Packing up a home office is somewhat like packing up any other room in the house, except that it does offer definite challenges. The home office may be the most important room in your home because this is where you may be working from home or even running a business. In all likelihood it’s where you take care of your household bills, file important personal and/or business documents, and keep your cheques, etc.
Packing Tips Because packing up a home office is such an important task we’ve decided to offer you some tips on how to manage this quickly and efficiently:
Preparation The first order of business would be to make sure you have all the packing supplies you need before you begin. You’re going to want some heavy-duty sturdy boxes to hold all your paperwork and documentation as well as your office equipment. You can usually buy these items at an office supply store. If you can’t find everything you need, your moving company can certainly provide the supplies. In addition to boxes, you’ll need heavy-duty packing tape, bubble wrap, packing paper and markers for labeling.
File Cabinets & Drawers Once you have your supplies on hand you’re ready to get started. You can either pack everything yourself or have your moving company help. If you’re doing this on your on, get started early because moving always involves more than you think. Once you know you’re moving take an inventory of everything in your home office to decide what should be pack first. You can save yourself some time and money by not emptying out the drawers and files containing documentation. Most file cabinets come with locks, so lock those, keeping the keys safe. Tape desk and cabinet drawers closed that are filled with files and paperwork.
This allows you to pack more efficiently because your file cabinets and drawers can be moved with the documentation safely packed inside so you don’t have to remove, pack it all in boxes and then unpack the boxes and replace everything after the move. To save yourself the trouble, you can always have the movers pack everything while you guide their work. Professional movers are used to this and can work very quickly and efficiently when it comes to packing up a home office.
Paperwork & Documentation Another thing you’ll want to do before you begin is to sort through your paperwork because offices tend to accumulate a lot of useless papers. There is no need to pack up and move stuff you’re only going to throw out in the end. In going through your paperwork start packing the files you’re not going to be working with until after the move.
Make sure you clearly label every box with its contents. Paperwork can get heavy so use plenty of tape when sealing these boxes. The last thing you want is for the boxes to come apart and papers to be flying all over the place!
Books When it comes to packing books, they get very heavy very fast. It’s always best to put just a few books in each box and fill the rest of the box up with lighter items. Make sure you secure everything with crumpled packing paper for cushioning. Small boxes work best for books due to their weight. Small and medium-sized books should be packed upright with the larger books being laid flat for optimum protection. Large heavy books can easily become damaged if placed upright or placed on the sides of the boxes. Avoid packing sharp or breakable items with books to avoid book covers getting scarred.
Office Equipment & Electronics You must take special care with your computers, monitors, scanners, printers and any other office equipment you may have. Ensure that you backup all information and data on your computers. If you have the original packing boxes that your office equipment came in, use those. If not, your movers should have the appropriate boxes for packing up office equipment. Your computer screen (monitor) is very fragile so you must use bubble wrap and packing paper to protect the screen before even placing it in the box.
Ensure that all equipment is unplugged from electrical outlets and all wires are appropriately packed and labeled as well as surge protectors. If there is any space remaining in the boxes you can fill in with lighter items securely packed with bubble wrap and/or packing paper.
Other Reminders Once you have your home office packed up do not forget to fill out change of address cards for the Post Office so your mail can be forwarded. Prepare an email to notify your colleagues and customers of your new address and contact information. Explain to everyone that there may be a brief interruption in your work schedule due to the move and let people know when you’re “open for business” again.
People often view moving as one of the most stressful events that they’ve gone through in life, after divorce and the death of a loved one. In fact, on the Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale, moving is listed at No. 32, but it’s still clear that most people simply hate the entire experience of moving. It’s time-consuming, tiring and relatively expensive, so there’s no arguing about it being a total drag.
By implementing some tips from the moving professionals, you can save time, money and relieve a lot of the stress. One simple money-saving tip would be not to buy boxes. Just get them from your local supermarkets, hardware stores or other retailers. Call ahead to determine the best day and time to come by and get them. I doubt that any retailer is going to charge you for boxes they’re tossing out anyway. You’re already well on your way to saving money on your move.
1. Pack Everything Up Before Moving Day
This is a no-brainer but it is the No. 1 complaint of movers. Last minute packing will waste a lot of time and this only adds to the costs. The problem is that a lot of people think they’ve packed everything when they haven’t. So while the movers wait they rush around their home pulling out drawers, grabbing stuff out of the basement and stuffing things in random boxes they forget to label.
2. Pack a Survival Kit
Your survival kit will be a bag containing everything you’ll need to survive for 72 hours. You may not need this because it’s not as if you’re evacuating a disaster area, but the move will certainly disrupt your life, so packing a bag full of these items can relieve a lot of stress and may be a lifesaver in the end. Just having your essentials in one place can potentially save you a lot of time and money since you won’t be forced to search for them or buy replacements. This is what you’ll pack in your survival kit:
• An extra outfit that’s clean and ready to wear • Toothbrush, floss and toothpaste • Hairbrush, personal care items and any accessories • Any medications you take and a first-aid kit • Cell phone and charger • Information related to the movers, company address, truck and other details • Wallet and identification • Keys • Snacks and drinks
3. Devise a Loading Plan for the Moving Truck
Loading the truck properly is extremely important to avoid any damage to your belongings, and save the cost of repairing or replacing the items that end up being damaged. The order in which items are loaded into the truck is important. Load heavy furniture first, such as desks, trunks and dressers. Then load in soft furniture items, like sofas, and mattresses. Boxes come next, followed by lighter items like rugs, chairs, luggage, etc. If you’re handling the move yourself, this is the best way to load the truck to protect everything. If you’re paying movers, make sure you place the boxes in a separate area of the house so the heavier items can be conveniently loaded into the truck first then unloaded and easily placed in the right rooms.
4. Buy or Rent a Shoulder Dolly
Professional movers use these handy devices, which are essentially a two-person strap system to secure heavy items for moving. It has a sturdy strap that connects two shoulder straps similar to a backpack. You secure the shoulder dolly beneath a heavy items like a washers and dryers or heavy dressers, then you and your moving partner put the straps on, grasp the item and lift it. This redistributes the weight, making heavy items easier to move while leaving your hands free to handle the item as you maneuver through tight spaces and doors. It gives you more control while carrying heavy items and helps you to keep from dropping things, dinging walls and the costs that come along with doing repairs or replacing damaged items.
5. Use Blankets and Pillows to Protect Furniture
If you’re not using movers and want to keep from damaging your furniture you can use your own blankets, comforters and pillows to wrap delicate furniture and secure it with tape before you move it out of the house. If you’re concerned about damaging your blankets, just be careful and think about how much it would cost to replace the blanket as opposed to repairing or replacing that piece of furniture.
6. When Hiring a Moving Company Get an On-site Estimate
Before moving day, have the moving company send someone out to survey your possessions and have them provide a written estimate of the cost for the move. Moves usually take longer than expected, so ask them how they figure the additional hours. This way you will know in advance what the move will likely cost you.
7. Peak Moving Times Should Be Avoided
If you can avoid moving on the last day or weekend of the month, do so. Those are the busiest times for truck rentals and movers. Peak moving times run from the month of May to mid-September, so those months should be avoided as well to save money.
8. Inform the IRS of Your Move
If the IRS has not been informed of your new address you may not receive your tax refund check, which is what happens to thousands of people every year. The U.S. Postal Service forwards mail only for a set period of time, and certain types of mail are only forwarded for 60 days. You might also look at the IRS’s website to determine if you can write off the move. In general, if you have to move more than 50 miles to take a full-time job, you may be allowed to deduct your moving expenses on your tax return.