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Ah, the holidays. Seems like no matter what end of the retail supply chain you’re on, you’re already feeling the squeeze – long hours, demanding customers, rush shipping, and more.

Even if you feel like you’re keeping up with the rush, there’s always a few things this time of year that tend to fall by the wayside, and keeping your warehouse clean is one of the big ones.

We don’t blame you! It seems like nobody is going to have time to clean their warehouse during the big rush, but there are always a few easy things you can do to keep your warehouse more organized. Consider it a long term investment; your workers will have an easier time getting around and finding items, and it’ll stop you from having to waste two whole days cleaning up after the New Year.

Here are a few ways to get cleaned up after the madness of Black Friday, and keep it clean going forward:

Set regular cleaning goals – and stick to them

Instead of your workers just milling around looking for something to sweep up or put back on the shelf, a good way to maintain cleanliness through the holiday season is to set regular nightly cleaning goals and make sure someone is assigned to each one. You can divide them up by day, or change the goals as needed – Monday can be for re-organizing your wire shelving and pallet racks, Tuesday can be for emptying all the extra trash, Wednesday can be for mopping low-traffic areas, so on and so forth. (Just make sure everyone remembers to stick to the schedule, otherwise what’s the point?)

Try to remember to clean-as-you-go

Time might not always allow for it (and that’s important for you to remember as a supervisor), but setting a clean-as-you-go schedule can help keep messes under control without becoming a much bigger problem later. If a work shift leaves a lot of packaging material everywhere, or if an area is particularly prone to snow and mud being tracked in (this is a big problem around shipping & receiving areas, for example), make sure your staff knows to handle those issues as they come.

Keep cleaning supplies readily available

Cleaning can be a much bigger hassle than it has to be if the right tools aren’t close at hand, and a good way to keep on top of messes is to make sure every section of the warehouse has needed cleaning supplies close by in an easily-accessed and clearly-defined area. Paper towels, degreasers, mops for bigger messes – whatever you need, have enough of it around for everyone.

Keep turning inventory!

You probably don’t need any help in this department this time of year, but constantly moving inventory will go a long way towards reducing clutter and keeping things easy to access. When the big holiday rush starts ramping up, clear off some space on your warehouse storage by moving outdated product somewhere else, out of the way – there will be plenty of time for clearance sales when the holidays are over!

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