Moving to another city is a big decision, a fresh start. Leaving all the memories and friends behind is one thing, but carrying out the office relocation smoothly while you keep your work-from-home job is another. It's not quite as simple as setting up automation before going on vacation. Home office relocation can be stressful. To make sure things are going according to the plan; your personal belongings and work items won’t be mixed up, any delay won’t have knock-on effects...and it's not just about yourself. The people who help you out, you may want to make sure they are happy during the move. I hope these tips on how to move a home office will be useful to you as you relocate your business environment.
If you are super-organized, I don’t have to tell you to get protective packaging materials and mark each box to avoid confusion. If you are not, here is the least you can do because your priority is not your removal experience to disrupt your work.
What you can do is segment all your belongings into the following 4.
- Work-related items (that you need immediately after you move. Wifi router, printer, audio/visual equipment if you use for work, for example.)
- Work-related items (non-immediate essentials such as backup drive, extra cables, etc.)
- Any personal items
- A bag to take with you (portable office items and valuables)
The boxes will all be picked up by the removal company and dropped off randomly at your new house. To avoid the initial mix-up, you might want to label each box accordingly - either by putting the number 1, 2, or 3 or color-coding the boxes.
The boxes marked 1 and 2 should be delivered to your new home office. This way, all your work stuff will be in one room and you’ll also know the boxes labelled 1 should be opened first to get all your immediate essentials. All the others can be opened later when you have more time.
No. 4 is the on-the-move items that you want to keep with you while traveling to your new place. All the valuable documents, your phone, laptop, chargers, and a mobile router if you think is necessary. So if something goes wrong and you cannot move into your new office as planned, you can still get back to work by using these portable office items.
Choosing a Moving Company
You've probably already got an idea of how you'll transport your belongings. Inviting the representatives from a few moving companies to get the quotes will be the start. It’ll be less stressful for sure if you hire one company to do everything at once. On the other hand, you may save costs by hiring several companies according to the type and size of items.
Here are some points to consider;
- Large, valuable, and fragile items (e.g. antique furniture) can be transported by a specialist company.
- Use a car shipping service instead of driving all the way to the new place yourself.
- Find out whether you need extra moving insurance for high-value equipment.
- See if you need air-conditioning during the move to keep your sensitive items such as camera equipment.
The Wifi Connection
Without a doubt, getting broadband connected at your new place is one of your top priorities. Not the end of the world, but pretty disastrous it will be if you arrive at your new place only to find you can’t get your work done because you can’t get on the internet.
Just to avoid the worst-case scenario, it may be a good idea to get a mobile hotspot router (travel wifi router). A cheap one costs only less than $50, so you may want to consider getting one for peace of mind.
Automating and Outsourcing
Anyone who works from home and regularly takes vacations should at least know how to use an automation app or two. Typically a social media scheduler and “out of office” autoresponder. So what’s different between a vacation and moving your home office? There isn’t much when it comes to setting up the automation, but you may want to consider a few things, better or worse;
- Shorter than a vacation period: The actual moving shouldn’t take longer than one day unless you are in special circumstances (e.g. you’re moving abroad or have a lot of things to move) Your absence from work can be more manageable.
- With that said, in reality, at least the first few days after you move will be unsettling (both in good and bad ways.) A lot of things to explore in the near area, and a lot of unpacking to do.
- On top of that, you are moving to a new environment where you should expect the unexpected. A longer automation period may be necessary in case of further disruption.
- Moving can be hectic and stressful. Your mind may be too busy to focus on emergencies such as complaints from customers.
Outsourcing a temporary virtual assistant may be a good option. For example, there are a few people who offer to do some basic 2-hour work for as low as $10 on Fiverr. Just booking an assistant may give you peace of mind in case something goes wrong.
Take a Backup of Your Documents
In case your important documents go missing, make sure you have a backup. The copy of your document should really be saved in your cloud storage space, so you can access it from any device. Even if anything happens to all your devices (the worst-case scenario…all stolen!), you can still access your documents from someone else’s device.
Any sensitive information should be saved in your password manager such as Dashlane, so it’s encrypted. Safer than carrying a hard copy or saving it on your hard drive.
The important document should be anything such as;
- Passport copy (or your passport number)
- Drivers license copy (or the number)
- Insurance documents
- Your first contacts for emergency
- Any other legal documents (e.g. tax, marriage certificate)
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Helping Hands - Are They OK?
Here are some interesting statistics conducted by Studyfinds.org in 2019. Average Americans are generally happy to help their friends and relatives move, but 35% of them expect something in return. Of that group, 45% of them say they would like a free meal for their help.
I think the expectation is fair enough, don't you? It's your responsibility to make sure you have enough stamina to carry your own boxes. But you should also show gratitude to the people who help you, offering them a meal, drink, and snacks during the move.
Notifying The Change of Address
Assuming you’ve already arranged your move with your utility service providers (electricity, gas, telephone, and internet), here is a list of people/organizations that you may need to send a change of address notice to.
- Clients (You may also wish to explain the reason for the relocation, any changes, and how your clients would benefit from the move.)
- Suppliers/service providers
- Affiliate programs, if you belong to any
- Business partners
- Tax authority
- Credit card companies
- Professional/advisory bodies that you belong to
- Subscription services (e.g. magazines, stationery, bottled water)
- Insurance companies
- Don’t forget your cellphone company!
Office Relocation - How To Move A Home Office: Conclusion
For running an online marketing business, we often say that all we need is essentially a laptop. We often talk about the “work from anywhere” lifestyle but in reality, the majority of us choose to get settled in one place to build our lives. Moving your home office means you are relocating the business that you own as well as your personal life, which means it can be twice as stressful. I hope the tips will help you put less pressure on yourself and make moving a more pleasant experience. Good luck!
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