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Prepare the Office, Study or Den for Moving


Moving the office requires planning; in some households it is usually the place where things are stored and sometimes it can be the most disorganized place in the house, after all, most people don't see it - except for you. At one point in our home office, before I got organized, I actually turned the desk so it faced the far wall. I claimed it was so that I could easily stare out the window at the trees, but really I did it so I wouldn't have to look at the clutter located behind me.

Well, that's the great thing about moving - it's a chance to start fresh, get organized and take the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. With that in mind, let's look at the steps to preparing your home office, study or den for moving.


The first place to start decluttering and sorting is always the filing cabinet, or filing boxes or the files that are stacked up on the floor. Wherever there's paperwork, gather it together and go through it. I'm a writer so I tend to keep all drafts of my work even if I've long since abandoned that version.

So what I do is sort through all the files, including financial, personal, work or business, school, hobbies - whatever they are, they need to be assessed.

For financial records, our accountant claims we should keep paid bills and statements for at least three years, but I have to admit I keep mine for a year, maybe two - I get tired of all that paper and all that, what I consider, wasted space. So, decide for yourself what you - or your accountant - is comfortable with. It doesn't matter as long as you try to stay consistent. And follow the calendar year when deciding what to get rid of. This is important when it comes time to do your taxes.

Once you've sorted all the paperwork between what stays and what goes, I recommend purchasing an inexpensive shredder and shredding all the documents you don't want to keep. With the fear of identity theft being very real, it's better not to take chances. In fact, our local police suggest that it's very easy to tell when a household is moving - there's the coming and going of things, the dumpster piled high full of trash, not to mention the "sold" sticker on the real estate sign. Some people will target homes on the move, knowing that personal items, such as credit card statements, hydro bills and other finanical records sometimes become part of the trash.

The other great thing about a shredder is that you can put all that old paperwork to work for you. Shredded paper makes great packing material, so save it. Read more...

After you've sorted the paperwork and refiled the documents you want to keep, pack the files into a small box and label it appropriately. Make sure you keep your important files separate as you should move these with you. Important documents should include bank records such as your mortgage, legal papers such as wills and leases and personal documents like your marriage certificate, birth certificates, health records, educational documents and passports. Read all about collecting and sorting your important records to make sure you have everything you need before you move.

The Desk

Empty every drawer and sort through the paperclips, notepads, and other supplies. Keep some and donate the rest to your favorite school or other charity. The key is to just take with you what you need.

If you know where you're moving to and have an idea of what your new office home will look like, this is the time to decide if your current desk will work in the new space. Also, is it working for you right now? Many times we keep pieces because they've been with us for a while or we think that "they'll do".

The most important thing about a desk is that it offers enough room to work, is functional yet can hold all the things you need to be productive. If you're desk isn't working for you, sell it in a garage sale or on eBay or donate it to a charity. Desks can be heavy and hard to move. Make sure it's something that you want to move.

The Bookshelf

Books, books, books. If you're moving long distance and are being charged by weight, make sure you carefully go through your books and determine what you really want to keep and pay to move. Books are heavy. Even paperbacks can add up to a lot of money. And if you're like me, you tend to accumulate a lot over a short time, so find a good home for them and know that someone else will be getting just as much joy from reading them as you did. Find out about sorting through your library collection in the article, How to Pack Books.


Again, make sure your equipment is working for you. If it isn't, sell it. The equipment that you're planning to move will need proper packaging. This is the time to start rounding it up. For help, read about moving your computer for tips and tricks on getting your equipment ready to move.

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