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A Web Worker's Moving Checklist

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3692719265_5dccae5ea0I’m in the process of packing up my home — including my home office — for a move. While moving from one home to another can be stressful, adding in an office move can make things even more complex. You have to worry about making sure you can do all of your work, transitioning to a new work environment and getting everything you need to work in your new home. That’s not even considering everything else involved in actually moving.

Darrell has written previously about the steps he took to prepare for a move, and then followed up with what actually happened during the move. I thought I would create a checklist, distilling some of Darrel’s advice and adding some other tips, to use for my move and share it with you in this post. These steps can make moving your home and your work at the same time a little easier:

  1. Start with the utilities: If you don’t have the electricity and Internet connected, it’s pretty hard to be a web worker. It doesn’t help that it’s rare to transition your utilities smoothly. I already know that there’s at least one work day that I’ll be without Internet access and that’s assuming everything goes exactly as planned. Knowing that in advance, however, allowed me to make an alternative plan for that day’s work.
  2. Plan out the new workspace before you pack: Take a look around your current workspace. What absolutely must be within reach while you’re working? What would you really love to have? You may not be able to move your work area as is to your new home, but knowing what is a priority for placing in your new workspace makes it easier to be sure that you’ll still be able to work comfortably. Write down your plan, draw a map or take pictures — it’s hard to remember these details when you’re actually moving.
  3. Box your office first: After many moves, I’ve learned that the first room to be packed is always the room I pack the best. I remember to label every box, I wrap every delicate item perfectly and everything makes it in one piece to the new house. Rooms I pack later don’t fare so well. Since the home office has to be a priority for a web worker, put it at the top of the list.
  4. Double check cords: Electronics can be frustrating to move, if only because it seems impossible to make sure that every last cord winds up back with the computer or peripheral it came with. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that the cords and other pieces go where they need to, even if that means rubber banding or taping cords to their electronics.
  5. Box your files in plastic: A lesson that I’ve learned the hard way is to use plastic file boxes when moving my paper files. The list of things that can happen to files in cardboard boxes is too long for this post, but it’s worth the cost of picking up a couple of plastic file boxes. You can always use them for storage later on.
  6. Move your computer yourself: Even if you have the best movers in the world, it’s a good idea to be a little paranoid about your computer. Because your computer belongs to you, and you know how important it is, you’ll simply take better care of it than any mover ever can.

Share your moving tips below.

Image by Flickr user Katie Dureault.

3 Responses to “A Web Worker's Moving Checklist”

  1. We’re moving in about two weeks, and there are definitely some things I prefer to move myself–my computer (conveniently a laptop), and my spinning wheel. (Talk about two items from the far ends of “tech”! Though, really, a spinning wheel was very high-tech back in the 1500s.) Excellent point about the files in plastic instead of cardboard. And, the cables? Whenever possible, I leave one end attached to the unit–whether it’s the DVD player, the printer, the answering machine, whatever … It saves one step in the reassembly process, and that’s never bad!

  2. Great list! I wish I had read it about 2 weeks ago.

    I am in the middle of a move, and actually went about it the very opposite way. Kitchen & office are to be packed LAST. My logic: Those are the two rooms that I will be using up to the last minute – and unpacking/needing first.

    Along with your advice to move your computer yourself, I also made plans to move my current files myself. I’ve pulled out a few older briefcase for that purpose and tried to assign each one with a particular category. That way there will be no wild searches through boxes looking for the hard copy of a reference I need.