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 pack your office to move, it’s good to be prepared. Just in case you’re getting packed to relocate your business, or just thinking of moving, these tips can help. Or consider following these tips on a rainy day to eliminate unwanted office clutter in the near future. This post will help you declutter, delete and eliminate unwanted stuff so you can make packing your office and moving much easier.
Create a master list of critical office items
To start right, you’ll need to identify what’s most important. That’s why you should list your critical office items first. So get started with your packing job right, list what is most critical so you can avoid a moving rush. To succeed, focus only on what you have and USE in your office daily. Critical items may include Office tools, your paper planner, and your essential file folders.
Draw your space plan
Another great way to move right is to pull out some graph paper and draw out a map of the new office. This is the first step to create a space plan. In order to see where things go, you need to know what space is available. Once you have a space plan and know more about the space you’ll inhabit then you can start assigning a home to each of your critical office items identified in your list.
So drawing your new office to scale on graph paper really will help you visualize a calming space and plan accordingly. To make it work best, you can cut out your essential furniture pieces, and mark windows and doors. This will make the most of your space. And if you’re looking to enliven your dull office space, try these tips.
Organize before you move
When it’s time to pack your office to move, you need to eliminate the junk you don’t want to take with you. That way, when you pack your office to move, you won’t box up the clutter.
In addition to these office organizing tips, learn from the professionals. Professional organizers and stagers create simple systems to get organized before you move.
When something is right, you know it. One such pro, Julie Morgenstern originated the “SPACE” organizing model. It still works and is a great way to organize before you move.
No matter what you’re organizing, the steps to organize your space are the same. These are the five critical steps to sort and organize your stuff.
- Assign things a home
- Contain them in appropriate areas and locations and then
- Equalize those spaces periodically to maintain your capacity.
Is office clutter treasure or trash?
And when you want to eliminate long-kept items, you need to be ruthless with yourself. Here are some simple questions to make elimination easier. So, zero in on all the items in your office that have accumulated over time. Then, ask these critical questions when considering whether to pack an item or not to determine if it should make the cut.
- 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?
Toss out the trash
Seriously, no one wants to pack, lug, and unpack anything they do not have to during a move. So, be sure to eliminate all the stuff you no longer need. Here’s a great list of the top 10 paper items you can trash today.
Organize digital files before you move
Another way to organize before your move day is to eliminate unwanted digital office clutter. Starting with an already-organized computer and files that are easy to find saves critical time before you move. It’s always a good time to organize your digital files regardless of whether you’re packing to move. Unwanted digital clutter causes so much undue stress, and the only way to reduce your stress around digital clutter is to take the time to get your digital files organized before you move.
Yes, it will take time. So that’s why it’s important to get started. Although this task can seem daunting, breaking it down into small tasks works. Then, set a weekly appointment with yourself, and dive in.
If unsure of whether to pack it, give yourself some time
Whenever you decide to eliminate clutter, it’s important to check yourself. Especially prior to moving, you want to be sure you only pack items that are relevant and useful. One key question can help you decide if an item should be packed to move. Before an item gets put into a moving box ask yourself: Have I used this item in the past year?
And if the answer is no, you have 2 options. If you decide to get rid of the item, it doesn’t necessarily have to go to a landfill. You can choose to donate the item, sell it or give it to someone who may have more use for it.
And, if it’s been greater than one year since you used the time, pack it in a box or bag labeled “Check this in 6 months“. Then you’ll need to note the date in your calendar and set a reminder to do so. Often, time and distance will make parting with items easier. But remember, everything you keep, needs to be boxed up, lugged, unpacked and reappointed in your new space. So, now’s the time for ruthless elimination and make traction with your purging.
Purge paper to minimize office clutter before packing your office
When you pack your office to move, remember to help yourself and purge your paper files. This will minimize the help you’ll need packing because you’ll have less stuff.
The list below provides important information. In fact, the only paper 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.)
When thinking about how to pack your office for a move, you’ll need to pack smart. One way to do this is to use labels to help everyone identify the things you’re moving to. Another way is to simply and clearly label boxes with their destination location (office, upstairs bath, master bedroom, kitchen). In this way, you’ll 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.
Label (at least) 6 essential boxes
In order to organize your files before you move, think about the big, essential items you’ll need right away. First off, when you arrive at your new office, you’ll need to recognize the few important boxes to unpack first. And, it’s important to identify these so everyone on the relocation team can recognize what’s inside. This way, everyone will know where each box should go in your new location. Additionally, you’ll want to be sure these boxes are easy to find and accessible right away.
So, to pack your office for a successful move, here are 6 most critical boxes to label:
- Current Files
- Open First Box
When you’re boxing things up for a move, you want to be sure you know what’s inside. Some people find it helpful to create an item index as a spreadsheet. Other people simply list their items with a sharpie on the outside of each box. Yet another way to create an index is to take a picture of the box contents prior to sealing it up. This is also helpful if you can index the number of boxes you have for your total move and saves time when unpacking.
As always, when deciding how to pack your office papers, it’s important to check with your tax advisor or the IRS for your own security and protection. (Or, check out this e-Book “Time To Toss It“!)
Hopefully, these tips will help you get your office ready for a move. And if you need some help determining a better way to organize your stuff, check out the TSSI. his 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!