Cart Prepping for Efficiency

A well-organized and well-stocked housekeeping cart is the key to efficiency. It enables room attendants to avoid wasting time looking for a cleaning item or making trips back to the linen room for more supplies. The specific amounts of items loaded onto a cart will vary according to the types of rooms being cleaned, the amenities offered by the property, and, of course, the size of the cart itself. A room attendant’s cart is generally spacious enough to carry all the supplies needed for a half-day’s room assignments.

Stocking the Cart
Most carts have three shelves—the lower two for linen and the top for cleaning supplies and amenity items. It is just as important not to overstock a cart as it is not to understock. Overstocking increases the risk that some items will be damaged, soiled, or stolen in the course of cleaning.
In most cases, all the cleaning supplies for the guestroom and bathroom are positioned in a hand caddy on top of the cart so that the room attendant does not have to bring the entire cart into the room.

A laundry bag is usually found at one end of the cart and a trash bag is at the other. A broom and vacuum are also positioned on either end of the cart for easy access. For safety and security reasons, personal items and room keys should not be stored on the cart.

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Alternative Carts
Some hotels now use an integrated transporting and storing system as an alternative to the traditional room attendant cart. The equipment is modular in design and consists of various containers, caddies, and shelves that can be easily removed and arranged within a larger service cart. These components are loaded to convenient levels to allow for the efficient movement of linens and supplies when servicing guestrooms. Like a boxcar, a separate, detachable component accompanies the main unit and is used to catch trash and soiled linen.

About the Author
Dr. William D. Frye is an associate professor in the College of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Niagara University and co-author of AH&LEI’s housekeeping textbook Managing Housekeeping Operation, where this content originally appeared.