Moving a Home Office

What’s the most difficult room in the house to pack and move? Most of us would say it’s the kitchen. Surprisingly, your home office comes second. Just imagine carefully packing and lugging all those pricey and fragile electronics, massive desks and other heavy office furniture, books, framed art, plus the important and sensitive documents and files that cannot be damaged, lost or fall into the wrong hands.

With proper planning and handling, however, a smooth home office move is very doable. Here are our tips on how to pack and move all the elements of your home office, when to start packing, how to set up your new home office, and when to turn to the moving pros.

Moving a Home Office: Before You Pack

  • Create a timeline

    Like with any move, start with a plan. Have you locked in a move date? Can you afford to take a few days off work or do you need to work all the way through your move? Can you pack at least some things that you won’t need till after the move? Once you mapped out the dates and the major tasks, it will be easier to stay focused on work and still start to organize your move.

    For inspiration and to make your home office move easier on the household, you can use our Moving Checklist. It’s tailored to all moves in general, but some major tasks, like ordering your supplies and downsizing, apply to the home office moves as well. You should gather all of your moving supplies (and buy what you don’t have) six weeks before the move day. If you’re using professional movers, you should also schedule them six weeks ahead.

  • Gather your moving supplies

    Next, start gathering the moving supplies you already have and ordering those you don’t. You probably already have a few boxes in the house, some markers for labeling, and maybe some tape. To pack your home office, you’ll need:

    • Strong cardboard boxes (electronics and books can be heavy)
    • Specialty boxes like a TV box for computer monitor(s) if you don’t have the original packaging
    • Bubble wrap for all your fragile items
    • Packing paper
    • Packing tape
    • Moving blankets (here’s why you need them)
    • Paper shredder
    • Plastic bags for cords and small furniture and electronic parts
    • Markers

    To save money, consider hitting these places to find free packing supplies and free moving boxes in particular. You can also rent moving blankets and other supplies instead of buying them.

    Gather your moving supplies

  • Start researching moving companies

    If you are moving locally (within 50 miles), here are our tips on how to research and compare local moving companies. Whether moving locally or long distance, choosing a moving company should include getting referrals, reading the reviews, checking the BBB for complaints history and checking professional accreditation, all the while watching out for potential red flags. Make sure the mover is licensed and insured.

    For more details, check out our tips for hiring quality movers and what important questions to ask before hiring a moving company. Be sure to ask if the mover you’re considering can handle large office equipment and heavy furniture. If you have a lot of office equipment (think: servers, monitors, computers, etc.) you might have to go with a commercial mover.

    Office moving services differ from residential, and you’ll have a vastly different moving experience if you hire an office moving company experienced in commercial moving. All moving companies on our current list of the best moving companies offer commercial moving services. To search for moving companies that handle office moving, you can use our Office Movers search tool on

  • Get at least three moving quotes

    Once you find movers that can handle your move and services your area, get a free quote from several. We recommend getting at least three before you book your top choice. You can get free online moving quotes from office movers at

  • Declutter and downsize

    Just like with moving the rest of your home, some decluttering and downsizing are in order before you start packing your home office. Take an honest look around and see how you can lighten your load. Is there any obsolete or broken equipment? Any books, manuals or reference materials you can let go of? Any working electronics you just no longer use? Office furniture that you don’t want to move?

    There are several charities that pick up items for free, including books, furniture and electronics (just wipe off your data from all devices you’re donating). You can also gift your unwanted items or sell them. Next, shred any documents you no longer need that contain any personal or sensitive information; recycle any paper that doesn’t. As part of lightening the load, you can scan some documents and store them in digital format.

  • Back up your data

    You can’t risk losing your important files if, say, your computer gets damaged during the move or some boxes get lost. Back up all important data, make a copy of your hard drive, and store it separately (preferably in the cloud). Be sure you have installation files for your software in case it needs to be reinstalled. Make sure you have all of your passwords stored somewhere safe with easy access.

  • Notify your clients

    About a month before the move, let your clients and customers know when and where you’re moving. Let them know your new address, telephone number and fax number as needed. If you are taking time off for the move, let them know too. At the very least tell them you might not be readily accessible on moving day.

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Moving a Home Office: How to Pack

  • Start with the non-essentials

    Surely there are some items that you can live without in the weeks preceding the move? Start with home office non-essentials. Most likely, they will include things like framed art, office supplies and books.

  • How to pack books

    Books can be heavy, so use the right boxes (never use damaged boxes as they may fall apart in transit) and don’t overstuff the boxes. Here are our tips for packing boxes so you don’t damage their spines (and yours). Any rare or expensive books should be wrapped separately.

  • How to pack home office decor

    Fragile items should be packed using bubble wrap and packing paper for extra protection. Like with packing any other parts of your home, seal and clearly label your boxes. Here is our guide to packing picture frames and mirrors.

  • How to pack and transport sensitive documents

    A word of caution about your sensitive documents. Digital or not, you might want to transport your most important and confidential data yourself (in your own car or on your person). And don’t use plastic bins for printed documents either, as someone can potentially see through the plastic.

  • How to pack your home office electronics

    Here are our step-by-step recommendations:

    • Before you disconnect your equipment, take pictures of how everything is wired to refer to when you are setting up your new home office.
    • It’s best to use original packaging since it was specifically designed to safely transport that particular item.
    • If you no longer have original packaging consider using specialty boxes — a TV box for your monitor, for instance.
    • Unplug your electronics.
    • Mark your cables and wires for easier assembly. You can use stickers, or colored tape.
    • Bundle cords and wires and pack them with the devices they belong to.
    • Pack all manuals together with their devices.
    • Wrap any equipment with screens in bubble wrap to avoid damage.
    • To pack a printer: Remove the paper holder, feeder, toner, and ink cartridges from it and wrap in plenty of bubble wrap.
    • To pack a desktop computer: Use plenty of bubble wrap and moving blankets for the monitor, the tower, the mouse, the keyboard, and any accessories. Smaller items can go in a separate box along with any manuals. For a laptop, consider transporting it yourself in a laptop box. For more tips, use our comprehensive guide to moving both desktop and laptop computers.
    • Seal and label the boxes clearly. Mark them “fragile” and “this side up” as necessary.
    • Note that if you’re using professional movers computer equipment and other valuables that exceed $100 per pound will need to be listed on your “High Value Inventory” form to receive proper valuation coverage.
  • How to move your home office furniture

    By now you’ve hopefully decluttered and downsized and have a clear idea of what furniture won’t make the move. Any furniture that won’t fit into your new home office (maybe it’s smaller than your current one) should be also left behind. For the furniture that you are moving:

    • Disassemble bigger pieces such as desks and bookcases.
    • Wrap each piece in moving blankets.
    • Use tape to mark where the pieces go together.
    • Keep all hardware for each item together. We recommend a plastic bag taped to the corresponding piece of furniture.
    • You can move the file cabinet as is. Make sure the drawers are taped shut or locked if that’s an option.
    • If you’re using professional movers, they can disassemble furniture for you, but be sure to ask beforehand.

How to move your home office furniture

How to Set Up the Internet: After the Move

With so many people working from home these days, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to be without the internet even for a few hours. Just like with setting up utilities like electricity and water, the internet is a necessity for many. Here’s a quick rundown on how to set up the internet after the move:

  • To avoid a lapse in service, notify your current provider when you need to cancel the service and where to send the final bill (if it’s not digital). Some providers like advance notice, while others might ask you to remind them closer to the moving day.
  • Pick a new provider. Consider the quality of service, service options and features, the area of coverage, customer reviews, and, of course, pricing. Shop around! For guidance, check out these tips on selecting the best internet provider, as well as this handy breakdown of cheap internet service providers.
  • Notify your new provider when you’d like the service to start.
  • Order new equipment as needed. If you’re going to be using a modem or a wireless router, let your new provider know so they can send it to you in time.
  • Install your equipment. If your service provider doesn’t offer an option of sending a rep to install it for you, then you’ll have to DIY. Depending on your comfort level, it can be done, and you can always contact your provider to walk you through the process and troubleshoot.
  • Follow the provider’s instructions on how to set up WiFi in your home office.
  • Connect all of your devices, including smartphones, printer, and so on.

Additional Tips for Moving a Home Office

Ready for more tips? Here are some tips on how to move a home office:

  • Label all essential boxes with “unpack first” so you can easily identify them and get to them right away.
  • Be open to changing your mind about your new home office design. Even if you have the exact dimensions of your new space and a clear idea of what goes where it might change once you’ve actually spent some time in your new home office. Consider access to heating vents, outlets and windows, too.
  • If you have a new phone number, write it down for easy access.
  • If you need to store any electronics prior to your move, consider renting a climate-controlled unit. Electronics are temp-sensitive.
  • Taking photos of all of your valuable equipment if you’re using movers, in case something gets damaged in transit. You’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company and this kind of proof will come in handy.
  • If you’re hiring a moving company, be sure to ask about their valuation coverage options. All movers will offer a basic Released Value Protection option to their customers. However, this only covers 60 cents per pound per item, which means if your computer becomes damaged, you won’t receive proper compensation. To increase your coverage, ask the moving company about their more comprehensive plans. You may also want to consider purchasing additional moving insurance from a third-party insurance company. Here’s more information on moving insurance.
  • If you are moving your desktop computer in your car, secure the box by using a seatbelt or rope.
  • In addition to bubble wrap, packing paper and moving blankets, you can use sweatshirts, sweaters, bathroom blankets, towels, or other soft materials to pack your electronics.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving a Home Office

  • Where do I start?
    You might feel overwhelmed when it comes to moving your home and your home office. We suggest you start with creating a timeline for your home office move, including all major tasks and their deadlines (those can be more of less flexible). It will help you stay productive and organized.
  • Can my mover move heavy office furniture?
    Typically, yes. That’s part of the service. However, if you have a lot of large and valuable equipment like servers, multiple monitors, etc., consider hiring a mover experienced in office moving.
  • Can you set up the internet before you move in?
    Not exactly. You can (and should!) transfer or set up service in your new home ahead of time so that you’re ready to connect as soon as you start to settle in, but you’ll still need to go through the process of installing your modem and router and setting up your network.
  • Where is the best place to put a modem and router?
    The quality of your WiFi can take a hit if your modem and router aren’t optimally placed. Choose a central location in an open space so that the signal doesn’t have to travel through many walls to reach the area(s) you need it to work best. For best results, keep your modem and router raised off the ground on a small table, desk or shelf.

Moving Your Home Office Soon?

If moving your home office seems overly complicated, let the professionals handle it. has an extensive network of reputable and reliable movers who can pack and move your entire home. Plus, they’ll know exactly how to pack your computer and printer so it arrives in the best possible condition at your new home. With their help, your new home office will be up and running in no time.

Moving a Home Office
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