17/08/2015

By Dave Smith, lead blogger and copywriter at DavPack

Moving house can be hard and stressful enough, but at least you can normally pack and unpack at your leisure. It doesn’t really matter if you don’t get every vase, family photo, or set of bedding out and available at the first opportunity.

Moving your business, however, it’s another matter entirely – every minute can count. Packing and unpacking as quickly and effectively as possible is absolutely essential if you want to make sure the whole process goes through quickly, with minimal disruption for you, your customers, and the day-to-day running of your business. So, are there any tips you can use for such an occasion?

Packing your paperwork

Digital technology and cloud storage mean we’re supposed to be heading towards the paperless office. Take a look round any office today, however, and in the vast majority you’ll soon see that’s not the reality.

Much of the important information we use on a daily basis, such as orders, receipts, and delivery notices, not to mention the kind of financial records demanded by the taxman, are still paper-based, and these are just the kind of things you may well need to be able to lay your hands on the first day in your new office.

The obvious and most simple solution, therefore, for packing up your important documents are strong archive storage boxes, with – and this is the really important bit – the means for clear labelling. The other thing you’ll need them to do is allow for easy access to the contents; after all, many may sit on dusty shelves, used for long-term storage. Additionally, you won’t want to be messing around with sealing and resealing standard cartons with packing tape, so separate lids are always a good idea for storing and transporting important documents. They are the perfect long-term storage solution for efficiently organising your important files.

It’s also worth giving your staff at least one of these each, to pack their own desks in to. Again, the labels are there to make sure everything ends up at the right desk in the new office. The other big advantage with these boxes is that they usually have built-in handholds, as they make it easier and safer to lift them. The last thing you want is your staff going off with bad backs – there will already be more than enough for them to do to enable a trouble-free transition.

Computers and other technology

The key thing with your important documents is to keep them organised. However, the key thing with your technology – computers, monitors, printers, for example – is to keep them safe. Whether you’re managing the move yourself, or employing professionals, you don’t want to take any risks with some of your most valuable assets.

Strong cardboard boxes are the basic minimum requirement – it’s a good idea to get ones big enough to house each staff member’s different pieces of equipment. You might even be able to leave them connected: this would make setting them up at the other end a far more straightforward proposition. Remember, though, that you shouldn’t get carried away – someone will still have to lift these boxes.

Unless you’re moving to another office in the same building, you shouldn’t take chances on moving electronics on the cheap. The one thing you can rely on is the unreliability of the British weather, and you don’t want to find yourself having to move computer equipment in the rain, with nothing to protect it. Always plan for the worse, and hope for the best!

Furniture

Most of your large furniture, such as desks and storage cupboards, are going to be too big to package individually, but if you want everything arriving at its new home in pristine condition, you can’t depend on on luck alone. The parts most likely to be vulnerable to bumps and knocks are the edges and corners as they are guided carefully (or not) through narrow doorways, and up and down stairways.

They can be easily protected by attaching edge and corner protectors, usually made of cardboard – an inexpensive and very effective solution. Some suppliers sell them on a continuous roll, which makes them extremely quick and easy to apply and remove.

Everything involved in moving an office requires a lot of planning if you want to keep the days you’re not trading or doing business to a minimum, and that applies to your packaging for the move as much as anything else. These are just a few ideas, but every office and business is different and likely to have its own requirements. If you’re not sure of the best solution for what you need to move, ask your packaging supplier and they should be able to quickly point you in the right direction.