6-MONTH CHECKLIST FOR YOUR OFFICE MOVE: WITH TIPS FROM A MOVE PLANNER
By Don Warner
I’m a move planner for Chipman Relocation & Logistics. My job is helping businesses move. I put this checklist together to help you organize your relocation by showing the overall progression of a moving project.
6 Months before Moving
- Appoint a move coordinator: one person who can take the lead in organizing others.
- Give the move coordinator the time; budget, authority, and staffing needed to focus on the move arrangements.
o Move Coordinator Tip: If you were just handed the job of move coordinator and want some inspiration, be sure to check my mini-article: The Office Relocation Hero: Why Everyone Will Love You.
- Establish a company move team to cover the major areas
- Establish a vendor team
- Meet with interior designer to develop a space plan and costs.
- Meet with telecommunications vendor to develop telecommunication system and costs.
- Meet with moving company to develop scheduling plan and costs.
- Set move dates
- Begin with the date you want to physically move
- Set phone and computer cut-over dates
o Move Date Tip: Take your best shot at a date, knowing that it might need to be adjusted. It helps everyone to have a target date.
- Order furniture and equipment
- Order free-standing furniture and cubicle components
- Set delivery dates
o Furniture Ordering Tip: You can order early and have the furniture held locally at the dealer’s or mover’s warehouse for delivery and installation at the scheduled time.
5 Months before the Move
- Computer and data arrangements
- Meet with in-house and outside data vendors
- Clarify who is taking care of data cabling
- Decide on whether the moving company, in-house IT, or outside data vendor is disconnecting and reconnecting workstations
o Computer Arrangements Tip: Arrange a meeting for your IT manager and your moving company planner. They can work out computer responsibilities fairly easily.
4 Months before the Move
- Ordering services
- Select and order furniture if you haven’t already
- Select and order computer and printing equipment
- Select and schedule installation of the telephone system
- Select and schedule moving service
o Ordering Tip: Select and schedule your vendors as soon as possible. If you are in the Seattle area, every vendor is busy and schedules months in advance for prime dates.
3 Months before the Move
- Organize records and files
- Retire eligible records to offsite storage
- Dispose of eligible records
- Meet with the moving company move planner to set up move system
- Develop color-code and numbering plan
- Mark floorplans with the labeling system
- Prepare moving instructions for distributing to your employees
- Set specific time schedule
o Moving-System Tip: I have a system I use to organize a move. You can see samples; get employee handouts and guides, choose labels, and get other help to set up your system.
2 Months before the Move
- Coordinate services
- Check scheduling for furniture installation
- Check scheduling for moving
- Check scheduling for phone and IT installation
- Complete office service changes
- Website Contact and About Us changes
- Stationery and business card changes
- Vendor address changes
- Copier service to prepare machines for moving
- Vending machines and water coolers
- Plant service
- Security Service
- Reserve dates
- Confirm dates with moving company, phone vendor, and data vendors
- Schedule new furniture installation dates
- Schedule electrician if needed for cubicle disconnection or reconnection
o Schedule Tip: Now you can set and distribute the schedule, showing each vendor and function how they fit into the overall move plan. Check my mini-article on the importance of scheduling for inspiration.
- Notify building managers at both buildings
- Reserve parking, elevator, or dock
- Complete the building management’s forms
o Building Management Arrangements Tip: You will receive building moving requirements and a request for a certificate of insurance from your building managers. Simply forward the information to the planner at your moving company and they will take care of it.
1 Month before the Move
- Finalize floor plans
- Finalize furniture placement and installation schedule
- Finalize moving schedule
- Notify all suppliers of new address
- Notify customers of move
- Schedule equipment services for a day prior to move
- Verify computer system progress
- Conduct employee orientation meeting
- Set up employee badge and parking arrangements
- Arrange to have non-move team employees off site during the move
Placement Tip: Make this the point for cutting off changes to the layout (such as switching offices). You can always move people and furniture around after the move if needed.
2 Weeks before the Move
- Order building and office keys
- Confirm move dates with the building managers and security
- Hold an employee pre-move meeting and packing demonstration by the moving company
- Finalize phone and computer installation schedule
o Project Tip: If you are going to have any issues or snags in the project, this is when you are most likely to hear about them. Don’t worry – do what is needed, adjust if necessary, make a decision, and keep the project moving forward.
1 Week before the Move
- Label all furniture according to the space plan
- Tour new facility and double-check furniture and floor plans
- Set up move team involvement in the move schedule
- Begin packing when moving bins or boxes arrive
o Labeling Tip: Each employee can take responsibility for labeling their own items. But, you will need to check common areas (kitchen, file room, storeroom) for labeling and packing.
1 Day before the Move
- Complete packing and labeling
- Post floor plans and label all areas according to the plan
- Confirm your move team scheduling
o Day-before Tip: Relax – it will all work out.
- Coordinate and solve placement issues
- Check computer, data, printing, and phones
- Adjust furniture as needed
o Moving day tip: This is when all your hard work over the last 6 months pays off. Enjoy the adventure.
After moving day
- Unpack and settle in
- Rearrange furniture and equipment as needed
- Remove labels
- Check for loss or damage
- Adjust work surface heights, keyboard trays, and monitor arms
- Prepare used bins or boxes for retrieval by the moving company
Article by Don Warner
I love to plan and coordinate moving, especially for critical or complex moves. My clients are busy organized people who want their moves to go smoothly. Let’s talk about your moving plans.