Office Moving Tips For Solopreneurs

by Dawn Fotopulos on December 14, 2010

Office moving tips will help you minimize the pain and expense of moving an office. We know. We just did it. I’d rather wait in line at the DMV than do this one more time.

It makes sense to consider moving your offices to smaller spaces or a different part of town to reduce fixed expenses. Remember, it’s not just the cost of moving that’s so expensive, it is the disruption moving causes. It’s so easy to lose track of accounting receipts, customer follow ups, tech issues that need to be addressed.

So here are some office moving tips we learned to save money in the move out and aggravation on the move in.

Office Moving Tip #1

Back up all your electronic files three-fold. That’s right. Make sure your files are backed up not once, but twice. We backed up our hard drive to an external drive and the cloud. If our data got lost or the drive got corrupted in the move, we wouldn’t be more than an hour away from accessing the files we needed.

Office Moving Tip #2

Tell your clients, suppliers and collaborators well in advance you’ll be moving. That way, they’ll know if there is disruption in your normal response time, they’ll extend some grace. Be sure to have your auto responders communicating that as well. It helps keep the wolves at bay.

Office Moving Tip #3

Get rid of bulk before you pack. Saving that project you did ten years ago in hard copy? Scan it and save it to a DVD.  Don’t throw it away. Just minimize the space it takes up. Paper is bulky and expensive to store. Use your new space for revenue producing activity, not storage.

Office Moving Tip #4

Your local liquor store will save you a bundle on boxes. When you’re packing a lot of office stuff, it’s either heavy, bulky or there are a million of them (pencils for example).  Liquor stores will throw away their boxes at least once a week. The high volume stores will do this everyday. We love liquor boxes. They’re free, they’re sturdy and they’re perfect for heavy things. Some sizes work well for files, desk accessories, or even stemware. Sometimes wine comes in boxes with separators. Those are wonderful for packing glassware. It saves money on bubble wrap.

Office Moving Tip #5

You can actually buy recycled moving boxes for a deep discount over new. Had we known, we would have gone this route. Check out this website that sells moving supplies and used moving boxes. You might actually save up to 35% on boxes. We used almost 100 boxes to move. Each one cost between $3 and $6 per box. That’s real money when you add it up! Why not save a few hundred dollars if you can?

Office Moving Tip #6

If you pack your own boxes, you’ll save a lot of money. You will.  Packing will also consume your life for at least two months. It’s like an amoeba that keeps getting bigger. If you think it will take a month to pack, plan for two months. What I didn’t realize is you get tired. Your staff get tired. You get so tired your hair hurts. You slow down. Your rate of efficiency slows down. Plan for it, especially at the end when you are sleep-deprived.

Office Moving Tip #7

Have a Marsha in your life. My buddy Marsha Heisler called me a month before the move to ask if I needed help. Many of my wonderful students from The King’s College helped out tremendously. Click on the King’s link and you’ll see my superb T.A., Elijah McCready who, along with the men of the House of Reagan, painted my old space.

I thought I didn’t need help moving. Then I hit the the dreaded seven day window. My energy was low. I was walking around in circles.

Marsha called again, just to make sure. I sounded the alarm. She came into New York City on the Cornell Campus to Campus bus and did a total intervention. A true blue friend, that Marsha.

Office Moving Tip # 8

Make the move fun. It’s hard, but not impossible to do. Marsha and I took a packing break at The Choux Factory on 1st Avenue. You will faint the cream puffs are so wonderful. I could have eaten a dozen. A chill in the air and a great cup of coffee and one of these cream puffs will make you forget the endless boxes calling you back to the salt mines.

Office Moving Tip # 9

Make sure you create a written plan for where all the furniture will go in the new space. Engineer it, don’t wing it. If you don’t, moving day will be a nightmare. Accurately measure all the nooks and crannies.

Don’t assume ceilings are level or walls are plumb. We had major problems getting my workstation in place. The space allocated was off by— 1/4 inch. I can’t make it up. The wall wasn’t plumb. 1/4 inch was all it took to have to re-engineer the whole office. Danielle Fennoy, my dear and patient friend, took a trip to the new office space with me and helped to figure that out.

Now Danielle will be on House and Garden TV so you can meet her too! She’s the best and brilliant at what she does. Revamp takes what you have and helps you optimize it. Thanks, Danielle!

Office Moving Tip #10

Choose a moving date when customer interaction will be slow. I moved the day before Thanksgiving. It was a bit insane, but not as bad as moving during year-end close. I also wanted to move while the weather was not freezing with snow on the ground. It ended up to be the right decision. It also provided a three day weekend when I knew everyone was busy overeating instead of filling my email box with requests. Monday morning came soon enough.

Office Moving Tip #11

Number your boxes and keep a manifest of the contents of each box. Write the box number on each of  four sides of each box, so no matter how the movers set it down, you can identify it. Keep a big, black marker in your jeans at all times. Just remember, the boxes will be piled to the ceiling. Breathe in and breathe out. It will all be unpacked in time.

Office Moving Tip #12

Be good to you. Schedule a massage, pedi and mani when the dust settles. Your hands will really need it. It will help you feel like a human being again.

We’d love to hear about your office moving tip to help save money and sanity!

Be sure to watch our videos on how to reduce Fixed Costs.

For more office moving tips, you can get them From A to Z here.

It’s something all solopreneurs need to think about these days. These twelve office moving tips might really help.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Avishek Das March 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Top moving tips to help you find top quality moving companies and service providers to make your move go as smoothly as possible. Let us help you smooth your move.

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