Monday, October 23, 2006

first impressions

So, I spent four more hours cleaning my friend's massage therapy clinic this afternoon.

To all massage therapy clinic owners out there: Keep up with your housekeeping!

(That was not a swipe at my friend. He's a very nice person... and I hope he doesn't surf the internet much...) *

This may seem kind of obvious, but I've noticed over the years that many small businesses (whether they be of the health care ilk or not) often neglect simple cleanliness in their offices, perhaps not realizing the impression they are making on customers, clients, and patients.

I know that many (most?) people don't like to clean, and don't want to have to be worried about staying on top of the housekeeping, but the truth is that a little can go a long way towards keeping things looking good. It doesn't have to be a chore unless you make it that way.

(Really!)

I'll admit, I'm a freak. I love to clean. Some of my most creative ideas have come to me while cleaning; the quiet and mindless repetition leaves my mind free to ramble, muse, and be open to new inspiration.

If you're a small business owner and you can't outsource your cleaning (or delegate it to your employees), please schedule a regular time to do the basics. Depending on how much foot traffic you get through your office, this may be daily, weekly, or bi-weekly.

(Hint: Don't make it monthly (or yearly?) unless you're the only one ever sets foot in your space (and you happen to like wading through dust bunnies every time you walk to your desk).)

Give yourself enough time to do the job in a restful way (i.e. don't rush through it because you'd rather be doing something else). Make sure you have good supplies that you enjoy using (no harsh chemicals if you're sensitive to strong smells, all your cleaning tools in good repair and easy to access - that kind of thing).

Play music that you love, if it will inspire you.

(If anybody's actually made it through this entire post without navigating away in disgust at my unreasonable optimism, I'll tell you in my next post what kinds of things you should be doing when you clean your office...)

*all kidding aside, my friend is an AMAZING Registered Massage Therapist, and he has a very lovely (and hygienic!) clinic. The work I did for him over the last two days involved lots of moving of heavy furniture, cleaning behind said furniture, and moving furniture back. Plus things like dusting baseboards and scrubbing scuff marks off walls. Fall cleaning. Only-do-this-once-a-year kind of stuff. Do not be afraid!

copyright 2006, Michelle Lynne Goodfellow

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