Packing an entire office’s worth of belongings… Where to begin, right? Relocating under any circumstances can be a difficult undertaking, made all the more stressful while attempting to run a business with limited interruption. With the proper planning, and delegation of responsibilities to select parties, this process can be streamlined to ensure a smooth transition to your new location.
Assess & Assign
For starters, the more time you can devote to preparing for the big move, the better. Ideally, three months out is a great point to begin assessing your belongings, taking stock of what can be discarded, sold or donated, and what needs to be transported. Of course, this may depend upon the dimensions and layout of the new commercial office space as well, all the more reason to prioritize that furniture and office equipment you’d like to take.
While the temptation may be to control all aspects of the move yourself, when it comes to said larger pieces, it’s best to leave this part of the packing to the professionals, many of whom will provide additional services for such complex tasks. By taking the responsibility of dismantling and reassembling furniture out of your hands, this leaves more time to focus on the essentials—important paperwork, official documents, individual workspaces, and office supplies.
The same goes for smaller items, as the responsibility of coordinating packing among individual departments should be delegated to key employees. Sensitive materials should be safeguarded immediately and left in the care of higher-ups to transport with personal belongings, as should items like plants and personal effects.
The Packing Process
Moving an office, difficult as it may be to fathom, often involves packing up more items than are found in an entire home. As such, it’s important you are prepared with adequate materials, including sturdy cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and moving blankets for protection, packing tape, clear zip-locked bags, and pens and markers for labeling.
Each box should be labeled with an inventory of its contents, along with the employee’s name, department, and floor, if applicable. Where possible, contents should be removed from drawers or shelving and boxed, leaving the furniture to be disassembled for separate transport. Items like computers, monitors, keyboards and mice, and phones, can also be labeled by employee name to ensure all individuals wind up with the proper equipment.
When packing fragile technical pieces, be sure to cover monitors with blankets, and remove all cables prior to transport, to store separately in bags. Copy machine hard drives should also be erased prior to moving, and any sensitive data secured on an external hard drive or cloud-based service, if possible.
Moving your office doesn’t have to be a stress-filled inconvenience. With enough advance preparation, proper assessment of your belongings as compared to the measurements of the new locale, and adequate supplies and organization throughout the packing process, the transition can be relatively seamless.