This year will always be remembered as the year we finally sold our home of 17 years for a change of scenery. But it certainly wasn’t the easiest of times. Not only were we finally taking the plunge, but our initial experience almost turned us off the whole idea.
With little to no customer service skills or care, our first agent was sacked after week 3. A tad rattled; we took a short breather before we found a brilliant agent at another real estate company. Their customer care was spot on, and we sold our home in just 2 weeks.
I was feeling the added stress of moving my home office. The thought of the upheaval while still trying to work and look after my clients was quite overwhelming.
But I got there! We are now living in the Yarra Valley (the place we always wanted to move to) and I’m once again feeling organised and settled. I’m in a lovely new home office, and while appreciating my new surroundings, I thought I’d share my top tips for a home office move.
1. Prepare for the home office move early
As a natural organiser and administrator, I had plans in place very early on. This made the home office move so much easier. The moment I found out the exact day the move was going to take place, I shut my office for a week and had plans in place to help clients when they needed it. This reduced my stress of not being able to help clients while everything was unplugged, and I was offline.
2. Sort and throw out
Moving your home office is the perfect time to sort and get rid of anything that you’ve been hoarding over the years. I’d gotten to a point where I was so over stuff! My entire house ended up decluttered. In my home office, paper records in the filing cabinet were shredded, old cords, cables and gadgets were discarded, and all those useless things I’d accumulated over the years were thrown out.
3. Use the floor plan to place office furniture
When we’d found our new home, I used the floor plan provided to make sure all the office furniture and equipment was going to fit into the space I planned on using as my home office. I decided to use the large ‘media room’ which was perfect – fitting in two desks, a filing cabinet, bookcase and my shredder. This made the moving day more streamlined as I knew exactly where things were going, and it made the re-setup of my home office quicker.
4. Connect utilities and phone
Luckily for us, we were given access to our new home at least two weeks before moving day. This allowed me to make sure all the utilities were connected, and we didn’t have that added stress on moving day (no one wants to arrive at a home and find no electricity!). My office phone was not affected as it’s a 1300 number which diverts to my mobile. Easy!
5. Connect the internet and have a backup plan
When you’re running a virtual home office, the most important thing is internet access. For 17 years, we’d had terrific ADSL internet with Internode. It was always reliable, and the only time I lost the internet was when we had power outages.
My new home office internet is now run on the NBN, something I’d been dreading (and avoiding) for years due to hearing bad stories from business colleagues. It did take 2 weeks to set up, however I tethered to my phone data so I could continue working (a great back up plan!). And now I don’t know why I was avoiding the NBN – it’s really speedy!
6. Advise of changes to contact details
Once you’ve moved (or when you know where you’re going), it’s important to let your clients and suppliers know your change of details. For my business, this included my website contact page, email signature and all documents that had contact details. I’d had a PO Box since 2010 but given that snail mail is virtually non-existent these days, and since we were moving out of the area, I decided to cancel it. If you’re unsure of what mail may still go to your old business address, you can redirect it to your new home office for a couple of months if need be.
7. Embrace the change
As Socrates would say…
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”.
People say a change is as good as a holiday, and those who know me well, know I love my tropical holidays. All I can say is that the change has been amazing, although some parts of the home office moving journey were like hitting patches of turbulence!
And there you have it – my top 7 tips for planning and surviving a home office move.
If you’ve ever had a home office move, I’d love for you to share your tips too.