October 6, 2017

On the move? Tips for moving your office or studio

Filed under: Small Business — Tags: , , , , , — lidia @ 12:18 pm

moving your offcie or studio

I’ve moved my office a few times and I will admit, it never gets easier. It can be unnerving not having easy access to what you need to get your work done—especially with deadlines looming. (Is it just me, or does work always get busy before a move?)

My recent office move has been a unique challenge as I’m in-between offices for a few weeks, so my iMac is on my kitchen island—and the rest of my office is split between my storage unit and my car trunk. I always make sure to pack and label a box of important items that I can easily access after the move—and it has really come in handy during this transnational time.

Below are some of the steps I took to prepare for my move—as well as some that, in retrospect, I wish I had taken!

Before the move:

  • Schedule movers: Do this a few weeks in advance and be prepared with an estimate of furniture and boxes.
  • Purge, purge, purge: The less you have to move, the better! Be ruthless and trash or recycle as much as possible.
  • Box up donations: Consider donating unneeded office supplies, books, furniture or computer equipment to a local organization. See my list of Chicago organizations who accept art and craft supply donations.
  • Store old files: Pack up old accounting and project files and put them in storage to keep your new workspace neat.
  • Pack a box with important items: Label this box “important” and move it yourself so you can keep track of the following:
    • Current project files
    • Invoices or other bookkeeping
    • Office supplies (USB drive, file folders, sticky notes, stapler, printer paper, pens)
  • Be specific when labeling boxes: When packing file cabinets, label the exact location to make unpacking easier, i.e. “left cabinet, top drawer”
  • Label cords on computer equipment: This makes set-up easier (poring through a jumble of cords is never fun!)
  • Create a scale drawing of your new office: This will help you (and movers) know exactly where to put furniture and other heavy items.
  • Call utilities: At least 3 weeks in advance, change your phone number and/or internet service.
  • Order updated stationery: Update your business cards and other stationery with your new contact info.
  • Forward mail: Use this USPS link to forward mail to your new location. 

After the move:

  • Update your email signature
  • Send a “new address” postcard and/or email blast
  • Call attention to your new address on invoices (I added a yellow “sticker” near my address)
  • Contact clients that may need updated tax paperwork
  • Enjoy the new view from your office window!

Above all, get started EARLY. A few weeks before your move, start organizing and purging (it will take longer than you think). Work will inevitably get in the way in the days before your move, so be prepared.

As much as I don’t enjoy moving, I do look forward to the chance to start fresh in a new office. Let it inspire you and go with the flow. Happy moving!