Keeping employees motivated to clean up their personal space, as well as common work areas takes some ingenuity. You want to motivate them, but not offend them and make them resistant. That’s where signs that relay a fun but to-the-point message can act as a gentle reminder without sounding threatening.

Words Do The Trick

Sometimes a simple message in a nice font works just as well as elaborate graphics. For instance, an all-text sign that says, “Keep This Space Clean – Your Mother Won’t Do It, So Clean It Yourself!” gets the point across. Use a font, like Comic Sans, to make the message playful. Another sign to post around office areas could simply say “Don’t Turn Your Office Into an Obstacle Course – Tidy Up!” You can also post a clever quote, such as the one attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that says, “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.”

Add Graphics

Graphics can help you reach those who relate to visual messages. For instance, if you want to discourage people from dropping beverages in sensitive work areas, try an image of a business document covered with coffee stains. A graphic showing dirty dishes piled up on the counter makes a statement for common kitchen areas. An image of extension cords running all over the place can draw attention to safety issues. Adding a big red “X” across these types of images makes the point obvious.

Signs With An Edge

Statements that use a fun, but edgy message can make the point about cleaning up dirty coffee cups, dishes, coffee makers and microwaves in common areas shared by staff. For instance, a sign by [My Door Sign] ( )says, “Think, Your Dishes Don’t Do Themselves, If You Use Them, Wash Them.” Another says, “If You Drop It, Pick It Up! Spill It, Wipe It Up!” Employees who leave gym bags, briefcases and other personal items on the floor can cause liability issues. Use a sign that says “Stow It” to help make the point.

Other Attention Grabbers

Getting an individual’s attention about clutter makes signs such as “Your Co-workers are Watching!” or “Stop Clutter Before It Stops You!” the way to go. You can also use “Everyday is Declutter Day Around These Parts!” or “Turn Your Clutter Zone into a Work Zone!” to make your point. To encourage tidy offices, add a graphic, such as a clean desk with just a computer and a few office accessories, to show how the desk can be arranged with less clutter. Add the message Essential Items Only to grab attention.