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Spring cleaning your dairy mess

Published on 04 May 2018

April showers bring May flowers. Those spring showers can also bring on some much-needed spring cleaning. Instead of complaining how it’s too wet to do anything outside, turn those rainy days spent indoors into a day of productivity.

Deep clean and repaint the inside of your milking parlor for upcoming farm tours, haul off all the scrap metal piling up in your shop or declutter that landfill you call your office space.



Last May, I spent an entire day helping my mom clean out our dairy office. Apparently the mess was too much for her to handle by herself and she needed me for motivation and assistance. While cleaning I discovered papers that had gone untouched for five years, and by the time we had finished, numerous trash bags filled with paper trash lined the hallway outside the office.

Enlisting someone not attached to your stuff the way you are can expedite the cleaning process.

What does your office say about your dairy? To my family, our office looked like organized clutter. But I can only imagine what our milk tester thought every time he stepped in our office labyrinth each month to enter data on our computer.

The state of your office can oftentimes measure the strength of your dairy business. When every corner is stacked with boxes, and all the flat surfaces are buried under teetering piles of paper, crumpled invoices, scraps of paper and unknown equipment parts, it is hard to believe an operation is focused on top milk production, advanced dairy genetics or achieving higher benchmarks.

You are well aware cows and milk production are the top priorities of your workday. But just as your cows and equipment make an impression on others, your workspace gives suppliers and consultants a distinct impression about you.


As a dairy manager, your messy office can impact your reputation and affect how people will work with you. Some people will assume your office chaos will spill over onto any business dealings you might share. However, if people come into a well-organized office, they are more likely to recognize doing business with you is efficient and effective.

If you’re not going to clean it, don’t use it to meet with anyone, including employees.

Even if you and only you uses your office space, messiness can add unwelcome stress to your life, whereas an organized office can make you feel calm and relaxed. You are more likely to find the solution you are looking for when you aren’t overwhelmed with missing papers.

Being organized also saves time on spending hours searching and sifting through papers and files. When you are able to step into a clean office, you will be able to get tasks done without being distracted by mess.

Here are some easy ways to begin your dairy office transformation:

  • Schedule your next rainy day to be a declutter day. Use this period of uninterrupted time to tackle your office mess.

  • Find someone to help you with your cleaning efforts for assistance and motivation.

  • Get rid of unnecessary papers by scanning the articles you know you will need and throwing away the rest. Uploading documents can make them accessible from anywhere and easier to find using word searches.

  • Only keep frequently used items on your desk. Items used on a regular basis should be kept at arm’s length. Any other items you do not use should be put away and only taken out as needed.

  • Set up a system for future incoming clutter. Paper, projects and information that come to the farm should flow through the system in an organized way. Assign a folder to the high-priority tasks you handle.

As a dairy owner, with all the other tasks you have on your plate, it can be hard to put cleaning and organization on your list of priorities. However, establishing and maintaining a clean and organized workspace can keep your office layout looking professional, boost productivity and keep records straight.  end mark


Audrey Schmitz
  • Audrey Schmitz

  • Editor
  • Progressive Dairyman
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