You’ve upgraded to a new office space. It’s an exciting move for your business, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility.
Before you pack up your office, make sure you have a plan and all the supplies you’ll need. Minimizing downtime during the move is a priority. Structure your packing to ensure your necessary business tools get moved quickly.
Keep reading for a few helpful tips on how to move your new office smoothly.
Create a Moving Plan
Moving your office requires lots of planning. It’s often best to start planning 6-12 months in advance.
Create a custom timeline for your office move. Leave yourself plenty of time to organize and pack everything in the office.
Checklists ensure everything gets done for the packing portion of the move.
Make your lists as detailed as possible to ensure you don’t forget anything. Walkthrough every part of the office to ensure everything makes it onto the checklist.
This is also a good time to create an inventory. Document everything you’re moving, room by room, to ensure it all arrives at the new location.
If you hire a professional moving company, they’ll do an inventory for you. But it doesn’t hurt to do your own for your peace of mind.
Create a master checklist that includes all of the key things that need to be packed.
You can also create individual checklists for specific departments or individual employees. Those checklists should include just the things those people are responsible for packing.
Have a Point Person
Assigning one person as the packing coordinator helps keep the office move organized and consistent. You can be the point person, but it’s sometimes easier to assign another trusted employee to handle that job. That keeps you free to ensure everything goes smoothly and to handle any problems.
This person should have copies of the moving plan and all of the checklists for reference. They should be involved in all conversations about the move, so they’re informed and can share information with other employees.
Coordinate With Your Moving Company
If you’re using a moving company, communicate with them, so you know what to expect.
Many moving companies offer packing services for commercial moves. Letting your mover handle the packing is less stressful and less time-consuming. They can come in right before the move and pack up everything quickly to minimize your downtime.
Find out if you’re responsible for handling some of the packing if you go this route. You might need to pack personal items before the movers get there, for example.
Ask if there’s any prep work you can do to make packing and moving day easier.
Purge Things You Don’t Need
Have you been holding onto old equipment, files, or other items you no longer need?
An office move is the perfect time to get rid of those old items.
Start well before the move to give yourself plenty of time to sort and get rid of the items.
Go through physical paper files to see if you can get rid of older documents.
Make sure you don’t get rid of important documents that you might need later. For example, you should keep tax documents anywhere from 3 to 7 years, depending on the type and your situation.
The move is also an opportunity for you to go paperless. Convert your documents to digital files and shred the originals before moving.
If your new office already has furniture, you might sell your existing office furniture before the move.
You might also use the move as a time to upgrade your furniture and equipment. If your current office furnishings are due for an upgrade, this is an ideal time to do it.
If you replace items, have them delivered to your new location after you get possession of it. That eliminates having to pack those items and move them yourself.
It also allows you to set up those items before you move. You can get your office running faster when you have those key items in place.
Save Important Things for Last
You want to minimize the disruption to your work as much as possible during the move. The time your systems aren’t running means you’re potentially losing money.
That means keeping the critical equipment up and running in your current location for as long as possible.
Create a list of those essential items. Make a plan for getting them transferred as quickly as possible.
Keep employee computers and other essential equipment in place until right before the move. Have packing materials ready to go for those items, so you can pack them quickly just before the move.
When you get to your new office space, ensure those items get set up first. This allows you to get your core functions up and running quickly.
Gather Moving Supplies
Start collecting moving supplies early, so you’re prepared with the right tools. If you have to stop packing to get more boxes or padding, you slow down the process.
Grab boxes of different sizes. This ensures a good fit for everything in the office.
Choose heavy-duty boxes to provide extra protection for your most delicate items. Stock up on strong adhesive packing tape to keep boxes secured.
You’ll also want packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and other padding materials for your delicate items. It’s always better to wrap those items too much than to leave them unprotected.
For furniture, you’ll want moving blankets to protect the surfaces. If you’re hiring a moving company, they should provide those protective covers for your furniture.
Label Boxes Clearly
The chaos of moving a business office can make it difficult to find things once you arrive.
Eliminate some of the chaos by labeling boxes clearly.
Create a standard labeling system to show the location in the new office for each box. You might use a color-coding system to easily identify the location.
This allows you to place the boxes in the appropriate spaces as soon as you arrive.
Include a list of the items in each box. This helps for inventory purposes, but it also enables you to find the most important things first when you arrive.
Create a standard labeling practice, so that each box gets labeled in the same way. This way everyone knows where on the box to look for the information.
Your electronics items are crucial to your work, and they’re also susceptible to damage during the move. Proper prep and packing reduce the risks of damage.
Ensure everyone backs up their computers before the move. This prevents devastating data loss.
If you back up the files to the cloud, it also helps you keep things running during the move. Employees can still access crucial files from other devices during the move.
Use the original computer boxes if you saved them. If not, use foam, bubble wrap, or other protective materials to wrap the computer components before putting them in boxes.
Cords often get lost when moving. Keep them organized and together using zip ties. Wrap a piece of tape with a label around each bundle for easy identification later.
You can pack the cords with each item or create a single cord box for all of the wires in the office.
Disassembling your furniture before moving saves space in the moving truck.
The smaller parts are easier to carry, which can simplify moving. Handling large desks, bookshelves, and other furniture can be challenging and awkward. It can also be dangerous if those items get dropped.
Disassembly can also prevent the furniture from getting broken. You can wrap individual pieces and place them in a safe spot in the moving truck.
When you take furniture apart, you run the risk of losing pieces. It’s crucial to clearly label the parts and keep all of the parts to each piece together. Assign each piece of furniture a letter or name. Each part of that furniture should get a label or piece of masking tape with the letter or name.
Then, number each individual part to that furniture piece. That helps you keep the pieces organized and easy to reassemble. Try to keep all the hardware in a secure bag and tape that bag to one of the pieces.
Keep a master sheet that includes all of the furniture pieces and the number of parts for each.
Have Everyone Pack Personal Items
It’s easiest to leave personal items to the individual employees.
This takes that part of the packing off of your plate. It also ensures everyone’s items get there securely. If they break something during packing, it’s their responsibility.
Let everyone know the timeline for packing up their personal belongings. You’ll need to disassemble and pack the furniture from their offices, so give yourself plenty of time.
Make sure everyone labels their boxes clearly. This helps the belongings get to the correct office in the new location.
Pack Up Your Office Like a Pro
When you’re ready to pack up your office, the important thing to keep in mind is being efficient and organized. You’ll have less downtime when you take a strategic approach to your move.
If you’re planning an upcoming office move, check out our commercial moving services.