Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

Housekeeping Tasks - for soji, work parties, and general upkeep

See also Work Leader job description.

Soji & Regular Cleaning Tasks

All supplies in closet at top of short stairway off the meditation hall.

  • Bathrooms: wipe down toilets with paper towels (do not flush), scrub toilet bowls with toilet brush, clean sink, mirror, sweep floors, hand towels in hampers, put up fresh hand towels, and replenish bathroom supplies (each cabinet with soap, toilet paper, and paper towels)
  • Cushions and Floors in Zendo: two person job to brush off cushions with stiff brushes and use dust mop to clean floors in zendo. Also put away dokusan cards and other tidying.
  • Altar cleaning: requires someone trained as chided - trim candles, empty water, replenish cedar offering, clean altar cloths, all around altars (4 altars: main altar, dokusan altar, lobby altar, dining room altar - the main altar is highest priority)
  • Lobby: Vacuum lobby and library, shake out rugs, dust lobby counter, sweep outside entrance area
  • Dokusan Room - brush off cushions, vacuum rug, wipe down window sills, double check proper arrangement of cushions and bell or dokusan when done.
  • Drinking glasses: Upstairs and Downstairs cups: when plastic container is pretty full of used glasses, take it downstairs and put glasses in dishwasher. If this fills the dishwasher, start a wash and put “Clean” sign on dishwasher so next person knows the contents can be put away when dry. Replenish the glasses with clean drinking glasses from the dishwasher.
  • Dishwasher: Check and empty the dishwasher when clean, putting contents away in cupboards. Pick up dirty cups, dishes, etc., that may be left out. Fill and run dishwasher as needed.  (place “Dirty” sign on dishwasher until actually running it, at which time put “Clean” sign on it.)
  • Dining area: When needed, wipe counters and table tops with soap and water sponge/cloth.  Wipe walls in kitchen if needed.
  • Trash & Recycling: Empty mixed recycling containers that live upstairs and downstairs into the marked colored containers that live outside, and return the containers to their locations. Trash to the smaller rolling gray trash can. Compostables to the large Yard Waste toter (including bathroom TP). Trash can liners: for compost or bathroom TP use green biodegradable, for trash use ordinary liners, for paper recycling NO liners (or people get confused and they they're trash cans). Large liners for kitchen trash can are under the kitchen sink, rest of liners should be in cleaning closet.
  • Wipe Down: Wipe down window ledges and room corners with damp (water or water/vinegar solution) yellow rags. Clean the glass panes on the inside zendo doors.   
  • Plants: Water plants if needed. Good if someone's tracking the orchids. They need minimal, but regular, water. 
  • Library: vacuum rug, straighten shelves, dust shelves and tops of books, wipe down window ledges, tidy/remove extra furniture or cushions.
  • Kitchen: Wipe down kitchen counters and all surfaces, check fridge for spoiled food and compost it, clean sink area and appliances, empty dishwasher or start a load if needed.
  • Upstairs Storage area: When needed, vacuum storage area and stairs leading up to it.  Straighten items on shelves and in closet, when needed.
Weekly Patterns
  • Laundry: check the laundry baskets and laundry in washer to see if a washing is needed.  If so, initiate the washing. Use borax or non-chlorine bleach on white towels to get them cleaner; check the dryer to see if clean laundry needs folding and putting away.  If so, do that.  
  • Keep an eye on the clothes washing machine, is there wet to move to dry, dry to fold?
  • Garbage cans & Recycling to Alley: If outside can or recycling or yard waste are full, set it out by alley to be picked up.  Later (Saturday), if can is out by alley and empty, return it. Pick up is early on Friday morning.
  • Supplies missing? or needed should be written on the clipboard hanging in the kitchen
Larger Cleaning and Organizing Tasks
  • Storage Room: we have a large store room accessed across the parking lot, key is hanging to the right of the back door. Occasional attention to what's stored there, cleaning, labelling, getting rid of what we don't need.
  • Food storage: all food should be stored in sealed plastic or glass containers. Nothing rodents can chew through. Additional containers may need to be purchased and labeled from time to time. We do have a label maker in the office to label containers neatly.
  • Upstairs floor "mopping" - Wipe wooden floors using one yellow rag dusted with a mist of wooden-floor-cleaner followed by another yellow rag that is dry. Can't use regular wet mop here, no water on the wood floors.
  • Downstairs MOPPING - good job for 3 or 4 people: vacuum and roll up rugs downstairs, get chairs off the floor, sweep out corners and then use water mop (might be in storage area) to do a real mopping of the tile floors downstairs followed by drying it with many yellow rags.
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