10 Tips for Preparing Your Home Office for a Move
Moving your office can be challenging and stressful. Here's our tips on how to make it go smoothly.
It’s time to move your home office. While it may sound like a chore, the event doesn’t have to be a stressful one. Maybe you’re moving to a rented office space or simply another room in your house. Whatever the case, there are a few guidelines you should keep in mind to ensure smooth sailing.
1. Plan Ahead
When you’re about to move to a new office location, think about the items you’ll want to bring with you. While you may want to keep all of your furniture, some of it might cost more to haul than it would to replace.
Once you have an idea of what to do with your furniture, you should first pick set a time frame for how long you expect the move to take. Clear your schedule to dedicate to the move, to make sure you do a good job.
Then, dedicate a day to packing the office up and another day to moving in. You may find it helpful to make a checklist for the move, so you’ll know for sure you didn’t forget anything and completed all the necessary tasks.
2. Sort and Declutter
Your job will be much easier if you start out with an organized office. As soon as you’ve set your dates and made a checklist for moving, you can begin sorting out all your items. Now is a good time to get rid of any old belongings you no longer need.
Depending on how much you want to get rid of, it could be a good time to have a yard sale. Otherwise, you can post on Facebook to see if any of your friends need the stuff you’re getting rid of. Better yet, you may be able to sell some of your belongings and get a bit of extra cash.
3. Deal with Your Documents
Now would be a good time to go through your filing cabinets and various piles of paper to get rid of what you no longer need. But make sure you don’t just throw them away because that leaves you at risk for identity theft.
Instead, use a paper shredder to destroy your documents so no one can take your information. Store the essential documents in protective folders for safe keeping. You may also want to upgrade your filing cabinet or storage system for papers to create more efficiency and better organization.
4. Go (Partially) Paperless
To make your move easier, you can begin switching to a paperless home office before you move. Fewer stacks of paper mean less volume to relocate on moving day. Plus, a paperless home office can help you save money on electricity and paper. If you don’t want to switch to a setup with no paper at all, even reducing paper can have a positive impact.
To start this process, you’ll need to scan your important files and save them to your computer. Then keep the physical documents in a fireproof box. For extra essential documents, such as insurance information, you should keep both a physical and digital copy.
5. Figure Out Storage
In some cases, you’ll be moving to a smaller home office and need to get rid of some items. You may need to rent a storage space to store office furniture or extra belongings that you won’t be able to fit in your new office.
If you’ll be storing electronics, you should look into a temperature-controlled area to store your items, as they can get destroyed by humidity or extreme heat. Whatever the case, you should know what your plan is for storage before you even start packing.
6. Pack Your Books
Books are some of the heaviest items you’ll have to move from your office, so the way you pack and move them is important. Go through and get rid of books you haven’t used in a while and don’t plan to read any time soon. Give them away to friends or to charity.
Make sure you use a sturdy box for packing your books and tape it up so the bottom doesn’t fall out. Depending on your personal strength, don’t fill the boxes to more than 30 to 40 pounds worth of weight.
You may want to pack especially old or valuable books in bubble wrap or newspaper to protect them from damage during the move.
7. Back Up Your Info
Backing up important documents and files is essential when you’re moving your home office. Use a cloud-based storage system or hard drive for your work files or any other information you don’t want to lose.
Taking the time to do this will ensure that you don’t lose anything important if your computer is damaged during the moving process. Accidents can happen, so always plan ahead with a backup.
8. Pack Up Your Office Equipment
Next, it’s time to pack up your electronic office equipment, such as your printer, scanner, and computer. Ideally, you’ll still have the original packaging for these items you can store them securely.
Use bubble wrap or packing paper for fragile objects and use a marker to keep track of what’s what. If you’re not technically inclined, you may find it helpful to take pictures of the way your devices are wired up before you unplug them.
9. Ask Your Friends or Hire Help
Some jobs are just too big to do alone. If you have a lot to move (like furniture), enlist some friends to help you. See if there’s someone you can borrow a truck from for the move. Usually, you’ll be able to find some friends or relatives willing to assist.
In some cases, like moving an office that you’ve had for many years, you may have to hire professional help. Clearly mark boxes with fragile items in them, to reduce the risk of damage.
10. Plan Out the New Office Space
Moving to a new home office is a great chance to design it just the way you want. The layout of your office will have a large impact on how productive you are. Choose a color theme you like and make sure your furniture will fit into your space.
If you can afford it, this might be a good time to replace or upgrade old items from your previous home office. Maybe it’s a new desk, a more comfortable chair, or an upgrade to your office tech. If you’re on a budget check out our article on how to save money setting up a new office.
With a new office comes a new mindset, so set it up for productivity and success.