Office Relocation Project Plan the Key to a Successful Office Move
As with any major project, proper planning and organization are key to a successful office move. Once the decision to relocate is made, the first task is to create an Office Relocation Project Plan. This is one of the most important steps taken in an office move. An office relocation plan outlines the tasks necessary to complete a successful move. It should also specify who is responsible for each task and when the tasks must be completed.
By creating an outline of every step in the moving process, you ensure necessary tasks are completed in the required timeframe. When following a good project plan, downtime and loss of productivity are kept to a minimum as the move is successfully completed on time and on budget.
How to Create an Office Relocation Project Plan
- Determine who will be the primary person in charge of the move, whether it be you or someone else within your company. This person will serve as the in-office move coordinator. He or she should be a great organizer, have the authority to represent your company, and be capable of making snap decisions when necessary.
- Select a small project planning team. The in-office move coordinator will serve as leader of this team, and together the team will create your office relocation plan.
- Know or determine your key dates, such as current lease termination, preferred move date, new lease signing, new office build-out start and finish, and final date for completion of the move.
- Estimate your relocation budget. Review it periodically throughout the move process to ensure the move stays within the budget.
- Develop a project plan customized for your office relocation. You can use tips on what to include, such as those provided below, but the best project plan is one created specifically for your office move. Build the plan in a Word document or Excel Spreadsheet (Google Sheets would work well). List every task that must be taken to complete the move, who will be responsible for each one, and when the task should be completed.
What Order Should I Pack My Office In?
One of the difficulties of packing an office, whether it is your home workstation or an entire business, is that you likely need to keep working throughout at least some portion of the process. Try these tips from Big Foot Moving & Storage, Inc. for packing your office while maintaining productivity.
Remove Decorative Components
Decorative items such as paintings, posters, or small statues may be taken down and packed first. While these items make the office a pleasant place to work, they play no role in actual functionality.
Organizing the Files
In most modern offices, the contents of the filing cabinets exist primarily for record keeping, as opposed to day-to-day productivity. Gather filing boxes and transfer the contents of the cabinets to these boxes. Make sure to clearly label what cabinets the files have come from and what files are inside the box to make the unpacking process easier.
Boxing up Books
Books fall into a similar category as files. While they may sometimes be used for reference, your office likely doesn’t turn to them every day. Pack books early into small boxes to keep the weight limited. Bookshelves can be taken apart and packed at the same time as books.
Packing Your Desk Contents
Your desk and chair will likely be some of the last things to get packed, but the contents of your desk can largely be stored away in the middle of the packing process. Leave yourself with just the essentials – a few pens, a stapler, and a notepad – and pack or donate the rest. Most of your work is likely done on a computer anyway.
Downsize Your Paperwork Before You Move
Moving is the perfect opportunity to lighten the load. Before you start packing away documents, go through them and weed out what you no longer need.
- Start with a paper shredder and scanner.
- Shred items that are no longer needed.
- Scan any document you must keep.
- Create an organized system for scanned files. Clearly-labeled folders is key.
You will want to back up your scanned files, and many people back them up twice. An external hard drive, flash drive and the Cloud are good, convenient methods for backing up files.
Is it Ever Okay to Leave Cabinets Full?
While it’s generally a good idea to unpack your cabinets, there are a few cases where you can leave cabinets partially or fully intact:
- Two-Drawer Cabinets. Stand up 2-drawer filing cabinets can typically be moved full with no additional servicing. Contact our team to make sure we can handle your cabinet as-is.
- Four-Drawer Cabinets. If you’re moving a tall, stand-up 4-drawer file cabinet, you’ll need to empty the top two drawers. Otherwise, the weight of the files will bend the bottom of the cabinet, potentially ruining the entire unit. If it’s a wood-style cabinet, the force of the shifting weight will often be enough to destroy the structure of the cabinet.
- Lateral Cabinets. With a wide cabinet, you’ll need to remove all the files to ensure safe transport. Typically, these cabinets feature lightweight construction, and moving them full will bend the frame of the cabinet to the extent that it will likely be nonfunctional after a move.
How to Pack Your Home Office
It is quite common for folks to leave the home office as one of the last rooms in the house to pack. For some, this room is dreaded more than the garage. It is really not that difficult though. The key is to start early and do a box here and there, so it does not feel like such a monumental project, which it will if you are forced to get it done.
Go Through Everything
When was the last time you went through that pile of papers on your desk? Depending on how often you use your office and how many people are in your home, this room could be a dumping ground for everything that does not have a home. There could be everything from artwork prepared with love by the kids to boxes of coupons and collected recipes in there. You will probably find that a lot of stuff in this room needs to get thrown away.
Gather Important Documents
You will want all the important documents packed in your “carry on” bag, so they stay with you. Examples of important documents include birth certificates, passports, car titles, loan documents, insurance information, and school, medical, and vet documents. Not that you want to even think about your moving truck getting in an accident, but these are items you would be a little lost without if anything happened to them. Place them all in a large manila envelope or folder to keep with you.
Anything that has an actual home outside of the office should be returned to where it goes. This will help keep things a little more organized. For example, that random container of acrylic paint can be placed with the arts and crafts supplies, and Fido’s stash of hidden toys can go wherever the rest of his pile is.
When you pack books, avoid using large boxes that could end up too heavy. Plastic milk crates and copy paper or liquor boxes are ideal. They are strong and just the right size. If you have items that could be damaged by the least bit of water, place a garbage bag inside the box, and put the items inside the bag. This way, if this is the one random box that gets dropped in a puddle or drenched during that brief torrential downpour, nothing inside will be ruined. Keep in mind that moving trucks can get extremely hot in the summer and freezing in the winter so ideally, old photos, disks, and other sensitive items will be moved in your vehicle.
Before you start unplugging cords and pulling out cables, grab a pack of colored stickers. You will use like-colored stickers to mark the port and cable, so you know exactly how everything gets hooked back up. This method can be used for your entertainment center, too. Make sure you remove the ink cartridge from your printer and copier.