Getting ready for a move can be a daunting task. Whether you’re moving from a 2,000 square foot home or a 100 square foot cubicle, moving is a lot of work. Breaking the project down into smaller pieces is the only way to approach it.
For an office move, you’re usually given plenty of advance warning, sometimes several months. Most companies provide employees with moving supplies and boxes and ask that each individual pack up their own office space. Because many moves are priced by the actual number of boxes being moved, you might be facing a box quota which was determined by the size of your office space.
Here’s how to apply Lean Office 5S methodology to a move, whether it’s a corporate move or personal one:
Sort – Take advantage of any advanced warning you have of a move to begin sorting and purging your office contents. Review your company’s retention policies so you can freely discard, shred or recycle papers and materials that are no longer required to keep. If you’ve got a lot of file drawers to go through, give yourself 15 minutes each day to devote to this project. Set a timer if that will keep you better focused. Start at the front of the drawer, using a place holder of some type to mark where you left off and where you need to begin tomorrow.
Straighten – As you sort through items, organize what items are left that will be making the move. Put all the cords and electronics together; place all training material in the same cabinet; and take home any personal items you uncover or that the movers won’t transport such as plants and valuables. I had a client once who uncovered three pairs of shoes under the piles of stuff hidden underneath her desk. They had collected during the winter months when she wore her boots to the office.
Sweep – As you sort through cabinets, file drawers and piles around your office, you’ll no doubt encounter some dust and grime. Have some cleaning cloths or wipes handy to wipe off the dirt so that items are sparkly and clean upon moving into your new space.
Standardize – Once items are sorted and you’re approaching the Move Date, start to box up the things that you don’t need on an everyday basis. Label the outside of your moving boxes with the following information:
- Your first and last name
- Cubicle # or location in new space
- General Contents Description
Sustain – During the weeks and months preceding a move, it’s important to be able to operate “business as usual” as much as possible. After all, your customers aren’t placed on hold just because you’ve got an office to relocate. Keep your current products and supplies on your desk top within hands reach. Keeping them close by will be a visible reminder of what projects need your attention today and give you assurance that they haven’t accidently been packed up.
One final moving tip: The day before the big move is when you’ll pack up the final contents of your office which will probably be your current project files, office supplies and equipment items such as computers and phones. Clearly mark these boxes as “Open First” so you’ll know which boxes contain the “life lines” to your job.