Whether you are using office movers or relocating your business yourself, here are some general guidelines to follow to make your office relocation go smoother.
3-4 MONTHS BEFORE THE MOVE:
- Choose your new location.
- Decide if there are any build outs or modifications you’ll need to contract for the new location.
- Order new fax #’s, phone #’s, or any other IT requirements that will be needed.
- Order new address labels and other “we’re moving” materials to send to clients, vendors, etc.
- Decide whether you will move yourself or use a commercial mover.
2 MONTHS BEFORE THE MOVE:
- Choose the move date.
- Meet with building management at new location regarding insurance requirements, moving time restrictions (after hours, weekends only, etc)building protection requirements like masonite for floors, etc (most buildings management has a “Rights and Repsonsibilities when you Move Checklist”.
- Set your moving budget.
- If you’re using professional office movers, get 3-4 bids to compare services offered, pricing, and other qualifications.
- If moving yourself, figure out rental trucks, labor and logistics for the move, make sure you have enough time to complete your move correctly and avoid down time for your business.
- Make a list or inventory of what you are moving and the logical flow of how it will leave the old building and arrive at the new building.
- Floor plan how existing (and possibly new) furniture will be set up in the new space, it’s critical that this is done to scale so “what fits” and “what doesn’t fit” isn’t left to chance.
- Cover the schedule with staff so everyone is informed of date and times and on the same page.
- Order internet access, phone lines for new office.
1 MONTH BEFORE THE MOVE:
- Order and receive moving cartons or moving crates and begin to pack if you are not using professional office movers.
- Use color coded tags when packing with room #, employee name, or some designation to tell where the items will go, a color coded schematic or floor plan at destination will assist either commercial movers or do it yourselfers.
- Decide what can or should be purged, there is no reason to move something and then throw it away.
- Set up any new services at the new location like vending or publications like magazines, newspapers, journals, etc.
- Set up a pre-move punch list with any contractors and building management at the new location (elevator times, loading dock restrictions, etc).
- Set up a post-move punch list with management at old location for exit expectations like cleaning, carpets, windows, etc.
2 WEEKS BEFORE THE MOVE:
- Arrange any carpet cleaning, drywall repairs, painting, etc at old location.
- Set the itinerary for move day(s) and contact info for all involved, a list of responsibilities for employees helps to avoid confusion, if it makes more sense to allow a couple days to do so, have an agenda for everyone to follow.
- Cancel any publications and services like newspapers or vending at old location.
DAY BEFORE THE MOVE:
- Confirm move times with all parties: origin building, destination building, commercial or office movers (if necessary), and office staff.
- Review the itinerary with staff.
- Do a walk through at the current location to confirm all items are prepped, packed (if not using professional movers) tagged for new location, and ready to go.
- Do a walk through at the new location to confirm accessibility and readiness for move in.
- Make sure all electronics are unhooked, and ready to be packed, or are in containers already, and are at room temperature prior to moving.
- Post schematics/floor plans and office/cubicle identification at new location.
DAY OF THE MOVE:
- Arrange refreshments whether using a professional mover or doing it yourself, coolers of water or sports drinks are a good idea along with some energy snack bars, granola bars, etc
- Try and schedule the days at 10 hours and under if possible, even professional movers run out of gas if worked too long
- Make sure there is plenty of direction from staff, organization is key for any type of office move.
- Once the move is complete (time permitting) have the staff go for pizza (and maybe their favorite liquid refreshment), it’s a great team builder and bonds people together after completing an important and often stressful process.