes of ceiling fans. Make sure to use caution when you’re climbing a ladder or stool. Here are three simple ladder safety rules:
- Don’t lean too far to one side
- Don’t stand on the ladder’s top step
- Ask someone to hold the ladder steady while you’re on it
5. Use Mild, Environmentally-Friendly Disinfectant
Getting rid of the coffee stains in the office break room may require some pretty heavy-duty cleaning supplies. Before you pick up that industrial-level disinfectant, however, consider using a more mild product. Cleaning products may “contain chemicals associated with eye, skin, or respiratory irritation,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. These chemicals release fumes that aren’t very safe for humans or the environment. Do some research and choose a more mild, eco-friendly product to reduce the risk of unwanted chemical exposure.
6. Open a Window for Fresh Air
The combination of loose dust and cleaning fumes inherent to spring cleaning can be disastrous to your lungs, so don’t hesitate to open a window and let in some fresh air. A light breeze gives dust and fumes a place to escape, and nothing makes a room feel cleaner than the earthy smell of a fresh spring day.
7. Wear Protective Cleaning Gear
If we learned one thing from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s how valuable and useful a face mask can be. They’re good at more than just preventing disease; face masks are indispensable cleaning gear. When you’re vanquishing dust bunnies beneath your desk, don a mask to protect your lungs from inhaling bucketfuls of dust.
Gloves are also handy when cleaning (pun not intended). Cleaning requires you to use your hands quite a bit, and a hefty pair of gloves ensures that they’re protected. Not having to worry about your hands getting exposed to chemicals or hot water makes cleaning so much simpler, too!
8. Clean Your Tech
Tech is an important part of any workplace, and keeping it free from dust and germs is a vital part of workplace spring cleaning. If you’re not sure where to start cleaning your tech, check out this great article for step-by-step instructions on how to clean phones, laptops, desktop computers, and more! While you’re at it, make sure your cords and wires are covered to reduce the risk of tripping.
We at Troomi believe that technology, when used correctly, is an amazing resource for people of all ages—including kids. Click here to learn more about how Troomi smartphones encourage kids to develop a healthy relationship with technology, free from the trappings of social media and addicting games. Clean tech for your kids? Yes, please!
9. Be Mindful When Carrying Heavy Objects
To vacuum beneath desks and couches, you may need to strap on your bodybuilder boots and get lifting. When picking up heavy pieces of furniture or boxes full of files, make sure to wear shoes and use proper form: keep your back straight and lift with your legs. Using the correct form makes lifting heavy objects easier, and your back will thank you for not making it work too hard.
If the object in question is too heavy, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Many hands make light work (and injury-free spring cleaning)!
10. Stay Hydrated
This tip is a good rule for life in general. Spring cleaning can be exhausting work, so make sure to stay hydrated as you clean. Hydration is vital for many reasons: it regulates your internal temperature, keeps joints lubricated, and helps your body maintain high levels of energy.
It’s better to drink water consistently throughout the day rather than a lot all at once. An old hiking guide taught me the best way to stay hydrated: whenever you think about water, take a quick drink. I also recommend investing in a nice water bottle. Using a reusable bottle reduces unnecessary plastic waste, and you’ll be more motivated to drink when water is nearby.
Happy Spring Cleaning!
Spring cleaning can be stressful and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these simple tips, your workplace spring cleaning is sure to be productive, safe, and enjoyable.
After you clean, check out the Troomi blog for more life hacks and technology tips.