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Here are 94 things to remember when relocating your office. Because moving your business sucks. So we need a business moving checklist.
1. Finalize Lease for new location.
2. Notify present Landlord of termination date and ask about the landlord's right to exhibit your premises.
3. Advise staff of date and location of move.
4. Engage designer for new premises (if required).
5. Create a master Change of Address List.
6. Pre-book elevators and loading docks for moving day (at both locations).
7. Check doorways, corridors, elevators, stairwells and loading docks at both locations for ease of egress and entry.
8. Confirm the weight the elevators can lift.
9. Document key dimensions.
10. Tender and award moving contract (3 bidders).
11. Arrange for tour of existing and new premises with bidders.
12. Check on the mover's insurance coverage.
13. Obtain Certificate of Insurance Tender and award construction contract for new premises.
14. Monitor construction progress throughout to ensure critical dates are being maintained; adjust as required.
15. Tender and award telephone and computer cabling.
16. Arrange for removal and reinstallation of telephone system. Make sure telephone company will install a recording on your old telephone number that gives out your new number. Insist the recording must be in place for at least six months. Confirm in two weeks.
17. Determine how to handle incoming phone calls when changeover occurs (i.e., install temporary analog phone, temporary line).
18. Inventory existing furniture.
19. Decide which furniture & equipment to keep/which to sell. Photograph what you keep and will be moved. Keep photos to prove any claims for damage made during move.
20. Code all furniture and equipment on a color-coded floor plan of the new facilities to show where each item should be placed.
21. All keys to desk, file cabinets, etc. should be wire-tagged and labeled and placed in a safe place. Tape keys to empty desks and file cabinets. Make sure you have duplicate keys.
22. Schedule dates for the dismantling and reassembling of any equipment that needs to be moved before the actual move. This includes anything that requires more than the normal moving time for dismantling and reassembling.
23. Pre-order any new office furniture and equipment.
24. Arrange for artwork, chalkboards, whiteboards, etc., to be taken off the walls at your old facility. Arrange for their installation at the new facility.
25. Order new stationery (letterhead, envelopes, business cards, promotional materials, moving notices).
26. File change of address forms with Post Office so they will forward mail for one year.
27. Arrange off-duty police or security for moving day (if required). No business moving checklist is complete without hiring to people to make sure your stuff doesn't get stolen!
28. Check your insurance coverage for the move. Review policy to make sure everything is covered. (Ex equipment, furniture etc.)
29. Define any special use licenses or permits at the new facility.
30. Confirm the Certificate of Occupancy and any other required permits or licenses have been obtained.
31. Advise specialty suppliers (telephone, long distance, bottled water, coffee service) to arrange removal and re-installation of their equipment.
32. MAIL MOVING NOTICES
33. Arrange parking spaces at new premises, if required for trucks, cars etc.
34. Notify vendors of your new address and when their products will be accepted and received at new location.
35. Hold a meeting at new premises three weeks prior to move. Bring all parties involved (design / construction / mover / cabling company / IT specialist) to ensure all details are covered off and all responsibilities clear.
36. Carefully read the Bill of Lading before you sign. It is the contract between you and the mover. Keep it with you until everything is delivered, charges are paid, and any claims are settled.
37. Indicate on the mover's inventory any damaged boxes or items before you sign anything. This is necessary to process any claims.
38. Schedule public relations effort, including plans for news releases, articles, office warming parties, etc.
39. Change locks / access codes on new premises as close to moving day as possible so no non-employees have access (i.e., construction trades, etc.).
40. Decide on security procedures for the move.
41. Develop a method to confirm that everything removed from all locations arrived at the new location.
42. Consider supplying identity badges to vendors, movers, and your employees.
43. Arrange for listing on lobby directory of new building.
44. Put up directional signs, room and area labels, and furniture plans in the new facility.
45. Receive moving bins 3-4 days prior to move date.
46. Arrange for cleaning after move has been completed; all boxes, cartons, bins, etc. should be removed as soon as possible.
47. Organize a staff moving committee if appropriate and delegate responsibilities.
48. Schedule and prepare agenda for your Employee Move Orientation Meeting.
49. Finalize new seating plan and identify each location so labels can be prepared.
50. A "Lost and Found" department should be set up to locate lost equipment, boxes, etc.
51. Explain to each employee exactly what they will be required to do; remove contents from desks; pack books and files, color code boxes, etc.
52. Arrange to feed your employees, if appropriate, during the move, or on delivery day, at the new location.
53. Plan for gifts or cash payments, as necessary, to appropriate people for expediting difficult tasks.
54. Assign move supervisors to departments.
55. Arrange for each department to have a floor plan of their area in the new facilities.
56. Plan date and hours of move by department.
57. Develop a master relocation project schedule with milestones. Define which departments should be in operation at the destination first. Define if the move will be phased.
58. Schedule and implement a regular program of clean-up (purge files, remove personal items, dispose of trash).
59. Schedule staff for unpacking (for instance, stocking supply cabinets, storerooms, file rooms, and removing tags from all furniture and equipment) to ensure your company will be operational as rapidly as possible after move.
60. Arrange for off-site storage of old files.
61. Clarify who is to do the packing: your employees, the mover, or what combination. Be very specific on who, what, when and how people are to handle the contents of desks, pictures, plants, etc.
62. Prepare moving labels (by floor, department, etc.).
63. Label all items to be moved to the new office.
64. Pack contents of all filing cabinets, desks, etc., ensuring everything is properly labeled.
65. Arrange for staff to tour new premises a few weeks prior to move.
66. Schedule post move training for security, fire, and life safety procedures at the new facility.
67. Distribute access cards & keys for new premises.
68. Close office approx. 2 hours prior to arrival of moving company (only 2 or 3 staff members should be present during move).
69. Arrange with the building manager to have the air conditioning in operation during the move at both locations (if warranted). Keep track of hours you will be billed.
70. Move laptop computers personally (also special cameras, etc.).
71. Remove phone system prior to arrival of movers and commence re-installation at new site.
72. Remove computer equipment (server) prior to arrival of movers and commence re-installation at new site.
73. Someone should be at the new location to answer questions and give instructions to the movers. Record what time the mover arrived and the number of movers working on your move.
74. Draft an emergency contact list for vendors such as Elevator Maintenance, Building Management, Utilities, Telecom, and Moving Company.
75. Reinstall and test telephone system.
76. Confirm when you call your old telephone number; a recorded message or an operator gives out your new telephone number correctly.
77. Have a new phone list and map showing location of departments on each person's desk when the offices open for business.
78. Reinstall and test all computers after the office relocation date.
79. Unpack all bins and put away contents.
80. Call moving company to pick up bins after 2-3 business days.
81. Do a detailed walk-through of the premises and report any damage to moving company.
82. Transfer your insurance to the new location. Get Certificates of Insurance from your insurance company.
83. Reconfirm the termination of old leases and the return of security deposits.
84. Collect parking passes, security cards and keys for the old facility. Use a checklist. Confirm the return of any deposits held by the Landlord for these items.
85. Arrange for the maintenance of the new facility. Establish housekeeping rules to prevent unwanted personal decorating. Has the landlord provided a tenant improvement allowance and has it been paid?
86. Audit final invoices against contracts and progress payments and pay retention.
87. Complete and file all warranty information for all new furniture and equipment.
88. Update fixed asset accounting system for any new furniture and equipment purchased. Do not forget to delete any old furniture and equipment sold or given to charity.
89. Confirm the change of address corrections have been made. Use the master change of address list.
90. Schedule press release.
91. Client announcement (if different from moving notice) - send an email and invite them to the office relocation party.
94. Website - front and center on your home page - announce the office relocation. Better yet, document the move by video and post to your social channels, displaying your office relocation.
And there you go! One last tip - ensure you file away your business moving checklist in a safe spot for the next move :-).