Our CM facility is dirty or smelly

Your Question:

“How can the CM survive, and flourish in a dirty or smelly facility when we don’t have a lot of money?”

The Issues:

A facility that is dirty doesn’t cost anything to fix. A facility that is smelly may take some money to fix.  Parents’ first impressions are critical to a growing CM.

Scripture Foundation:

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”  Matthew 25: 21

Short Answer:

Being a “good steward” of what God has given you isn’t complicated.  If you have the perspective that everything you have is the Lord’s that He has provided, being a “good steward” becomes quite clear.  It doesn’t mean that you have to have the “best” of everything, but it does mean that you have to take good care of what you have. 


Keeping your current CM facility clean means that you have to devote time to cleaning it.  If you’ve inherited a dirty facility, and you don’t have a maintenance or janitorial crew to clean the facility, you may either need to do it yourself, or plan a CM team or church volunteer workday to clean it. Make sure to vacuum, dust, and disinfect.


“Cleaning” also means removing clutter.  Go into each room and look for items that are stacked on counters or laying on the floor.  If there are places for these items, put them where they belong.  CM facilities are known for collecting “lost and found” items, old Bibles, etc.  If there are “lost and found” items, remove them from the rooms and place them onto a table in the main CM hallway with a sign that says, “If anything is yours, take it.  Unclaimed items will be donated.” You may need to leave this table out for 2 weeks to make sure everyone sees it.  After 2 weeks, take the unclaimed items to a donation store of your choice.


Make sure the restrooms smell clean!  If the exhaust fans in the restrooms are inadequate, propose replacing them with more efficient fans.  There is nothing more offensive than old restroom air that isn’t replaced frequently by the exhaust fans.  If the restrooms don’t have deodorizers, install some!  A pleasant-smelling restroom communicates much to parents, children, and to CM team members. If the church has a janitorial crew, ask them to cycle through the CM restrooms at least once per service.  They can make sure toilets are working, trash is emptied, and they might be able to spray some nice-smelling spray if you don’t have automatic deodorizers. 


The CM hallways around the check-in area should also be clean and professional-looking. Sometimes, CM team members will leave their coats or water bottles laying on tables or counters in the CM hallways.  Do all you can to discourage that.  When you see clutter, remove it.  The owner of the clutter will come looking for it, and you can reinforce the practice of putting these things elsewhere. 


Once every service, take a “first time visitor walk” around the facility to look at it and smell it through the eyes and nose of first-time visitors. 


The nursery area is another potentially offensive area in the CM.  Anyone who has served in the nursery knows that the facility can be clean, and yet it can smell bad. To counteract the “normal” smell of the nursery, install deodorizers in near the check-in doors.  If your nursery has a separate check-in area with a counter that is separated from the actual nursery by auto-closing doors, this is a perfect area in which to install automatic deodorizers.  If you do this, you will create a sweet-smelling area that parents will enjoy during check-in. For more ideas, click on the “Developing The CM Facility – APPENDIX” link below.

Visit other articles in the Developing The CM Facility APPENDIX

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