National Custodian Day is commemorated every year on October 2nd. It is known in many forms, including National Custodian Appreciation Day, National Janitor Day, Custodial Staff Appreciation Day, Custodial Worker Day, and National Custodial Workers Recognition Day, to name a few.
Custodians are the people who keep schools and workplaces clean and running smoothly, and they work very hard to do so, so they certainly deserve a day in their honor. Custodial work can be a tireless and thankless job, leading to custodians often being overlooked and not getting the recognition they deserve.
The origins of this unofficial holiday are unknown, but the first record of this day being mentioned online seems to date back to 2016. It is likely that someone recognized the need to create a day that celebrates the work of custodians, who have been keeping buildings, businesses, and schools well maintained for years often working long night shifts and performing physically demanding work. Because we don't always see them while they are doing their work, it is easy to forget that there are real people keeping our workspace clean when we're not there. This day serves as a reminder to everyone that the custodians at their workplace need to be appreciated.
2019 saw the start of the global coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19. Custodians' jobs became more important than ever at this point, needing to be extra diligent in keeping public spaces safely sanitized. This only highlighted the significance of how important custodians are in our day-to-day lives.
Custodians might also be known to many as Janitors or Caretakers, particularly in schools. Their role is diverse and they do so much more than just clean, they also perform building maintenance and fix anything that is broken. Without them, buildings would fall in disarray, people wouldn't be able to do their jobs and students wouldn't have a good, safe, and clean learning environment. Custodial work is often looked down on, but they are the oil that keeps the machine running.
To show your appreciation for the custodians at your work or school, make sure that you are tidy and keep your workplace as clean as possible so you don't make the custodians' job harder than it has to be. Let National Custodian Day be a reminder for you to start paying more attention to the little details around you, at the well-stocked bathroom and organized break room cupboards and realize that someone had to do that for you.
How to celebrate National Custodian Day ideas
There are many different ways you can celebrate and show your appreciation for your custodian on this day. From simply writing them a card with a heart-touching note, quote, or message, to buying them a gift to say thank you for all of their hard work, any gesture will go a long way.
If you have the ability to do so, why not organize a party in their honor to show them that you are thankful for all their hard work. You can make it extra special by making it a surprise party for the custodians.
If you want to show your appreciation for a school custodian, or a janitor, why not take the initiative of creating a cleanliness chart like the one below, to take on some of the janitor’s tasks. Change the tasks each week by covering them over with post-it notes.
When your friendly janitor sees the chart on the wall, it will surely put a smile on their face and a sparkle in their eyes knowing that the students they work tirelessly to keep things clean for don’t take them for granted.
If you are the boss, why not take this opportunity to do something nice for your custodians and give them new equipment to make their jobs that little bit easier!
Remember, National Custodian Day occurs yearly on the same day: