Friday Funny: Housekeeping Olympic Games

The Opening Ceremony for the 2016 Rio Olympics will kick off the official start of the Olympics tonight. While it’s way too late to make the gymnastics, swimming, or wrestling teams, there is another way you and your facility’s housekeeping team can celebrate the spirit of competition this summer.


Hotels and casinos throughout Las Vegas compete each year in a Housekeeping Olympic Event facilitated by the local IEHA Chapter. (Source: IEHA)

Thanks to ideas from the International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA), you and your housekeeping team can hold a Housekeeping Olympics within your own facility. If your team is feeling particularly competitive, you can even invite other teams from local facilities to join the fun.

Here are some ideas and instructions for a few Housekeeping Olympic events, courtesy of IEHA:

  • Trash Can Relay: Run to trash can, insert trash bag and tie around trash can, run back, tag next player who runs down and removes old bag, drops into the can, and ties new bag around can; repeat. Fastest time wins.
  • Dust Mop Relay: Measured amount of styrofoam peanuts, ping pong balls or other measurable debris scattered in front of dust mop; players push debris around cone and back, tag next player. Fastest time wins.
  • Dust Mop Ski: Players stand on two dust mops, holding poles in hands and skis around cone and back, tag next player. Fastest time wins.
  • Trash Can Wheels Race: Trash cans are removed from wheel base; players sit on base and are pushed/pulled around outside of cones back to finish line, tag next team of two, around again to finish line.
  • Spray Bottle Shoot: Players have one empty squirt bottle and one 5-gallon pail of water. Object: fill targets (clear bottles with fronts cut out) with water. Player squirts for 30 seconds, hands squirt bottles to next player until time elapses. Target containing most water determines the winner.
  • Sponge Relay: Players have one large car-wash-type sponge, 5-gallon pail of water, and empty small pail. First player soaks sponge and runs to next player, who runs to next player, who runs to last player who wrings sponge into empty pail and tosses back to first player. Repeat until time elapses. Small pail with most water determines the winner.
  • Bed Making Event: Make a bed as quickly as possible, and then strip the bed, fold the blanket, pillow case, and sheets the way they were originally found, placing them on the head of the bed. This is done wearing work gloves. Each team will line up on the starting line opposite an unmade bed; at the start signal two members will run to each side of the bed and make it as quickly as possible, using the 2 sheets, 1 blanket, and pillow case; the judge inspects the bed. When the judge signals the bed is properly made the team then strips the bed, neatly folds the sheets, blanket, and pillow case and places them at the head of the bed, and rushes back to the start line. The next two players then repeat the process; the team using the least amount of combined time to make and strip the bed wins.

IEHA compiled these and other event ideas as part of a new complimentary guide to help cleaning professionals plan and promote activities during International Housekeepers Week (IHW), which will be held Sept. 11-17, 2016. If you decide to hold your own Housekeeping Olympic Games, please send photos (and funny stories) to

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