Know Your New Office
Knowing the layout of your new office is a major coup when trying to move. Why? Because so many people forget to come up with a basic furniture plan until the movers are asking where everything goes. Before you move, take the time to measure your current office furniture. Focus on the big pieces like large conference tables, office desks, workstations, and storage units like bookcases. Knowing the sizes of your largest furniture items will give you a better idea of what you should sell and purchase new for a better fit.
*Bonus Hack: Draw up a full, to-scale layout of the new office, making notes of windows, doors, and electrical outlets. Making to-scale cutouts of your current furniture pieces and moving them over the drawn up layout will give you a visual idea of where everything should go.
Anyone whose ever moved before knows the pain of realizing you forgot to do some basic preparation in the new space, like painting the kids' bedrooms. Moving to a new office is no different. Once you've figured out the layout of your new office and you have a general idea of where everything will go, go ahead and prep the space. Paint the walls to set an atmosphere in the lobby, making sure the paint color and the lounge and reception furniture are a good match. Sell old, dilapidated pieces from the old office and upgrade them with the money you make. And finally, clean up, and make sure the whole office is cleared before move-in day!
* Bonus Hack: Before moving into a rustic area, scrub the baseboards and floors with a solution of bug-killer. This kind of prep will deter office pests for years to come!
Skip the Supply Store
When it comes to hefty office supplies and furniture, typical cardboard boxes don't always hold up. You might decide to hit the supply store for a of those few flimsy paper boxes to give to employees (for cleaning out their cubicles). But when it comes to the hard-core stuff, hit up your local community college instead! Most colleges have a "duplicating services division," where staff and teachers go to photocopy stuff - and photocopy boxes are heavy-duty! Other options are rentable moving boxes, and 'freecycle' websites where you can find other movers looking to dump their boxes for reuse.
* Bonus Hack: Always overestimate the number of boxes you'll need. It's a huge pain to find you need more on moving day. Also, color-coded tape is a great way to stay organized with respect to what's what!
Give Employees Heads Up
One critical mistake first-time office movers make is forgetting to remind employees of the details! Make sure the whole office knows where the new digs are months ahead of time. Send out memos, phone calls, post flyers all over office presentation boards - do whatever it takes to make sure everyone knows. Holding an office conference is a great way to give a heads up and also receive additional moving hacks from employees who may know the drill. Finally, give plenty of notice and plenty of time (like at least two weeks) before moving day for employees to fully clean out their cubicles of everything but the essentials - then have them clean out the essentials on the last work day before the move. You don't want to break any family photographs!
Remove Furniture Down-Up
When it comes to moving an office, starting from the floor is best. Back up the data on all computers, then start off by unplugging lamps, PCs, hard drives, printers, and other office appliances. Unburden the desks by freeing them of mounted monitor arms, CPU holders, adjustable keyboard platforms, and other ergonomic products if any of those things are heavy or in-the-way. While you're down there, take the extra opportunity to untangle coils and wires, and sort them in boxes according to the cubicle/workstation or desk they go with. Next, move to the heavier items like desks, couches, and boardroom furniture. When all the stuff on the floor is cleared out, walls will be easily accessible to remove artwork, shelving, or whatever else remains!
* Bonus Hack: Unless you're letting employees take computers home, have them label all their cubicle equipment (including boxes of cables) with their name, and attach put each cubicle's computer and equipment in it's own box. You may even decide to have the employees pack up their office equipment themselves to save time!
Use Suitcases for Heavy Items
With all the books, paperwork, and files offices tend to acquire, moving boxes can get extremely heavy and painful to move. Rather than packing all these vital documents and books in flimsy boxes though, why not pack them in a suitcase! Generally, suitcases have far more room for packing. Equipped with wheels and a pull-bar, they make the perfect device for transporting heavy books without strain. This is also a great hack for employees to clean out their cubicles - just have them bring suitcases from home to pack their stuff in.
That said, don't forget to clean out file cabinets and storage devices before moving. They're a lot easier to move when empty than when weighed down by hundreds of sheets of paper!
Sell and Upgrade
Free upgrades sound almost too good to be true, but if you're willing to be a little proactive, you may be able to get some great deals on utilities for the new office! Holding a 'company yard sale' and sending out memos to other small local businesses are excellent ways to spread the word about any furniture or office equipment you're looking to sell. Of course, this takes time, so knowing months in advance that you will move soon is helpful. Furniture trade stores, Craigslist, and even recycling agencies can often yield plentiful dividends to invest in newer models. Shopping with search engines, coupons, and clearance deals can help you get the best deals on top office furniture. Calling up a reliable online furniture dealer may even get you bulk discounts and exclusive deals!