We don’t mean the magazine Good Housekeeping, unless your workers keep some in the break room to read (hey, we’re not judging), but putting the idea of good housekeeping into practice in your warehouse can actually do you a lot of good.

Above and beyond the typical sanitary concerns (although those should be a big part of any warehouse maintenance routine), keeping a neat and tidy warehouse can actually improve productivity, keep your workers happy, and reduce maintenance costs in the long run. Here’s a few tips to get started:

Get dusting:

Nobody likes doing it, but a regular dusting of the entire warehouse can help both your workers and your warehouse. By cleaning the area of dust particles and mites, you can cut down on workers’ exposure to allergens, help your warehouse lights work more effectively (since they won’t be burning through a thick layer of dust every time they turn on), protect your products, especially perishables or more delicate electronics, and help your equipment stay functional for longer.

De-clutter the aisles:

Regularly clearing out the aisle ways between your pallet racks, warehouse shelves, and wire shelving can help in a number of ways. Cluttered aisles can lead to ergonomics issues (as your workers will need to reach too far or bend at unnatural angles to pick things up), reduced effectiveness at putting things away, and possible injuries due to lack of walking/movement space. (And that doesn’t even begin to cover what a fire hazard OSHA will think this is…) Try to keep all of your aisles as free and clear for foot or equipment traffic as possible.

Prevent falling hazards:

Cluttered shelves can lead to a lot of overhead dangers if not watched carefully. Keep the heaviest pallets and loads on the ground level, and for everything that needs to be store more than chest-high, try to install pallet rack guard panels to prevent anything from getting knocked over.

Clean up all spills and hazards:

We know, it’s something you’ve been getting lectured about all your life, but keeping an eye out for tripping hazards and spills (particularly if you work somewhere prone to snow or rain) is a great and easy way to prevent injuries and damaged product. Don’t let electrical cords or cables impede traffic, mop up all spills and puddles as they form, and provide safe footwear and clothing if you have areas of drastic temperature change such as cold storage.

Train your workers:

Don’t do it often enough to make them feel lectured, but keeping your employees aware of these risks and prevention methods will help increase coverage and make sure everything gets cleaned up promptly when it happens. Spending a little time with a mop never hurt anyone (at least that’s what my first boss at the pizza place always said) and the increase in safety will be appreciated by everyone.

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