Last January, due to the growing amount of decommissioning services we had undertaken, it became apparent that Track Office Furniture needed to add a retail component to its business model. Our facility at the time could not accommodate retail sales, so we searched the area and found a site that would not only house our new showroom, but could also accommodate future growth. Midway through the process, it dawned on me that although I have been a furniture professional for the past 30 years and have helped hundreds of companies move, I have never moved myself. I was reminded how important planning can be to efficiently and successfully execute a move. From our vast experience moving others and now ourselves, we have created the following office furniture move checklist to facilitate your move and avoid unnecessary hiccups.
Track’s Office Furniture Move Checklist
1) Anticipating the future
- Where is your company going to be next year, or in the next five years?
- Are you increasing your efficiency? Maybe not needing as much space for all those files that can now be archived?
- Is your company growing and will you need extra space for new staff in the next quarter?
These are the kinds of questions you have to ask yourself in order to choose the right space not only for now but for the future as well.
2) Plan your move for success
After you have found the right location, you must also consider the best timing for your move. Whenever possible, choose your slowest time of the year. Utilize this down time to move without causing unnecessary disruption to your business and staff.
3) Planning Physical Requirements
Thinking about physical requirements is not just about the quantity of space, but also considering how that space will be allocated. It is not just about what is required, but about how departments should be configured, how people communicate, what teams work together, etc. Try to imagine the “flow” or work groups and how they interact with each other, thinking about it as “feng shui” for space optimization.
- Do you have a space plan for the physical layout?
- Are people working within teams sitting in close proximity to each other?
- Is the equipment your team needs within reach? Is the printer in the right place for those who use it most?
- Is there enough air flow/will the room ventilate the extra heat?
- Will your existing furniture fit in this layout?
- Do you need to include a ventilated coat closet, we live in a 4 season environment?
Once you have properly planned your physical requirements, you have to ensure that infrastructure is in place to support them.
- How many power lines should be in this room in order to plug in all devices?
- Is there the proper infrastructure to accommodate all the wiring, networking, printers, phone lines, heaters and other power and data requirements. It is easier to have an electrician add extra outlets before your business moves, but more costly (and messy) after the fact.
Every time you have a case of paper (or anything else for that matter) delivered, you will ultimately have to move it, store it or dispose of it, and this costs money. Before you move is the best time to go through your stuff and figure out what you actually use and need to take with you.
- If you don’t use it within a week it shouldn’t be at your desk.
- Files that are used occasionally (within a year) should ideally be located within a few feet of your desk.
- Anything that is used less frequently should be archived.
With this in mind, try to go through your belongings at least two months before you move and use a big recycling bin; this will reduce the volume you have to move and keep you and your files organized in the process.
6) Label Everything
Which is the worst scenario – trying to find something after/during your move or opening up mystery boxes when unpacking? Both options are unacceptable.
- Label everything from the first floor printer to the box of your awards that will be displayed on the walls of your new office.
- Assign numbers to staff, meeting rooms, and filing areas on a drawing. This will help make it simple for the movers to find destinations quickly and ensure everything lands in the right spot.
- Ultimately, the better labeled everything is, the faster your move will happen, saving your company money, and reduce frustration.
7) Moving Equipment
Aside from people needed to move your business from one space to another, you need to think about the equipment and other supplies needed.
- You need boxes in which to pack your files
- Dollies will easily relocate all those boxes
- Term carts are used for moving computers and keeping the various parts grouped together
- Is there any leased equipment, you may need to contact the owner to get permission, or arrange to have this equipment moved by the owner
Track Office Furniture can help access what you will need and can arrange to have this equipment delivered to your office before and picked up from your new location after your move.
8) Deal with Quality Contractors
The whole process of moving is going to be tough enough without the unexpected problems. This is why it is paramount to have quality help for this special project. You are entrusting your business to these people, sometimes the lowest price isn’t what you need but rather the peace of mind knowing it will be done right. Get references and check them out.
9) Broad Communication
There is a lot of contracted help required in the process of moving and these resources all have to coordinate their efforts to execute the move efficiently.
- Have at least one meeting to make sure all your trades know each other and know when things are happening. (Large, complicated projects have weekly meetings)
- A detailed schedule should also be produced and distributed to everyone
- Produce and distribute a list of all contacts from your company and all contractors involved in the process. Nothing is more frustrating than having the manpower to do a job and no access the area to be worked on.
10) Grand Opening
You’ve completed you office furniture move. We know you are excited about the new space and cannot wait to unveil it to your clients. However, this does not have to take place as soon as your doors open. In spite of the best planning, damages, short shipments, mistakes and back orders can happen. We don’t plan for mistakes, but sometimes they occur and you need to be able to react strategically. Hold off on your grand opening for at least three months post move. By then, any challenges will have been addressed and you will not only know the best air conditioned boardrooms but the easiest routes to the bathrooms for your guests. You will be able to show everyone around your new digs with grace and confidence. We can work to minimize potential problems but in spite of our efforts, errors can happen. If we plan accordingly we can streamline the process and eliminate mishaps. The goal is to get you in your new office quickly and back to business. We hope you’ve enjoyed our Moving Tips, one of the many ways Track Office Furniture is keeping your office on Track!