Good Housekeeping Is About More Than a Clean Floor

Clean as you go. Maybe your parents advised you to "clean as you go" when they taught you how make scrambled eggs. Maybe it was your first boss who used the phrase on you when you were drilling holes for electrical conduit. Either way, it’s a good practice. When you clean as you go, you take care of the messes and problems when they're small and you can handle them quickly and easily, before they become time-consuming disasters.

Remind your crew to "clean as they go." Let them know that the idea applies to more than sawdust on the floor. It's really about doing the things that need to be done in a timely fashion, instead of letting them pile up. The idea behind cleaning as you go applies to:

  • putting tools back where they belong.
  • cleaning off equipment and parking that equipment where it belongs.
  • returning spare parts to the proper locations
  • getting scrap and packaging all the way to the dumpster or recycling bin
  • sharpening or replacing dull blades

It takes practice to make cleaning as you go a habit, but your efforts can have some big payoffs. When you clean as you go, the jobsite is tidier, more sanitary, more organized, and safer. Your work becomes less stressful and easier to manage. You’re less likely to misplace or lose tools and other items—it might mean you don’t find yourself feverishly searching for a tool, part, or document. And you have less stress because you’re not rushing to clean up at the end of the day or the end of the job.

Clean as you go is a work practice that can reduce stress and anxiety. We're living in stressful times, so any work practice that can improve our mental health is a good work practice!