The beginner’s guide to moving offices

Ace Your Move With Our 12-Step Office Relocation Checklist!

1. Determine the scope of your move

Before you start packing up and putting down deposits, building a solid foundation for your move is crucial. For instance, knowing where, when, and why you’re moving can make your mission and strategy clear from the start.

Where are you moving?: Are you moving locally, long-distance, or internationally? Are you moving your entire office or just a portion of it? The distance and complexity of your move will affect your budget, timeline, and necessary resources, so it’s good to consider these factors and if they make sense for your business.

When are you moving?: When do you want to relocate your office? Keep in mind it’s best to start planning your office relocation anywhere from 6 to 18 months before your set moving date. This timeline may vary based on the complexity and distance of the move. This gives you time to inform employees, vendors, and customers about the move and hire the necessary parties to help make the transition seamless.

Why are you moving?: Are you relocating your office to get closer to your target clientele, to make room for an expanding business, to improve productivity, or to downsize based on post-pandemic hybrid and remote work styles? Identifying the “why’s” behind your move can help make the office relocation journey clearer. It can also help you identify your actual square footage, furniture, and office layout needs.

2. Check your lease

If you are in a commercial property lease, you’ll want to ensure your moving plans abide by the lease terms. For instance, are you responsible for changes or damages made to your existing office space?

While these instances may not apply to everyone, it’s crucial to know what to expect based on the lease agreement. Once your moving date is determined, alert your building manager or owner based on the requested timeline in your lease agreement so they can make the proper arrangements.

3. Create a budget

Moving can be expensive, so it’s essential to create a budget and stick to it. When creating your budget, be sure to factor in rent and operating costs), security deposits, build-out costs, the cost to hire a moving company or using a self service model by renting your own moving trucks. and any other costs associated with your move.

4. Choose a moving date

Once you’ve determined the scope of your move and created a budget, you can start planning for a specific date.. If your business has a peak busy season, avoid moving during this time to reduce business interruption for your customers and employees. Professional office movers have the capacity to handle a move of any size given proper notification and planning.

5. Hire your moving team

Working with a moving company that can fulfill your relocation needs is pivotal to a seamless, stress-free transition to your new office space. No matter how simple or complex your move, it’s a wise idea to speak with a local moving company (or several) to ensure you have a reliable moving team ready for your projected moving date and within budget. 

Ask about other moving services, logistical solutions, or other expert tips the moving team can provide for planning a move like yours. You never know what your moving team can help with! For instance, Meyer specializes in several office relocation services, including:

With a team of experienced moving professionals, you can save time, money, frustration, and employee bandwidth better spent on other mission-critical tasks during the move.

6. Notify your employees of the upcoming move

If you have employees, it’s essential to give them plenty of notice before the big day. This way, they can make any necessary arrangements for critical IT and security processes and prepare themselves for the move. You should also let them know if there will be any changes to their work schedule or hours affected by the relocation.

If your employees will be helping with the relocation process, assemble a team (ideally led by an appointed office moving manager) to delegate tasks and responsibilities. This team will be pivotal to the planning, communication, and execution. What’s more, involving your employees in the planning and execution process (or at the very least, communicating with your team about the move) will ensure that everyone is on the same page.

7. Create a realistic moving timeline

With your team in place, set a clear and reasonable timeline for the move. This includes hard deadlines for moving-related tasks to ensure you stay on pace and within budget. Communicate this timeline with employees as soon as possible to ensure everyone is aware and comfortable with the plan of action.

8. Notify your clients, customers, and service providers of the upcoming move

No customer wants to find out you’ve moved locations by surprise, so it’s critical to communicate the relocation plans early. This transparent communication will help build and maintain customer trust and relationships and alerts them of their valued business.

As you get closer to the move, set reminders throughout the office, on your company website, and across social media platforms, altering clients of the moving day details and that service may be interrupted (if applicable). You’ll also want to alert the post office, financial institutions, and other relevant service providers of your relocation.

9. Schedule a walk-through of your new office space. 

Before you start packing up your old office space, be sure to schedule a walk-through of your new one. This will allow you to see the layout and make any necessary changes to the way you plan on setting up your furniture and equipment. It may also help you determine whether you need more or less office furniture based on the size and style of the office space or whether interior redesigns are required. 

It’s also a good idea to take measurements of doorways and hallways so you know everything will fit in its new home before moving day.

10. Create an inventory of all items that need to be moved

This is especially important if you’re hiring a moving company to help with your relocation. Creating an inventory ensures that nothing gets lost or misplaced during the move, and it will also come in handy when it’s time to file an insurance claim if something is damaged during transport. Be sure to include everything from large pieces of furniture to small office supplies in your inventory list. Done, trash, or sell anything that will not be going with you to your new location ahead of time to reduce wasted energy or moving materials.

11. Pack up your office space

Once you have an inventory list of all the items that need to be moved, it’s time to start packing them up! If possible, pack up non-essentials first so they’re out of the way when it comes time to move heavier furniture and equipment. Be sure to label all boxes with their contents and which room they need to go in at the new office space. You may also want to consider color-coding each box according to its contents; this will make unpacking much easier once you reach your destination.

12. Making the move

With your clear-cut moving strategy and moving team in place, you’re ready to make the move! Ensure your team is ready and motivated for the move with clear-cut instructions on their moving-day duties, break times, and expectations.

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