Tips for Eliminating Unneeded Items When Moving an Office

When moving an office, it is important to know what what equipment to keep, what to get rid of, what to recycle, and what to donate.

Planning an office move is a major undertaking and decluttering is a crucial step. During the planning process, it is important to sort out what is part of the move, and what, for various reasons, shouldn’t go to the new location. Organizing and sorting everything efficiently will save both time and money.

This process can be broken down into three main categories: what to get rid of, what to recycle, and what to donate. Here are some tips to guide you through each of these categories.

What to Get Rid of:

  1. Outdated Technology: This is an excellent time for your IT department to evaluate all the equipment in the office. Old computers and other tech equipment no longer being used should be disposed of properly. If items are at the end of their useful life, this is the time to replace them.
  2. Unused Furniture: If there are pieces of furniture that haven’t been used in a while, either because they are outdated or broken, it’s time to let them go. Again, doing an evaluation is important. While it is obvious to get rid of furniture not in use, this is the time to replace things that have degraded with time.
  3. Expired, Outdated, or Irrelevant Documents: Shred and dispose of outdated documents that are no longer relevant or those that are no longer legally required to be kept. Papers are heavy and movers charge by the pound.
  4. Excess office supplies: Items like unused stationery can be donated to schools or non-profits.

What to Recycle:

Recycling involves a few key steps to ensure environmentally responsible disposal. First, determine what can be recycled. Then, clean the items, especially electronic devices, and erase all data for security purposes. Next, research local recycling options. This can include city or county drop-off locations, retailer e-waste recycling programs, or specialized recycling firms. Some manufacturers offer “take back” programs for their products, where they reuse components, reducing waste. Additionally, for furniture and non-electronic equipment, consider contacting recycling initiatives or businesses that specialize in office and institutional furniture reuse. Items that can be recycled include:

  1. Paper Waste: Outdated documents, magazines, and non-confidential paperwork.
  2. Electronic Waste: Old electronics should be recycled at appropriate e-waste centers to prevent harmful environmental impacts.
  3. Ink Cartridges and Batteries: These items can often be recycled separately. Check with local recycling centers for specific instructions.

What to Donate

Donating used office equipment is a practical and charitable way to dispose of surplus items. The first step is to identify local charitable organizations that accept such donations, like Goodwill Industries, the Salvation Army, or specialized educational or non-profit entities.

As with recycling, before donating, ensure that all sensitive information is erased from electronic devices to protect privacy and security. It is a good idea to check the working condition of the items. Most charities will only take gently used furniture, and equipment must be functional. Some organizations provide guidelines or lists of accepted items, so it’s essential to review these requirements.

Additionally, arranging transportation of the items to the charity or coordinating with them for pick-up is an important logistical consideration. If you are using a professional mover, they should be able to help with this. Like recycling, donating office equipment not only supports charitable causes but also contributes to environmental sustainability by reducing waste.

  1. Furniture: Office chairs, desks, and tables in good condition can be donated to charities or local schools.
  2. Working Electronics: Older but functional computers and printers can be donated to non-profits or educational institutions.
  3. Office Supplies: Unused stationery, binders, and other supplies can be greatly appreciated by various charitable organizations.

General Tips

  1. Start Early: Begin the sorting process well in advance of your move date to avoid the last-minute rush and decision-making under pressure.
  2. Involve Your Team: Encourage employees to declutter their workspaces. Make them part of the decision-making process for common areas.
  3. Create a Moving Folder: Keep all your moving-related documents and checklists in one place for easy access and organization.
  4. Digitize Documents: For paper files that must be maintained, converting them to digital format is a great way to reduce physical clutter and update your record-keeping.
  5. Plan the Layout of the New Office: Before the move, create a detailed plan so there is no question as to where everything will go in the new space. This helps to determine what furniture and equipment are necessary and what can be done away with.
  6. Hire Professionals: For a smoother move, consider hiring professional movers who specialize in office relocations.

Remember, the key to a successful office move is careful planning and organization. By thoughtfully considering what to move, get rid of, recycle, and donate, you can ensure a smooth transition to your new office space while helping others, and increasing your sustainability.

For further information on making your office move smooth and efficient, contact Sterling Corporation. Our consultations are always free. As a full-service commercial mover with over 60 years in the business, Sterling has worked with companies of all sizes and has a proven track record of handling every type of office move.