Whether you're moving cross-country or just across town, relocating your home office can mean lost productivity, wasted time and endless frustration. Take the stress out of moving your home office by following these eight steps:
1. Measure once, move once. Carefully measure your new home office space and existing furniture, and plan on paper or a computer where you want everything to go. A friend of mine ordered a top-of-the-line armoire, only to send it and the delivery team away after the armoire was too big to round the corner at the top of her stairs.
2. Make sure your new office has enough outlets and wiring capabilities, and can use cable or DSL lines. If not, make arrangements before you move.
3. Find out whether your phone number will change. If so, and if you use your home address for business purposes, order change-of-address cards immediately and mail them the week you move. Make a point of notifying key clients of your new contact information.
4. Buy more boxes than you think you'll need. When you're knee-deep in packing paper and finally making progress, it's easier to grab another box than to get in your car to go buy more. Sometimes printing companies are generous with their paper boxes (a definite money-saver).
5. Pack logically. Rather than throwing whatever fits into the nearest box, pack similar items together. You may think that's a given, but when the movers pull up to your house and you're still not packed, all common sense may fly out the window as you stuff everything you can into any available box.
6. Pack your files in sturdy cardboard boxes with lids. Label each box with a description of the drawer in which it was stored. For example, "second drawer, gray cabinet" or "right-hand bottom drawer, credenza." Label all boxes with an overview of contents and "home office" clearly visible.
7. Weed out files before you move, not after. There's no better time to throw away unnecessary papers.
8. If you're moving across town, take computer equipment and anything else you absolutely need to run your business with you in your car. During our recent move, my home office and kitchen were the first rooms I set up. One was for business reasons and the other for family reasons. (We were tired of eating out all week!)
Home office expert Lisa Kanarek is the founder of HomeOfficeLife.com and the author of Organizing Your Home Office For Success (Blakely Press) and 101 Home Office Success Secrets (Career Press).