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, although the day was added to The Chase Calendar of Events in 1995/96, but has become more widely recognized and celebrated in recent years. Someone recognized the need to create a day that celebrates the work of custodians, who keep buildings, businesses, and schools well maintained, often working long night shifts and performing physically demanding tasks. Since we don't always see them at work, it is easy to forget that real people are keeping our workspace clean when we're not there. This day serves as a reminder to everyone that custodians everywhere 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 how essential 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 appreciation for the custodians at work or school, make sure that you are tidy and keep your workplace as clean as possible, to make the custodians' job no harder than it has to be. Let National Custodian Day be a reminder to pay more attention to the little details around, the well-stocked bathroom and organized break room cupboards, and remember someone has done 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 their hard work, any gesture will go a long way.
If you can 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 janitor, why not take the initiative and create a cleanliness chart like the one below, and 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:
National Custodian Day 2021 - October 2
National Custodian Day 2022 - October 2
National Custodian Day 2023 - October 2
Did you know?
The word custodian comes from the Latin word 'custos', which translates as 'guardian'.
According to The Cleaning Institute, Americans on average spend six hours per week cleaning their homes. 28% of Americans spend more than seven hours cleaning. And If that feels like too much time, then maybe a custodian would be right for you!
There are currently more than 1,440,000 custodians employed in America, 64.4% of those are men, and 35.6% are women.