stacked pallets

There are several stories behind why we clean in the spring. Some trace it back to a Passover tradition; some say that the Chinese culture believes that spring-cleaning in preparation for the New Year brings good fortune. No matter the reason for this squeaky-clean ritual, sometimes you just need an excuse to do some deep scrubbing and organizing. The need for clean applies both at home and in the work place. If your warehouse isn’t in order, you could be wasting major time and resources. So consider this spring the kick in the pants needed to act on things that may have been put off for a long time. Less clutter means better productivity. And a clean warehouse can operate more efficiently and with fewer safety issues.

Establish A Schedule

It helps to have a decided leader to take charge in motivating an orderly and clean facility. A deep clean is an important once in a while, but it’s more important to establish routine cleaning to ensure consistent cleanliness. Start by assigning daily, weekly, and monthly tasks as well as rotations of responsibilities. Create calendars and checklist so that everyone is clear on what is to be expected and with deadlines. Although everyone should be sharing ownership, there should be one clean warehouse leader to make sure that nothing is slipping. This person will need to be able to observe facility practices and identify areas for improvement. You can even insert some sort of challenges and rewards to the cleanest areas to inspire some clean-competition.

Clean As You Work

It may seem like common sense, but it should be stressed with your workers to clean as they go throughout the day. Prevent a mess before it gets out of hand could be the new mantra. If a certain department uses a lot of packaging, be sure that they have enough garbage cans that are easily available to them, so nothing starts to pile up. Start to instill this as a required part of each task. The day isn’t finished until all messes are cleaned up. At the least, have someone make sure that the following questions are asked at the end of the day:

  • Are the aisles clear of debris?
  • Are returns in a designated area, or are they scattered throughout the facility?
  • Are pallets neatly stacked?

Get a Floor Scrubber or Sweeper

When it comes to keeping dust and grime off the warehouse floors, you’re going to need more than a small broom. There are several commercial-strength cleaners available to keep floors and open areas clean. Floor sweepers use brushes and vacuum powered systems to remove dry debris from floors in commercial and industrial facilities. Floor scrubbers use water, detergent, and brushes to remove wet debris. Both types of machines are available in different sizes and as ride on or walk behind models.


Go through inventory and identify any unneeded items. They’re just collecting dust and taking up crucial storage space. Make a specific plan of how they are going to be cleared and discarded or donated.

Take a review of your warehouse organization and make sure that it’s keeping up with your current needs and standards. Without regular evaluation, a warehouse can quickly become disorganized and hard to navigate which will slow down your pickers and can lead to safety issues. Check your stock to make sure that it is easily accessible to crew. Are the fasting moving SKUs placed between should and waist height so they can be retrieved quickly?

Take these tips into consideration for a tip-top warehouse facility that runs at peak performance. By the time next spring rolls around, you’re workplace will already be clean!

(Operations Manager)

Chris Charles is a 27 year veteran of operations and logistics. Experience included commercial property management and project management for an international shipping company in Maryland.

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