Office Furniture Moves: Essential Guide for Office Managers

by | Last updated May 31, 2023

As an office manager, you know that office furniture plays a crucial role in creating a productive workspace. A well-executed office furniture move can have a significant impact on employee morale and workflow. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with the essential knowledge and best practices to navigate office furniture moves successfully. Discover expert tips to ensure a seamless transition and create a workspace that meets your team’s needs while fostering a positive work environment.

Office furniture moves - a white moving truck standing against a white building.
Office moves take an effort. Make your move less difficult. Photo by Maxim Tolchinskiy on Unsplash

Preparing for an Office Furniture Move

This section will guide you through the key steps to take before the move:

Assess the need for a furniture move by evaluating your current office space, considering factors such as expansion, downsizing, or reorganization. Determine if a furniture move is necessary and aligns with your business goals.

Create a furniture move plan by developing a comprehensive plan that outlines the scope of the move, identifies specific furniture items to be relocated, and establishes a clear timeline.

Establish a budget by determining a realistic budget for the furniture move, considering costs such as transportation, labor, and potential furniture modifications.

Set a timeline and coordinate with stakeholders. Define a timeline that accommodates your business operations and minimizes disruption. Collaborate with relevant stakeholders, such as employees, vendors, and building management, to ensure a coordinated and efficient move.

Evaluating Furniture and Space Requirements

This section will guide you through the key steps of this evaluation process:

Conduct your office furniture inventory. Take stock of your existing furniture by conducting a thorough inventory. Identify the quantity, condition, and functionality of each item, and determine whether any furniture can be repurposed or recycled.

Determine office furniture needs for the new space. Consider the layout and design of your new office space. Determine the furniture requirements based on factors such as the number of workstations, storage needs, collaborative areas, and meeting rooms. Take into account the specific functions and preferences of different departments or teams.

Assess ergonomic considerations. Prioritize the health and well-being of your employees by evaluating ergonomic considerations. Ensure that the furniture you choose promotes proper posture, provides adequate support, and is adjustable to accommodate different body types and preferences.

Identify furniture modifications or replacements: Assess whether any furniture modifications or replacements are necessary to align with the new space or to address ergonomic requirements. Consider factors such as reupholstering, reconfiguration, or investing in new furniture pieces that better suit the needs and aesthetics of the new office environment.

Hiring Professional Movers or DIY Approach

When it comes to executing your office furniture move, you have the option to either hire professional movers or take a DIY approach. Consider the following factors to determine which approach is best suited for your specific situation:

Pros of hiring professional movers

Expertise and experience: Professional movers have the necessary skills and experience to handle office furniture moves efficiently. They are familiar with the best practices and techniques to ensure the safe and secure transport of your furniture.

Time-saving: Hiring professionals allows you to focus on your core responsibilities while leaving the logistics of the move to experts. They can handle all aspects of the move, including packing, loading, transportation, and unloading, saving you valuable time.

Equipment and resources: Professional movers come equipped with the right tools, equipment, and vehicles to handle office furniture moves effectively. They have the necessary resources to disassemble, pack, and protect your furniture during the move.

Cons of hiring professional movers

Cost: Hiring professional movers can be more expensive compared to a DIY approach. The cost will vary depending on factors such as the distance, the amount of furniture, and additional services required.

Less control: When you hire professionals, you are entrusting them with the responsibility of your office furniture move. This means you may have less control over the process compared to a DIY approach, which may be a concern for some office managers.

Scheduling and coordination: Working with professional movers requires coordinating schedules and ensuring availability. You may need to align your move with their availability, which could impact your desired timeline.

Tips for choosing a reliable moving company

When choosing a reliable office furniture moving company, consider the following practical tips:

Research and gather recommendations: Start by conducting thorough research on moving companies in your area. Seek recommendations from colleagues, friends, or other businesses who have recently undergone a furniture move. Their firsthand experiences can provide valuable insights and help you narrow down your options.

Check credentials and insurance: Ensure that the moving company you consider is properly licensed and insured. This helps protect your furniture and provides peace of mind knowing that you’re working with a reputable company. Request proof of insurance and verify their credentials with the appropriate regulatory bodies.

Read reviews and testimonials: Look for online reviews and testimonials from past clients. Pay attention to feedback regarding professionalism, timeliness, communication, and the overall experience. Websites like Yelp, Google Reviews, or industry-specific platforms can provide helpful insights into the reputation and reliability of the moving companies you’re considering.

Request on-site estimates: Contact a few moving companies and request on-site estimates. A representative from the company will visit your office to assess the furniture, discuss your requirements, and provide an accurate cost estimate. This allows you to compare pricing, services, and professionalism before making a decision.

Inquire about experience and specialization: Ask about the moving company’s experience in handling office furniture moves. Inquire whether they have specific expertise in moving furniture types or office setups similar to yours. A company with relevant experience is more likely to understand the specific challenges and requirements of your office furniture move.

Clear communication and responsiveness: Pay attention to the company’s communication style and responsiveness during your interactions. A reliable moving company should be prompt, attentive, and readily available to address your questions or concerns throughout the moving process.

Get a detailed contract: Once you’ve selected a moving company, ensure that you receive a detailed contract outlining all the agreed-upon terms, including services, pricing, insurance coverage, and any additional fees or charges. Review the contract carefully and ask for clarification on anything that is unclear before signing.

Steps for a successful DIY furniture move

To have a successful DIY furniture move, consider the following practical tips:

Plan and prepare: Create a detailed plan for the move, including a timeline and a checklist of furniture items. Measure doorways and hallways to ensure furniture can fit through without any issues. Disassemble larger pieces, if possible, to make them easier to move.

Gather the right equipment: Invest in the necessary equipment such as dollies, furniture sliders, moving blankets, and straps. These tools will make it easier to lift, transport, and protect your furniture during the move.

Enlist help: Moving furniture can be physically demanding, so don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. Recruit friends, family members, or colleagues to help with lifting and maneuvering heavy items. Ensure everyone understands proper lifting techniques to prevent injuries.

Protect your furniture: Wrap delicate or valuable furniture in moving blankets or bubble wrap to prevent scratches or damage. Use straps or bungee cords to secure items in the moving truck or vehicle to avoid shifting during transport.

Take precautions during the move: Use proper lifting techniques by bending your knees, keeping your back straight, and lifting with your legs. Avoid rushing and take breaks as needed to prevent fatigue and reduce the risk of accidents.

Stay organized: Label each furniture item or box with its intended location in the new space. This will make it easier to unload and set up your furniture in the right places.

Clean and inspect furniture: Before the move, clean and inspect each piece of furniture. Address any repairs or maintenance needs beforehand to ensure everything is in good condition for the move.

Efficient Packing and Labeling Strategies

Let’s explore efficient packing and labeling strategies to streamline your office furniture move. By organizing, properly packing, and labeling your furniture items, you can ensure a smooth unpacking and setup process in your new space.

Organizing and Categorizing: Before packing, create a detailed inventory of all furniture items. Categorize them based on size, type, or department. This will help you plan the packing process and make unpacking easier at the new location.

Proper Packing and Protection: Use appropriate packing materials such as moving blankets, bubble wrap, and stretch wrap to protect furniture from scratches and damage during transportation. Disassemble furniture as needed, securely wrap individual pieces, and secure loose components.

Labeling Techniques: Label each furniture item and its corresponding parts clearly. Use color-coded labels or numbering systems to match items with their designated locations in the new office space. Include additional details like room names or employee names for easy identification.

Handling Fragile Items: Clearly mark items that are fragile or require special handling. Prioritize packing and unpacking these items with extra care. Consider using “fragile” stickers or special packaging materials to ensure their protection.

Communication and Instructions: Provide clear instructions to the moving team on how to handle and position the furniture. Indicate which items require assembly or disassembly. Use signage or floor plans to guide the movers and ensure proper placement of furniture in the new office space.

Coordination and Communication Best Practices

When moving office furniture, effective coordination and communication are crucial to ensure a successful and efficient transition. Here are some best practices to consider:

Liaise with Stakeholders: Collaborate closely with various stakeholders, such as IT and facilities management teams. Communicate the moving schedule, coordinate equipment disconnections/reconnections, and address any specific requirements or concerns they may have.

Coordinate with Property Management: If moving to a new location, establish communication with the property management or building staff. Inform them about the move, discuss access, loading/unloading logistics, and any building-specific guidelines or regulations.

Communicate with Employees: Keep your employees informed throughout the moving process. Provide regular updates, share the moving timeline, and communicate any temporary disruptions or changes to their workspace. Encourage them to pack personal belongings in advance and provide clear instructions on what is expected from them during the move.

Create a Communication Plan: Develop a comprehensive communication plan that outlines key contacts, communication channels, and the flow of information. Ensure that everyone involved, including the moving team and relevant stakeholders, is aware of this plan to facilitate smooth communication and coordination.

Address Concerns and Feedback: Establish an open line of communication to address any concerns or questions that may arise. Encourage feedback from employees and stakeholders to identify and resolve any issues promptly.

Disassembly, Transportation, and Assembly

When moving office furniture, proper disassembly, transportation, and assembly techniques are essential for a smooth and successful transition. Here are some useful tips to consider:

Plan Ahead: Create a detailed plan for disassembling, transporting, and reassembling furniture items. Assign responsibilities, establish a timeline, and ensure you have the necessary tools and equipment.

Document and Label: Take photos or make diagrams of furniture configurations before disassembly. This will help you during the reassembly process. Additionally, label each disassembled part or component with corresponding labels or tags to simplify the reassembly later.

Protect Furniture: Use appropriate packing materials to protect furniture pieces during transportation. Wrap delicate surfaces with blankets, bubble wrap, or furniture pads to prevent scratches, dents, or other damage. Secure loose parts, such as screws or bolts, in labeled bags or containers.

Efficient Loading and Unloading: When loading furniture onto the moving truck, place heavier items at the bottom and distribute weight evenly to maintain stability. Use proper lifting techniques and equipment, such as dollies or straps, to prevent injuries. During unloading, handle items carefully and place them in designated areas for easier assembly.

Follow Assembly Instructions: Refer to manufacturer’s instructions or assembly manuals when reassembling furniture. Follow the recommended steps and use the correct tools to ensure proper alignment and stability. Take your time to assemble each piece accurately and securely.

Seek Professional Assistance: For complex furniture items or large-scale moves, consider hiring professional furniture movers who specialize in disassembly, transportation, and assembly. They have the expertise and experience to handle furniture with care and efficiency.

Post-Move Follow-Up Tips

After completing the office furniture move, it’s important to conduct post-move follow-up tasks to ensure everything is in order and address any remaining concerns. Here are some tips for post-move follow-up:

Walkthrough and Inspection: Conduct a walkthrough of the new office space to verify that all furniture items are correctly placed and assembled. Check for any damages or missing parts and address them promptly.

Employee Feedback: Seek feedback from employees regarding their furniture setup and comfort. Address any concerns or adjustments needed to optimize their workspace and ensure their satisfaction.

Performance Assessment: Evaluate the performance of the furniture installation and moving company. Consider factors such as their timeliness, professionalism, and adherence to the agreed-upon plan. Provide feedback to the company and, if necessary, address any unresolved issues.

Addressing Issues: If any issues or damages are discovered after the move, contact the furniture installation company or moving company immediately to initiate resolution or file any necessary claims.

Documentation: Keep a record of all documentation related to the move, including contracts, invoices, and any communication with vendors or service providers. This will be valuable for reference and potential future needs.

Follow-Up with Vendors: If any warranties or service agreements were provided with the furniture or installation, ensure that you follow up with the vendors to register warranties or schedule any necessary maintenance or repairs.

Employee Support: Provide support to employees during the transition period, addressing any questions or concerns they may have regarding the new furniture setup or functionality.

Maintaining and Updating Furniture Inventory

After completing an office furniture move, it’s important to maintain and update the furniture inventory to keep track of the assets and ensure accurate record-keeping. Here are some tips for maintaining and updating the furniture inventory:

Implement an Asset Tracking System: Utilize an asset tracking system to maintain an up-to-date record of all furniture items. This can include details such as item descriptions, quantities, locations, condition, and acquisition dates. Regularly update the system as changes occur, such as new purchases, disposals, or relocations.

Schedule Periodic Audits: Conduct regular audits of the furniture inventory to verify the accuracy of the records. This can help identify any discrepancies, missing items, or outdated information that needs to be addressed.

Document Changes and Updates: Keep a detailed log of any changes or updates made to the furniture inventory, such as additions, removals, repairs, or replacements. This documentation will serve as a reference for future audits and provide a clear history of the furniture assets.

Coordinate with Facilities Management: Maintain open communication with the facilities management team to ensure that any changes to the furniture inventory are properly documented and aligned with overall space planning and maintenance efforts.

Plan for Updates and Upgrades: Regularly assess the condition and functionality of the furniture items. Identify opportunities for updates, repairs, or replacements to ensure that the furniture inventory remains in optimal condition and meets the evolving needs of the office.

Frequently asked questions

Remember, each office furniture move may have unique circumstances and requirements. It’s essential to consult with professionals, such as furniture movers or relocation experts, for personalized advice based on your specific needs and situation. But here are some common questions answered.

How far in advance should we start planning for an office furniture move?

It’s recommended to start planning for an office furniture move at least 2-3 months in advance. This allows sufficient time for assessing needs, coordinating logistics, and making necessary arrangements.

How can we minimize disruptions to our employees’ workflow during the move?

Effective communication is key to minimizing disruptions during an office furniture move. Inform employees well in advance about the move, provide clear instructions, and address any concerns they may have. Consider scheduling the move during non-peak hours or weekends to minimize interference with daily operations.

How can we ensure the safety of our office furniture during the move?

To ensure the safety of office furniture, it’s important to properly pack and protect the items. Use appropriate packing materials, such as bubble wrap or moving blankets, to safeguard furniture from scratches or damage. Additionally, consider hiring professional movers who have experience in handling office furniture to minimize the risk of accidents.

What should we do with furniture that is no longer needed or doesn’t fit in the new space?

Prior to the move, assess your furniture inventory and identify items that are no longer needed or don’t fit the new space. Consider selling, donating, or disposing of these items responsibly. Alternatively, you may explore storage options if you anticipate needing the furniture in the future.

How can we ensure a smooth transition and setup of furniture in the new space?

To ensure a smooth transition, create a detailed floor plan for the new space and coordinate with the furniture movers or internal team responsible for setup. Clearly label furniture items and provide the floor plan to the movers or employees involved in the move to ensure accurate placement of furniture in the designated areas.

What steps should we take to update our furniture inventory after the move?

After the move, conduct a thorough inventory check to account for all furniture items and update the records accordingly. Document any changes, such as new additions or disposals, and ensure the inventory is accurately reflected in your tracking system or records.

About the author Vladimir Fishov

Vladimir has been installing, moving and reconfiguring office furniture since 2005, working with companies like WeWork and LinkedIn. Vladimir is the man behind Office2Day. Here he shares insights to help office managers, interior designers and business owners make sense of office furniture.
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