5 Tricks for Moving Heavy Office Furniture that Will Save You Time
Moving into a new commercial space brings greater challenges than generally experienced with residential moves. For one thing, the furniture is a lot heavier and there is usually more of it. Between desks, filing cabinets, bookshelves, or cubicles, staying organized, efficient, on schedule, and SAFE office moving is a huge task. Knowing how to pack and move each piece will make the transition to the new space less stressful.
Empty the Drawers
Although this suggestion might seem self-explanatory, here are a few tricks to keep organized when everything is emptied. Following these suggestions will lighten the furniture and protect its contents from breaking.
- Use filing boxes for transporting files emptied from cabinets.
- Label corresponding file cabinets and packed box contents. You can use sheet paper, tape, and a sharpie. For example, if you have 3 file cabinets (2 black and 1 tan) label them A, B, and C, then specifically label the boxes with the files. If taken from black cabinet A, label the box: Black A- Drawer 1; Box 1 of 2, then move on to Black A – Drawer 2: Box 2 of 2. This will make it quick and easy to get the files back in when you’re done moving them.
- Label employee drawer contents and corresponding desk unit. Similar to the file system, have employees pack their desk contents and label. Remind them to keep an “essentials” box: materials and supplies needed on an ASAP basis.
Cling Wrap Drawers & Trays
Once the contents of your desks or cabinets have been emptied, wrap the drawers, keyboard trays, or shelving pieces with cling wrap. By wrapping them tightly, you protect the finish from damage and keep things motionless during transport. You can buy large rolls for moving, but a professional moving company will generally do this step for you or provide the materials to do it yourself.
Unbolt & Disassemble the Furniture
An important tip in moving the oversized furniture pieces of an office is reducing the size of the furniture itself. Although some professional movers will take care of this process for you (bringing their own tools and saving you a lot of time), doing it yourself will reduce your move time considerably.
- Taking as much as you can apart makes it less likely to break and easier to move.
- Store the bolts and other hardware in Ziploc bags tapped directly to the desk and wrapped in plastic wrap to hold them in.
- You can also have a single box for hardware. Use a piece of paper in each bag of hardware to indicate where it came from before packing it in the box. Clearly label the box! Don’t let it get buried under everything. Consider it an essentials box.
Wrap the Furniture in Moving Blankets
By taking a few extra moments to wrap your furniture, you will avoid dings, scratches, scrapes, and dents to both the furniture and the surrounding walls and doorways you encounter during the move. You can even wrap the cling wrap on top of the blankets to help hold the blankets on the furniture. Be sure to wrap with a blanket before adding a layer of plastic wrap; the plastic will trap moisture and could possibly damage the furniture.
A moving company will typically provide moving blankets and will wrap everything and unwrap it for you. They will be familiar with tips and tricks for protecting corners, tucking in loose fabric, taping up cords, and ensuring glass pieces are carefully protected with tape and other protective materials. Remember, it’s faster to spend time wrapping than it is to patch holes and dings in furniture!
Use Furniture Trolley’s and Harnesses
If you are using a moving company, you do not have to worry much about the heavy lifting. The professionals will provide furniture trolleys and harnesses, and they have been trained in how to utilize them safely. However, if you are doing lifting yourself, keep the following in mind.
- Moving and lifting straps (harnesses) take the weight off your back by relying on leverage and large muscle groups. Your hands are also free to maneuver items. Popular shoulder dollys. The forearm forklift lifting straps also provides this.
- Look for lifting straps that can be adjusted for different-length objects as well as for different-size movers. Some work better for flat surfaces, and others, such as the hump strap, are great for larger objects.
- Furniture dollys can either come with four wheels (great for large pieces and easily slid under the side) and two wheels (the upright which is beneficial for furniture and boxes). The size of the load helps gauge which dolly to use, and the weight limits and placement change with between the floor and upright dolly.
By using trolleys or harnesses, you can help your team avoid fatigue and injuries, keeping your move on schedule and safe.
Make a Floor Plan
Prior to moving day, take time to go to the new office and draw up a quick floor plan. Label the rooms, and who will be in each one and the furniture that goes with them. Provide your movers with a copy, or tape one up in a prominent location at the new office to keep things efficient. Items will be unloaded and taken straight to where they go, making unpacking easier and faster.
If we have said it once, we have said it a thousand times: LABEL EVERYTHING! It is a simple step to do while you’re packing that will save so much time and energy during the moving day and while you are unpacking. Here are some things you might label:
- Office supply boxes
- Computer equipment
- Employee-specific furniture pieces
- Essentials boxes
- Room-specific contents
- Technology cables and components
Working with Professionals
If you seem overwhelmed by all of this information, here is the best tip yet. Use a professional mover to help you. There are several reasons why you choose them:
- Time management
- Protection – insurance and safety
If you’re ready to talk to the pros, get your quote from the Good Guys!