Moving is stressful — it’s a universal truth — but it’s even worse if you work at a home-based business. How exactly are you supposed to keep your business running when everything is going into boxes?
The simple answer is that it all starts with how you pack. By organizing your office equipment, files, and other key items strategically, you can minimize downtime and get your new office up and running.
These five recommendations from the pros will help simplify the packing process and ensure you’re not digging for important paperwork while relocating.
Pick Better Boxes
One of the first things you should do if you’re moving your home office is to ensure that you have the right supplies. You can’t just go grab a bunch of boxes from behind the local liquor store, like you might have in college. In addition to typical moving boxes, you’ll want to invest in Bankers boxes to store your files.
Before you tuck all those papers away, make sure everything is in file folders and properly labeled. Then, organize the files sensibly: alphabetically, by file type, or using whatever system works for you. These boxes will ensure that all of your files are right at hand when you arrive in your new home.
Create a Container System
Bankers boxes will solve your file problems, but what about the rest of your office gear? Get those supplies ready for your move by constructing a new organizational system. Pack supplies like pens, Post-it notes, and printer accessories into baskets or plastic bins so they’re already organized when they arrive.
If you don’t already have one, invest in a label maker. Packing up a home office is an ideal time to commit to a storage scheme that will carry over to your new home-based business space and keep it looking tidy.
Choose Local Movers
If you’re moving within the same metropolitan area, local movers are your best allies in relocating. Local movers provide better on-site services, including making sure all your office gear ends up in the right place. They’ll also protect your equipment, like computers and printers, and double-check that you’ve packed everything correctly.
Your tech is less likely to be damaged when cared for by local movers, so look for team members who will treat your items with care. It’s a good idea to request several moving quotes so that you can compare and choose the best service.
Document Your Setup
One of the most common problems people face when moving their home office is that they simply forget how to put everything together. They arrive in their new space with a pile of wires and no idea where they go.
Here’s how to solve that problem: Document it. Take photos of how your wires are configured so it’s easier to set everything up when you unpack. No more puzzling over how to plug in your computer and printer — you have a reference point.
Take Time with the Details
If you pack your home office properly, it’s easy to get back to work quickly. Make a moving checklist to help you set up your office in the new space quickly. You don’t have to rush the extra details. Take your time with the design of the space, especially if you meet with clients in your home office.
As long as you can take care of business, it’s OK if it takes a few months to style your home office. You may want to give it a fresh coat of paint, hang art, or rearrange the furniture. Your office doesn’t need to be ready for clients two weeks after you move — you have a whole home to unpack, after all.
When you move a typical office, most of the packing and unpacking falls on someone else’s shoulders. Likewise, your whole home isn’t being simultaneously uprooted. Moving a home office is an entirely different process.
Cut yourself some slack, set up an out-of-office message, and take time to get your space up and running again. As long as you’ve packed wisely, it won’t be too difficult to get back to your home-based business.