A home office used to be a place to pay bills and often doubled as a guest room. Today, more often, it is a place where at least one family member makes his or her livelihood.
Computers, monitors, printers and fax machines all need to be safely moved. In addition, you need to be able to get your home office up and running as soon as possible at your new home. Here are ten tips for moving your home office successfully:
-Sift through your files. Most of us file some things not because we need them, but because we don’t know what to do with them. Moving is a great opportunity to slim down your files, keeping only what you need. Be sure to shred whatever you decide to discard, to protect yourself from identity theft.
-Sort through your books. You probably have reference materials in your office you will want to keep. But chances are, you also have books (fiction or nonfiction) that you may never read again, or read at all. Think about donating or selling them, especially if you are moving into a smaller space.
-Separate items you’ll need right away. Just as you don’t want to open a dozen boxes to find your toothbrush, you also don’t want to be missing the one cord that could put you back in business immediately. Separate and clearly mark those items that will allow you to get back to work well before the last box of home office items is unpacked.
-Measure your desk. You may have purchased your desk to fit the current space you are working from. Or, you may have pieced a workspace together from what you already owned. Either way, the size and dimensions of your new office are probably different. Moving is a good opportunity to think through what office furniture has/has not been working well and consider upgrading the ergonomics of your office furniture.
-Keep your computer cords and accessories together. Consider putting all the cords that go with each machine in a plastic bag, labeling it and even taping it to the machine. That way, when you unpack, you won’t be trying to figure out if nearly identical cords go to the fax machine or the printer.
-Find those original boxes. The best way to pack computers, fax machines and printers is in their original boxes. If you have them, make certain you tell the mover. If you want the mover to pack your office equipment into the original boxes, they will do so at an hourly rate. If you have the box, but not the Styrofoam inserts, Bubble wrap is a good alternative for protecting the components.
-Different types of monitors require different packing methods. With the older monitor versions (big, bulky and shaped like an older television set), the original box is always best, but they can also be transported as is. The driver will wrap furniture pads around the monitor and safely nestle it into the load. Newer, flat screen monitors must be packed. Again, the original carton will be best. If not, the moving company will have an appropriate sized carton, and bubble wrap will be the best packing material.
-Back up your work. Make certain that you have the original CD’s, etc., of your computer software programs, and that you have made backup copies of all of your data. You should transport those valuable CD’s yourself.
-Think about the equipment you may want to replace. Some home copiers and printers are bulky and heavy. The newer models are slimmer, faster, and getting more economical all the time. If you were planning to replace some of your equipment, now’s the time!