If you’ve been lucky enough to work from home – something that many people can only dream about – then you must surely know what a privileged situation you’re in. Instead of having to commute to work twice a day by car (too much stress and road rage), public transportation (too many people) or biking (too much of an effort), you only need to make the morning trip from the comfort of your own bed to the comfort of your own home office.
But then the time to move home comes around and all of a sudden, you’re forced to move your home office to another location in a new residence altogether. You shouldn’t panic as the upcoming home office move won’t be the challenge of all relocation challenges, but you shouldn’t relax too much either as there’s quite a lot of work ahead of you too.
Follow these 7 tips for moving a home office to organize, manage and execute a smooth and stress-free home office relocation.
Step 1. Have a master plan first
Before you begin any work, it’s important that you have a clear idea of how the entire home office move will be realized. Ask yourself the tough questions first to make the entire relocation process easier in the end.
How will you handle the various stages of moving your home workplace to another home? Will you be able to gather up some friends to help you with the move? Or will you have to resort to hiring professional movers for assistance?
It’s not advisable to just start packing up your office things without having a strategic plan of how the entire relocation job will progress step by step – create a moving checklist for a home office.
Useful info: How to get friends to help me move
Step 2. Organize and prioritize
Once you have created a home office moving checklist on a piece of paper or on your preferred word processor, start the initial step of sorting and organizing the things you have in that office of yours. Simply lighten the load – the fewer items you choose to move, the easier it will be for you to pack them up for the move. Oh, you’ll reduce the unavoidable moving expenses too.
De-clutter your file cabinets – some of the files in them may no longer be relevant, or you may have already digitalized them. Moving home is an excellent opportunity to clean out your filing cabinets and create more storage rooms for your stuff by getting rid of no longer useful office items.
See also: How to prepare for moving day
Step 3. Take care of your documents, files, and books
Books are rather heavy so go through the book collection in your home office, book by book, and set aside the copies you don’t think you’ll ever use or need again. You can easily gift those unwanted volumes to friends or donate them to your local library, for example.
Recycle the documents that are no longer relevant to you. It’s best to destroy those paper documents instead of just dump them in the trash bin for paper products because that way, you will eliminate any possibility of somebody accessing critical information about you or your business. Unfortunately, identity theft or scams are also something that you should be worried about.
Get yourself an inexpensive shredder to make sure nobody has access to your personal information and business files. But what about the important paper documents you can’t afford to lose during the transfer between the two homes?
Read also: How to organize documents when moving house
Step 4. Backup is the right keyword
The best advice on how to move a home office? Backup crucial work files and documents prior to the home office move.
The truth is that anything can happen on the road so you need to have the peace of mind that your most important files will survive the move. Back essential computer files to an external hard drive or use a cloud-based storage service to upload your valuable work files, so that you can move home knowing that they will be safe no matter what occurs during the unpredictable moving day.
When it comes to your vital paper documents that must never be lost, then find the time to digitize them and backup those digital files as mentioned above. If you just don’t have time to scan and digitize your essential documentation, make sure you keep those documents with you at all times – don’t hand them over to a removal company regardless of how reputable they may be.
Step 5. Pack your office equipment
Next on the moving checklist comes the task of packing your home office. Don’t leave that task for last, but start packing your office equipment little by little as early in your preparation as possible. Begin the packing process by finding suitable packing supplies – plenty of cardboard boxes (always use the original packages of your electronic equipment, if possible), soft packing paper and bubble wrap for the more fragile items, some rolls of quality packing tape, and a marker to label the packed boxes.
Start by packing up your computer and its peripheral devices, then wrap up and box any other office equipment you own such as printers, scanners, copiers, wireless routers, and so on. Take photos of the way your office devices are wired up so that you won’t lose much time when it’s time to reconnect them. Label the packed containers appropriately to save valuable time later.
See also: How to pack electronics when moving home
Step 6. Will you move your office furniture too?
An important decision you must make when moving out of your home office is whether or not you will move all furniture pieces too. The thing to keep in mind is that due to the significant weight of standard office furniture, sometimes it may actually be more expensive to move a specific furniture piece to your new home than to purchase a new one upon arrival.
Some furniture pieces may need to be disassembled before they can be taken out of your home – if you don’t think you can manage that risky job on your own, contact professional furniture movers for advice. A super heavy desk made of solid wood can cause all kinds of problems, so ask yourself if you will be able to handle it without professional help.
Use furniture blankets to protect the pieces you do decide to move, and use caution when wrapping up glass elements such as shelves, doors or tops. Don’t forget to include SAFETY in your home office moving checklist.
Furniture moving tip #1: How to pack furniture for moving
Furniture moving tip #2: How to move heavy furniture by myself
Step 7. Design your new home office
When moving a home office to another home, one step that can actually be kind of fun is to design your new office space in advance. This is the time where you can both get creative and fix any errors from the current home office layout.
Check to see if your existing office furniture will fit into the new space. Keep in mind that you’re after a functional and pleasant work area that will stimulate you to work more efficiently. If you have access to your new office space prior to moving day, use painter’s tape to mark how the furniture pieces will be positioned to get a better understanding of how to arrange the new work area.
You can also use specialized software to create a floor plan before you move in – a thoughtful and fun step that will save you time and resources.
Helpful: Why create a floor plan before moving out?