How To Pack Up Your Home Office For A Move

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Working at home has great perks — a short commute, relaxed dress code and a quiet environment to allow for good productivity. When planning to move a household, moving your home office is a different animal than other areas of your home. If you work at home, you’ll need to complete tasks right up to moving day and then be up and running immediately after your move. Any disruptions to your business can affect your bottom line, so how you plan, organize and pack become critical components to a successful home office move.

Blank Canvas

While preparing for your move, keep in mind that, like other rooms in your new home, your home office can be set up and designed exactly like you imagine. With the exception of physical space restrictions and incorporating office equipment, you’re really working with a blank slate. Although you probably won’t want to buy new items for the office prior to the move, think about the new set-up and add those details to your office move plan. If you’re tired of the office lamp that only works with a 40-watt bulb, it’s time for a new one!

If you follow these three key steps to the home office move process, you’ll find it much more efficient and less stressful.

1. Planning

Start with a plan before you even think about picking up a moving box. Be as detailed as possible and review your plan several times to ensure you’re not missing anything.

  • Floor plan: Ideally, you’ll have an opportunity to do some planning with your new home’s office space dimensions before your move. Draw a floor plan of the new space. It doesn’t have to be exact or perfect, just close enough so you know where to position larger items like your desk, file cabinets, etc. Keep in mind good workflow and functionality.
  • Get with tech: As soon as possible, consult with your cable company or internet service provider about installing the necessary connections/outlets. This might be a good time to upgrade to faster service, so inquire about any deals for new homeowners.
  • Alert clients: Let clients know ASAP about your move. Sending office move announcements is a nice touch, especially if any of your contact info will change.

2. Organization

You’ll thank yourself later if you approach this office move in full organization mode.

  • Purge: Don’t pay to move items that you’re likely to toss after you unpack. Go through files and paperwork and get rid of the old stuff. If unsure, start a file for that category.
  • Sort: Put current projects in one pile and other necessary items in another. Then organize your piles. If space allows and you can work around them, don’t pack anything yet.
  • Label: Even though you’re still connected, make labels or use colored twist ties for your electronic/tech equipment cables.
  • Enlist help: If “organized” isn’t often used to describe you, ask your super-organized friend to help with this part of the office move process. Offer to barter for a service or favor later.

3. Packing

Remember, “last in, first out” is one of the cardinal rules of packing. Try to avoid packing anything you’ll need right after the move until the last moment.

  • Pack smart: Use a color-coded labeling system for your moving boxes as you start packing. Make a corresponding packing inventory list to make it easier to locate items easier when they’re not in sight.
  • Grouping: Be sure to pack similar items together. Sure, it might be quicker to toss office supplies in with files, but it makes unpacking very disorganized.
  • Be comfy: If you have a great ergonomic office chair and/or a comfy side chair in your office, be sure to have those labeled to be unloaded ASAP. As you set up your office, you’ll want to take breaks and relax.

Settling In

As you get most of your functional office items unpacked, organized and set up, keep in mind the kinds of new items you want to complete the look and feel of your new home office. Maybe some new decorative items or framed artwork would give it a fresh, new appeal. Remember that you don’t have to live with the current paint color; paint is one of the cheapest ways to redecorate. You may notice, too, that some of your old office items aren’t really fitting with the new space. It’s time to go shopping!

Up and Running

Get back to work as soon as you can after your office move. It’s one of the best ways to feel settled in and normalize your new location. Don’t be too concerned about everything functioning perfectly—remember, it’s a move and there are always unpredictable elements. As you adjust to your new home office, you may change the original plan to work more efficiently for you. You won’t know what’s needed until you’ve been working a while in the space.

This article was written by Nancy LaFever for, an online resource for moving information, products and coupons.

Last Updated: July 19, 2012
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