I am moving my office of 15 years from the third floor of our office building to the second.
Not happy about it at all, but that is any story and this “move” must be completed by June 30th.
Any quick advice you have on making this less PAINFUL would be greatly appreciated!
Since you just never know when that fateful moment may come to move, I thought it would be interesting advice to share…
Just in case you’re thinking of moving or you feel like taking a rainy day to eliminate unwanted office clutter in the near future, here are some of the tips to keep in mind!
- List your most critical items – when in a moving rush – try to focus only on the high level categories of what you have and USE in your office daily.
- Create a Space Plan – Pull out some graph paper and draw out a map of the room that you’ll inhabit and start assigning a home to each of your critical pieces. Drawing it out will help you visualize the space and plan accordingly
- Pack Smart – Label where things will GO in addition to a description of the contents that lie within. When you get to the new location, you can open the boxes you need to first by where they’ll live.
- Stage ‘Critical’ Boxes– It may be helpful to simply label six boxes with the following:
- Supplies – these are the back-up materials you use in your daily work. Supplies are things that are ‘used up’ during the course of your work
- Tools – these are the items that you use to do something else… although it can be like splitting hairs, tools are more obviously different in areas that may
- Books/References – or any hard case Resources
- Electronics – as offices become more tech savvy, this box may just replace the one above! This box would include all of your electronic items and chargers used in your office.
- Current Office Files – in case you don’t already distinguish your files into categories, here are some categories to consider when sorting (and purging) your files: Action, Dailies, Quick Reference, Resource/Information, Vital/Permanent/Legal, Personal and Long Term/Archival (for later retrieval or access some day)
- Open First Box – put everything in here that you MUST have to set up each room: there will be different critical items for each room. For the bathroom for instance, you’ll want some t.p, your tooth brush and tooth paste, a wash cloth and towel and some soap. That will make your first night there more comfortable!
- Eliminate Unnecessary Stuff – When something is right, you know it. Julie Morgenstern was the originator of the “SPACE” model – and it’s a great way to remember ‘how to’ get organized. No matter what you’re organizing, the steps are the same: Sort, Purge, Assign things a home, Contain them in appropriate areas and locations and then Equalize those spaces periodically to maintain your capacity.
- Ask These Critical Questions – For everything else that has accumulated ask these critical
questions to determine if they should make the move or not:
- Do I love it or how it makes me feel?
- Is it treasured or beautiful?
- Does it make me happy?
- Do I need this to function?
- Do I have space for it?
- Do I have a plan to use this?
- Can I get it elsewhere?
- Will someone else benefit?
- Does it keep me in the past?
- Does it help meet my goals?
- Does letting go move me forward?
- Have I used it in the past year? And if it’s been greater than one year, toss it, bag it or remove from the space. If you absolutely cannot let it go yet – label it “check in 6 months” and put a note in your calendar to do so.
- Purge Paper Files – Remember that the only Records You MUST Keep fall into these categories:
- Permanent/Vital Files (things you must legally keep to establish yourself or your business in case of emergency or loss)
- Rotating (Remove/Replace) Files – Files that must be kept up to date and that may change cyclically
- Active Files/Action Files – Labeled with the ‘Actions’ you repeatedly take to manage your papers such as: Pay, Call, Follow Up, Write, Read
- Monthly Files – Labeled for things that need to occur monthly
- Tax Files – Set up to systemize all the records you need to keep and produce at tax time
- Archive Files – Papers you MUST have that are archival in nature
- Resource Files – Papers you can’t replace or find the information on elsewhere to which you refer often (phone list, menus, collaborators, contractors etc.)
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As always, when deciding about office papers, it’s important to check with your tax advisor or the IRS for your own security and protection. Or, consider downloading my e-Book “Time To Toss It” available here for $5.99!
Hopefully this will help inspire you if you have any rainy days you’d like to use to purge your own spaces! If you have any thoughts, tips and techniques to share – add them below!