This post comes from our friends at American Moving and Storage Association
Employee Packing and Moving Instructions
Clean Up Campaign
Two weeks prior to the move we will have a clean up and out campaign. The janitorial staff will arrange for large wastebaskets to be placed in central locations in each department on (date) for all non-confidential materials to be disposed. Please go through you desk, credenza, file cabinets, bookcases and storage areas and dispose of anything that will not be needed your new location.
If you need to dispose of confidential material, please place these items in the designated area for them to be picked up and stored until they can be shredded. If you have questions about confidential material, please see your immediate supervisor about disposal or retention.
Restricted Access During Move
Once the move begins, there will be limited access to both the current and new facilities. Please plan to be out of your work area at least 30 minutes prior to the movers beginning in your area. You will have access to your new facility at any time following the return to work date and time stated on the first page of this packet. This absence is necessary to prevent interference with the move itself and to prevent injuries to both employees and moving personnel.
Separately pack all your personal belongings, such as photographs, clocks, radios, coffee mugs, artwork and knick-knacks. These will need to be moved to the new office by you. Personal items will not be moved by the moving company, please take them home with you at least one day prior to the move commencing. Additionally, the company’s insurance does not cover these items. Once you are settled in your new workspace, these items may be brought back.
If you are in a private office and your furniture will be used in you new office, lock all desks, files, credenzas, and storage cabinets and take the keys with you. You will be responsible for these keys. If you will not be using your furniture in the new office, tape the key inside the piece to which the key fits, i.e. the desk, tape the key inside one of the top drawers.
If you are in a workstation rather than private office, while the furniture will be reassembled at the new location, you probably will not end up with the exact combination of furniture that you now have. Do not lock the drawers, cabinets and storage areas, but tape the key to the inside of the piece in which the key fits.
Packing – Tote Boxes
The mover will provide each person with a set number of boxes, if you need more, they are available, just ask your move coordinator. The tote boxes will be delivered flat. Unfold the box and follow the instructions that are printed on the box. Please do not use tape to secure the box since the boxes will be returned to the moving company. The flaps will interlock to secure the box.
Tote boxes are most commonly used for office files and will come in two standard sizes, letter and legal. The sides of the box are built so that file will easily slip into the box. Be sure as you pick up your boxes that you pick up the correct size. If you are packing an alphabetized or numbered filing system that you pack the boxes from front to back so that they match the front to back sequencing in the drawers. It is best if you plan one box per drawer, rather than co-mingling drawers. If there is space at the back of the box fill it with other office equipment or with sheets of crumpled newsprint or paper pads. This process will make unpacking at the new location much easier. Also carefully mark the box label as to the location and the specific drawer number. For added protection you may also want to include the sequence (alpha or numeric) that is included in the container. You can also put a sheet of paper inside the box just before it is closed that states the area, cabinet, drawer and contents. This way if the label is lost the contents can be correctly refiled.
Book boxes are the other standard box that will be used during the relocation. These should be used for packing bookshelves, contents of desks, credenzas, filing cabinets and office supplies. These will also be delivered flat and will require tape to secure the bottom and top flaps, these boxes will also be returned to the mover once the move is complete, so use tape sparingly.
When you have finished packing each box, carefully mark the box label with your name, new office number and location. Do not write on the box itself. You can also put a sheet of paper inside the box just before it is closed that has your name, office number and contact information, this way if the label is lost the box can be returned to your new office. You may also be encouraged to make a complete inventory of the contents of each box.
While the totes and book boxes are the most commonly used on an office move, the moving company will have a variety of specialty boxes available should you need them. You will have to alert your move coordinator as to your special needs, so the moving company can deliver the correct box.
Each office has been assigned a move label color. Your color is on the first page of this guide. If you receive a label color other than that, notify your move coordinator immediately. You will receive your labels approximately one week prior to the start of the move. You will also receive enough labels for each piece of furniture that is in your work area and the anticipated number of boxes that you will have. If you need more labels or have extras, please alert your move coordinator.
You will need to clearly mark each label with your name, floor number, office or workstation number and piece number. Mark the labels with a medium to wide felt tipped pen, like a Sharpie®. Do not use a ballpoint pin, as the labels need to be clear and easily read by the movers from some distance and often in poor light.
Remember, EVERY ITEM THAT IS MOVING MUST HAVE A LABEL. If you have a desk that is in several sections, each section must have a label, all shelves from bookcases must be labeled and all boxes. If you are having difficulty with labels sticking you may secure them with scotch tape.
To save your fingernails and frustration levels at the new facility, fold a small piece of each label back under the label, this will give you a “pull tab” to start with as you remove each label.
During an office move, the movers are trained to look for labels in specific locations. This is why the labels must be clearly visible from distances and in poor lighting. It also allows the movers to “float” every piece of office furniture and boxes onto dollies for the relocation and allows for easier placement at the new facility. The basic objective is to stand in front of any piece of furniture and see the label in the upper right hand corner or at about eye level for large pieces and for smaller objects to see the label on the top right front corner.
There is a diagram for the most common pieces of furniture and their label placement at the end of this guide. If you have questions about specific placement, check with your move coordinator.
As the movers finish the move they will place each piece of furniture into your new work area based on the placement diagram that you provide the move coordinator for the arrangement of furniture. The boxes will be placed on the rear wall, if available, with the labels facing forward and readable from the entrance to the work area.
Tips for Success
Remove all items from your desk, credenza, storage cabinets, and bookshelves then pack them into boxes that will be provided by the mover. This is critical since the majority of the furniture will be turned on end during the course of the move. Any small items, such as paperclips or rubber bands should be sealed in envelopes before placing them in the packing box. Any liquids, such as ink, glue, correction fluid should be sealed tightly and then place a strip of masking tape around the top of each before packing it into the box.
Breakable items should be wrapped in paper before being packed or be packed by the mover.
Check all the wheels on chairs, rolling tables, computer stands, printer stands, etc. Any that are loose should be removed and packed. Otherwise, you will never see them again.
If you are moving into a private office, a diagram of desired furniture placement should be completed and turned into the move coordinator at your earliest convenience. If you are moving into a modular or semi private area, you may hand in a placement diagram for equipment.
When you are packing, do not seal the boxes until you have completed your packing, this will help avoid the need to open and search boxes to find items or when you need to remove or insert last minute items.
As you complete each box stack it to one side of your office, no more than 4 boxes high, with the label on the front, right hand, upper corner. You should be able to see each label from the entrance to your work area.
Before you leave your work area for the last time, double check that all labels are visible and that anything not moving to the new location is also marked as do not move.
Once the move is completed and you have unpacked your work area, remove all moving labels. The boxes that you used should be collapsed and returned to a central collection point.