Since the premiere of the binge-worthy Netflix series “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” in January, many American households have been attempting the “KonMari Method,” a de-cluttering approach focused on eliminating items that no longer “spark joy.” The result? Ideally, an immaculate, organized home that sets the stage for increased productivity and positivity.
Of course, the benefits of sprucing things up are equally helpful in a business environment, especially the spa setting. After all, how can clients possibly relax if they’re surrounded by too much stuff? “Guests are easily overwhelmed and turned off by clutter,” says Catherine Dower Sinclair, vice president of spa operations for Mirbeau Hospitality Services in Saratoga Springs, New York. “If they see that your spa is dirty, they’ll tell their friends and take their business elsewhere.”
Beyond that, your entire operation will become more energized and efficient. “A freshly cleaned and organized space can boost employee morale and performance, and create a sense of hope and possibility,” notes Dower Sinclair. It does take planning and group participation, but spring offers a sense of renewal, she enthuses, so it’s the perfect time to get your staff on board.
From desk drawers to supply closets, storage areas tend to enable excess and become disorganized dumping grounds. “We’ve found that areas that
aren’t visible to guests often become a catch-all for marketing materials, broken equipment and more,” admits Dower Sinclair. So, begin by devoting a few hours to those spaces, tossing out or recycling anything that isn’t being used or no longer works. Then, organize what’s left with drawer dividers, clear storage boxes and the like, and make sure everything is neatly labeled. “Develop a daily, weekly and monthly tidying system to prevent clutter from reappearing,” notes Mia Mackman, Phoenix-based spa and wellness consultant and founder of the Arizona Spa and Wellness Association.
If you have multiple areas that are overflowing or particularly problematic, divvy them up among your team, adds Lee Gollnick, general manager of Burke Williams Spa in Orange, California. “Staff should be responsible for maintaining their areas and developing an organizational system for the space,” he says. “Encourage them to ask for help with their assigned areas when needed—that way, cleaning becomes less about rules and more about teamwork.”
To maximize efficiency, assess each piece of major equipment in the spa and determine if it’s in the best working condition. You might check with your State Board or manufacturers to see how often these things need to be serviced or replaced—but before tossing out old or broken items, contact your Department of Public Works to find out if they can be recycled, or even offer them to staff at a discount. Another option? “See if the manufacturer offers a buy-back program for credit toward new equipment,” suggests Dawn Nooney, owner of renew.calm in West Springfield, Massachusetts.
Keeping ancient products in your backbar or retail areas can ultimately hinder service time and sales. Toss expired items and donate anything that hasn’t been used in the past six months. “Instruct the front desk staff to check expiration dates on a weekly or monthly basis, so they can inform management when it’s time to restock,” suggests Nooney, who also recommends using a spa software system to make inventory a breeze. “Items that haven’t sold within the past three to six months should be discounted for a quick sale,” she adds. “Spa owners and managers can also use inventory reports to determine what’s no longer selling. Sometimes, a product or even an entire line needs to be replaced with something that better resonates with clients.”
Purge Old Promos
Give outdated or worn-down signs the heave-ho. “If the edges are torn, faded or curling, it’s time to replace them,” says Nooney. Mackman agrees, and points out that it’s important to update these items on a regular basis anyway. “Promotional materials should reflect special marketing initiatives, brand partnerships and seasonality,” she explains. One thing to keep in mind when redoing signs and such: It’s all or nothing. Rather than replacing them one by one, Nooney suggests hiring a graphic designer to create a fresh set of signs and other marketing materials to maintain a cohesive look and clear identity.
Deal With Dirt
Once you’ve eliminated excess and cleared out the clutter, you’ll be ready to dust and sanitize your spa’s surfaces. “Walls, floors, windows and sliding doors should all be cleaned on a semiannual basis,” notes Nooney. She suggests using a Swiffer Sweeper Floor Mop with a dry cloth on walls, ceilings and hard-to-reach corners. Be sure you don’t overlook other oft-neglected areas equally in need of regular TLC, which typically include light switches, fixtures and bulbs; tile grout; and exterior walkways, doors, awnings and mats.
Refresh What’s Left
Finish off your spring cleaning session by giving each room a mini makeover. “Reupholstering an old bench or repainting a table can instantly add new life to your space,” says Gollnick. Depending on how much you want to revamp, you might even give walls a fresh coat of paint and hang new, eye-catching artwork. Or, rearrange the furniture and add throw pillows, rugs or decor to your waiting area, locker room and/or treatment rooms. “Use plants and floral displays to reflect seasonal changes, holidays or special events,” adds Gollnick. “Guests notice these details, and they’ll be grateful for the changes.”
–by Taylor Foley
This story first appeared in the April issue of Dayspa magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.