Moving is a big deal, especially if you own your business. There's plenty to worry about, like the logistics of relocating everything, hiring movers, and making sure all of your clients are informed. And believe us: we get it! That's why we've put together this guide to help you declutter your office before you move. We'll explain how decluttering can save you time and money during this busy period. You'll walk away with a clear understanding of where to start when it comes to decluttering. And finally, we'll give you our best tips on how to make the whole process as quick and easy as possible.
Clean out your cabinets and drawers
- Take everything out of your filing cabinets, shelves, drawers and closets.
- Sort through the items and decide what to keep and what to throw away.
- Discard any trash that you haven't used in a year (if it's really old), recycle what you can and put the rest in boxes that will be moved with you when the time comes.
If you don't know where something goes—for example, if an item doesn't have a home on your new desk—put it in a box labeled "Door Closet" or "Office Supply Cabinet" so that when it's time for unpacking day (or even during the move itself), you'll know exactly where this item belongs!
Don't forget the walls!
As you work through the rest of your office, don't forget about the walls. Take down any items that are broken or expired, or things you don't need anymore. If you have memorabilia from old jobs or from when you were in school, maybe it's time to clear out some space for them and move them into storage before they end up taking over your whole office (and then getting forgotten).
Round up cords, cables, chargers and adapters
It’s time to take stock of all the cords and chargers that are scattered throughout your office. This includes any wires or devices you might use for a computer, phone, tablet or laptop.
Piles of cables can be distracting and create a tripping hazard in an office space. They also pose a fire risk if they get tangled together too much (and yes, there have been reported cases where this happened). Cables are also messy and may represent a security risk if they aren’t properly stored away when not in use.
Set aside any personal items
Personal items are those that are not related to your business. Your personal items might include:
- Family photos and home décor
- A collection of antiques, coins, or other collectibles
- Small collections of stuffed animals and dolls, for example
When it comes time to pack up your office, keep these things separate from all your business materials. You can store them in a box or bag until you move into your new place. If you’re moving across town or down the street, you might want to consider keeping them at another location—say at a friend's house—until your move is complete and you’ve had time to unpack everything properly at home!
Take care of office plants
It's important to take care of your office plants before you move. If they are in pots, make sure they're not too heavy so you don't break them when you carry them. If the plant is in the ground, make sure the ground isn't too wet or dry. Look at the plant's container and see if it has drainage holes—if not, drill some for it!
Get rid of old food and perishables
- Throw away old food. The next step to getting your office decluttered is to get rid of any perishables and/or expired food items in your refrigerator or pantry. While it may be tempting to think that some canned goods will make the move with you, most likely they won't survive the journey in one piece! And if they do, that's a lot of space wasted on something that will just have to be thrown away anyway.
- Dispose of perishables properly. If there is anything left over from the previous section (i.e., expired or rotting food), put it into an airtight bag and dispose of it properly before packing up everything else—it's best not to risk keeping this around while packing up other items because you never know what could happen during transport!
You won't want to move junk to your new office
The goal of decluttering your office is to make space for the things you want in your new office. You don't want to move junk that you don't need and have space for, so it's important to get rid of anything that isn't essential before moving day.
What is junk? It may be easier to ask what isn't junk:
- Anything that's broken or unusable
- Old documents that are no longer relevant (such as old tax returns)
- Items you don't use anymore but can't bear to part with (like old college textbooks)
Now you know how to declutter your office in preparation for your office move. Don't leave this step until the last minute, because it's a lot of work! Start the process early so that you can have some time for this and ensure that everything gets done correctly.