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Planning your move

Moving in to a new office space requires a high degree of forward planning and activity before the move day itself. Without this, you can find yourself burdened with unnecessary costs and inconvenience. This page is designed to help you plan sensibly and miminise stress and problems. 

The table below outlines:

  • what should be included in the timetable of your move
  • how long before your move each action should be completed

If you would prefer professional help to ensure that your move runs as smoothly as possible, you can engage a relocation specialist who will organise the whole process for you. Find out about our Register of Property Professionals, many of whom work for charities at a reduced rate.




Once Heads of Terms are agreed

Design new office layout

This will help you assess if you have any refurbishment/fit out needs. Find out more about office design.


Decide refurbishment needs

This needs to be planned as far in advance as possible to ensure that costs and disruption are kept to a minimum. More information about refurbishment here.


Tender and appoint contractor



Decide on rough moving budget

You need to think about dilapidation costs for old office; refurbishment costs; new office equipment; IT equipment/installation costs; postal redirection costs and moving costs such as the removal company and printing new stationery. If done in advance, you may be able to include some of these costs in funding bids. 


List all services you need to cancel/transfer

Check the notice period for your service contracts, and plan when to cancel them to ensure you do not lose money/service.


Evaluate new IT needs

Further information on IT here.


Explore new service contracts

If necessary, research/tender out for new service contracts. More advice can be found in the services section of the website.


Decide on new security system

This could range from more window locks to a whole alarm system. More about security here.

Two months before move

Order new equipment (furniture, phones etc.)

If you are getting new furniture, and can store it, order well in advance to ensure that it arrives in time. If you cannot store it, see if the company can hold it for you until a specified date.


Finalise dilapidations with current landlord

Further details on dilapidations can be found here.

During month before move

Find removal company

Get quotes from several removal companies. Find out exactly what they include – a good company may provide crates, and even pack and unpack some of your equipment for you at each end. It is best to use a removal company who has been referred to you by someone else.


Cancel/transfer service contracts as of move date



Stop rates

Tell the Council of your move date to get a final rates bill.


Set up/transfer service contracts

Choose the most suitable contracts you have found and sign contracts.


Organise mail re-direction

Find out more about mail redirection.


Install new security system

More about security systems here.


Install new IT system


Send out change of address details

You should inform suppliers, clients, trustees, supporters and other important contacts. Telling people in advance will help ensure a smoother change of office and reduce miscommunications.


Assess insurance needs of move day

Find out if your insurance policy will cover your move. If not, you may want to look into taking out further insurance. You also need to check that your belongings are insured in their new location from the day you move.


Print new stationery and update your website

Having this ready from the date you move will mean there is no confusion in your communications.

BE AWARE! If you are not 100% certain of your phone numbers it may be best to wait – BT cannot fully guarantee numbers until they are active.

During the two weeks before move

Set up arrangements with BT on old phone lines

If appropriate, you can set up an answerphone message giving out your new number, or ask for calls to be forwarded to your new number.
Ensure BT only do this from the day you move – not before!!


Ensure new IT systems have been installed correctly

Check the BT lines and any data lines are active and working correctly. You will then be sure that when you move your existing equipment over, you can be up and running as soon as possible.


Order keys for new office

Your agent will probably give you one key for your new office. You will need to get further keys cut for other members of staff. If possible, do this in advance of the move.


Liaise with removal company over moving needs

Find out if you need to organise parking permits for the removal vans.
If you have any items which may require special treatment (IT equipment, etc.), make sure the company is aware.
Ensure the company is clear on the location of the new and old offices, and the time you expect them to arrive.


Ensure staff are kept informed of move details

If they are involved in the move, they will need to be clear on what their role is.
If the move is being managed by an external company, staff should be clear on what will happen so that they can be prepared and the 'downtime' of the organisation can be vastly reduced.

At least one day before move

Pack up non-essential office items

A good removal company will provide packing crates for this. Make sure you label all crates and furniture clearly so they can be placed in the right location in your new office.


Distribute new office keys and induct staff in new procedures (e.g. alarm)

It is far better to do this before you move - you do not want to add more tasks to the move day itself! It will mean staff are able to come into work immediately after the office is set up.

One day before move

Pack up final office items

It is much better to ensure that ALL items are packed up the day before the removal company arrives. This will make your move day much easier.


Collect existing office keys, etc. from staff

You will probably be asked to return all copies of keys you have to the agent/landlord, so it is good to have this ready in advance of your move.

Day of move

Read meters at old office

You need to provide your utility companies with final readings – otherwise you may end up paying for the incoming tenant’s energy!



You will need to ensure that at least one member of staff is on site at each end to direct the removal firm. Have a clear plan of where everything is going so that it does not have to be moved around the new location.

BE AWARE! Ensure the movers are aware where your IT equipment is stored. You need to be VERY careful moving this as it can easily get damaged in transit.


Read meters at new office

This will ensure you are not billed for the energy usage of the previous tenant, and you can begin to monitor your energy consumption.

After move

Clean old office

You need to leave your office in the same state as when you arrived, so you will need to clean it thoroughly once all the furniture has been removed.


Undertake dilapidations work at old office

It is unlikely you will be able to do this before moving, as it would be very disruptive.

Train staff in new systems

Staff need to be fully inducted in any new systems (alarm, fire procedures, health and safety, phone/data systems, waste/recycling) to ensure that the transfer is as smooth as possible.