Staples | How to Pack and Move Your Office

How to Pack and Move Your Office

Moving your office can be an enormous job. Following are tips to help you pack and move your office in an efficient and organized manner – so unpacking will be all the easier.

Selecting a moving company

Before choosing professional movers, contact several companies and request bids on what your move will cost. That said, "remember that bids are only estimates and some moving companies may underestimate in order to win your business. Always confirm their accuracy by comparing each of the proposals for the amount of man–hours the mover estimates."1 Don’t forget to check references before making your final selection.

Moving insurance

"There is a basic moving insurance policy which all commercial moving carriers must provide at no charge to the shipper (that's you) for both local and interstate moves. This policy pays 60 cents per pound per article. So, if your 100–pound [desk] falls off the back of the truck, you're entitled to $60 to cover the breakage." 2

For extra protection and to be sure you're fairly reimbursed for damage or loss of goods during the move, you may want to consider purchasing a short–term moving insurance policy.

Packing

Work with the moving company to determine who will do the packing – you and your employees or professional packers. Your budget may make this decision for you. In either case, employees should pack their personal items.

If you decide to do the packing yourself, stock up on boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and other moving supplies. The size of your office will determine exactly what you need. To take the guesswork out of planning a move, opt for a Staples office moving kit. Office packing kits include the following:

  500 sq. ft. 1000 sq. ft. 2000 sq. ft.
Packs
2 to 3 cubicles 2 to 3 people 5 to 8 people
Packing tape
6 rolls 6 rolls 6 rolls
Small boxes
16"H x 12"W x 12"D
6 16 16
Medium boxes
18"H x 18"W x 16"D
6 16 29
Large boxes
18"H x 18"W x 24"D
6 6 9
Extra large boxes
18"H x 18"W x 28"D
None None 3
Bubble wrap
175 ft. 175 ft. 175 ft.
Packing paper
None None Included
Tape dispenser
Included Included Included


When you start to load your belongings into boxes, remember not to overstuff them. According to Moving.com, "stop packing when your contents reach approximately 2–inches from the lip of the box."

What to pack

Desks: Remove and pack all items. MovingNet.com says "pens, pencils, paperclips, etc. should be placed in an envelope, sealed, and replaced in your desk drawer."

Bookcases: Remove and pack all items.

Copiers: "Copiers should be prepared for moving by the manufacturer or [a] manufacturer’s representative prior to the move," according to MovingNet.com. Plus, expect to service your copier after your move to insure optimal performance in the new location.

File cabinets: As long as you have a key and can lock them, vertical filing cabinets can be moved with their contents intact. As for lateral filing cabinets, MovingNet.com recommends the following:

  • "Two– and three–drawer laterals – can be moved with the contents intact;
  • Four–drawer laterals – empty the top drawer;
  • Five–drawer laterals – empty the top two drawers."

Fax machines, postage meters, and typewriters: If possible, pack them in their original containers. "If you did not keep the original packaging materials, ask your mover to provide the appropriate boxes and materials to secure these items during the move."3

Computers and network equipment: First and most importantly be sure to backup all of your crucial data. Next, consider leaving this part of the packing and moving process to the pros. Experts recommend that "computers and peripherals should be moved by the computer vendor or consultant who will be restoring and debugging the system after the move."4 If you choose to tackle this job, label all equipment so you know what belongs together.

Pictures and bulletin boards: Smaller ones can be wrapped and packed in boxes. Larger ones should be left for the movers to deal with as they see fit.

Furniture: Movers will generally wrap furniture in blankets and/or shrink–wrap the items.

Plants: You're on your own. Most professional movers will not pack or move plants.

Label all boxes

Using a permanent marker, label each box with the following information.

  • Employee’s name
  • What’s in the box
  • Where it’s going in the new office
  • Special instructions, such as fragile or this end up
  • Unpacking priority, use a number one for boxes that you wish to unpack immediately

Dollys and handtrucks

If you do plan on doing a majority of the move on your own (without professional movers), make it easy on yourself; invest in a dolly or handtruck. A dolly is a low to the ground, rolling platform that will help you move furniture. A handtruck is best for stacking and transporting boxes.

Take an inventory

Before the movers arrive take an inventory of everything that will be moved. Once you arrive at your new office, check to make sure all of your possessions arrived unharmed.

Snacks and beverages

Packing and moving takes a lot of energy so have snacks and beverages handy.


1Selecting the Mover and Preparing for Moving Day, Avaya.com.
2The Basics of Moving Insurance, by Insure.com and published on http://moneycentral.msn.com
3Moving General Office Equipment, Avaya.com.
4Moving Computers and Network Equipment, Avaya.com.

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