Spring-Cleaning Spruce-Up! Tips to Revive Your Self-Storage Facility and Make Business Blossom

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By Kay Miller Temple

Get that “to-clean” list out and tackle it with the energy and freshness that comes with spring! A spring cleanup will not only give your self-storage property and tenants a lift, it will invigorate you and your staff, too.

Step 1: Create an all-encompassing list.

  • To see your property with "fresh eyes," walk around your grounds and buildings with a staff member, trusted business associate or even a family member.
  • Develop a visual scan left to right, up and down to ensure a full view of the property inside and out.
  • Don't forget to pay attention to those nooks and crannies, which signal “attention to detail” to potential and current tenants.
  • Make note of items that can be done by you and your team and those that will require professional expertise.
  • Consultations for job estimates from various professionals can provide valuable insight and trigger the need for additional items to add to your spring-cleaning list.

 Step 2: Make a completion-date column for all the items on your list.

  • Make it fun by color-coding items by timeline, subject or other delineation.
  • Scratching off to-do items on your list comes with guaranteed satisfaction! 

Landscaping

  • Winter weather is bound to create plant debris, if not from your own property, then from other properties nearby. Take some time to clean up your landscaping.
  • As clean-up proceeds, consider a landscape makeover that will require less ongoing effort like xeroscaping, which reduces or even eliminates the need for watering.
  • For do-it-yourselfers, local plant nurseries and county extension agents are good sources for plant suggestions.
  • If you use a landscape service, have a conversation about any new plant varieties that can be used to replace plants suffering from winter-kill.
  • Green tip: If available, use your city's composting program for plant debris you've collected during your spring-cleaning efforts.

Mobile Fixtures

  • With vehicles or mobile-storage units, make sure winter slush and dirt is washed off the exterior.
  • Clean windows for good visibility. This also helps avoid sun glare.
  • Shop vacuums are a great tool for getting at the dirt and debris on floors that accumulated from melting snow on winter footwear.

 Building Components

  • Gutter clean-out is a must on every spring-cleaning list since they are a largely ignored area during winter. Late fall leaves and twigs can block water flow from snow melt and rain. Get to that debris before it becomes disgusting with warmer temperatures.
  • Doors are another important focal point. Sometimes "clean" comes only as the result of a fresh layer of clear coat or paint when soap and water just doesn't seem to remove the dinginess.
  • Include elevator interiors on your walk-around. Cold temperatures and wind chills lend to unconventional trash left in protected, out-of-the-way areas.

Office

The office is the heart of your operation, and extra efforts will pay off big! Here the basics of traditional spring cleaning are easily applied.

Ceilings/ceiling fans

  • First take a look at your ceilings from the altitude of a good, stable ladder to assess cleaning needs. Take note and assemble the needed supplies.
  • Cleaning corner cobwebs with a duster, mop or cloth-covered broom works well.
  • Fan blades usually need a bit  of soapy water to cut through dust and grime.
  • Don't rush these jobs. Make sure you are on a height-appropriate, steady ladder so you don't put your body through unsafe contortions leading to loss of balance and injury.

Windows

  • Using a two-person team can actually be a time-saver for window cleaning. Positioned on both sides of windows, team members can signal each other regarding missed areas.
  • Cloth cover treatments such as drapes should we washed and ironed. Blinds or other window treatments can usually be cleaned with soap and water.
  • Green tip: A homemade mixture of water, ammonia and vinegar is a great cleaning fluid that can be applied by a spray bottle. Recycled newspapers function as wipes, or use those handy reusable terry cloths or jersey wipes that can be purchased in bulk.
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