Office Moving Checklist

Moving is going to be stressful. No two ways about it. Moving your office racks up a whopping 39 points in the Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale, making it one of life’s most stressful events.

You might be expanding to a cool new office or getting lean by transitioning into a more efficient workspace, but the stress of the upheaval is just as intense.

Beyond that, the stress of a major business readjustment like an office move is often associated with life events like:

  • A major change in financial state
  • Gaining/losing a team member at work
  • Taking on a mortgage/lease
  • A major change in responsibilities at work
  • A major change to working hours/conditions
  • Taking on a loan

The combined stress of the above events will take you beyond the 150 point threshold, which indicates a higher probability of a health breakdown within the next two years. Whether positive or negative, these changes still put stress onto your systems. Even when everyone on your team is happy about the move, large scale change adds an enormous cognitive load on top of whatever business responsibilities they have.

Fortunately, you have something on your side. The world’s oldest and still the greatest stress reduction device is a checklist.

Psychology Today cited research that the act of making a list is effective in reducing stress and fostering innovative problem-solving because “streamlining to the essentials creates air and light in the mind, which also feeds creativity.”

Follow the checklist to reduce office transition downtime, prevent unwelcome surprises and get back to the routine of business sooner.

The end of the beginning


3 month before FMD

  • Assemble moving team and update their contact info
  • Alert utilities and service providers about move and nail down start/stop dates
  • Archive printed documents, especially tax-related
  • Throw away as much as possible
  • Shred sensitive documents
  • Arrange for gifts to charityor local schools
  • Secure movers

1 month before FMD

  • Contact key partners about the move
  • Pack up non-business critical items
  • Move some items — to new office if it is open or temporary storage
  • Explore new neighborhood for business support essentials (shipping center, restaurants)

1 day before moving day

  • Final check with your moving team for last minute adjustments

Moving day

  • Stay in contact with movers
  • Have at least one member from the moving team on site at each location
  • Hand out packet of maps and phone numbers orienting team to the new space
  • Arrange for old office cleaning
  • Collect all keys for the old office

1 day after moving day

  • Take inventory for any lost/damaged items
  • Reconnect and test all computers and equipment
  • Test phone and internet service


  • Do a final sweep of the old office
  • Make sure all keys are returned

This list is really just the beginning. Print it out, write on it, expand it and make it your own. Every move comes with its own quirks but the more you plan, the less room there will be for surprises and unnecessary costs. A new office is a great time to break bad habits and sweep out inefficiencies.