Getting a New Address?

eLABorations: Labs-tested ways to take the blood and tears&#151and maybe some of the sweat&#151out of moving to a new office.

Its moving day for part of eWEEK Labs. The packing boxes are literally being carried out while I type these words in my barren cubicle on my laptop. If your office is getting ready to move, either to take advantage of falling real estate prices or because of changes in the organization, here are my recommendations based on a week filled with a lot of sweat, but not a lot of blood or tears.

The first reason our move has gone smoothly is that we hired temporary staff to help pack our gear. Because we hired a skilled computer technician to help us box, inventory and organize our tremendously varied equipment, eWEEKs analysts were able to focus on doing their jobs up to the last minute. This also meant that we were able to do things like shut down tests, and decide what to keep, what to store and what to send to the salvage company, without having to spend a lot of time boxing and organizing devices for moving day.

Which brings me to my second point: Find a salvage company early in the moving process. For years, I have dreaded facing the growing stock of outdated capital equipment that has been growing in our warehouse. This is equipment that long ago depreciated off our accounting system but still works and could be of some use to someone. I had no idea it would be so easy to have a salvage company come in and take the good, the bad and the ugly off our hands—and not even charge us!

Most of the equipment will be refurbished and sold overseas, where it will gain a new life doing what it was originally designed to do, be a computer. The motley crew of circuit boards, stray cables and even our broken monitors will be scrapped using methods that allow the components and materials to be recovered and reused.

My third piece of advice is to issue a daily "moving mail" that tells everyone what should get done today, and what will be done tomorrow. Probably because we publish eWEEK, our e-mail had a letters to the editor section—which got more than a few submissions—a calendar and even a "rumor central" (although Spencer Katt was too busy looking through other peoples litter to contribute).

For example, we have to turn in our current badges and get new photo IDs for the new location, as well as change the outgoing message on our current phones. Plus, there were the change of address notes in our e-mail signatures.

Fourth, talk to your moving company, but in most cases, plan on moving desktop computers, monitors and even network infrastructure devices like workgroup switches and hubs unboxed. Good movers can transport this equipment on rolling carts more quickly and efficiently when the equipment is not in a box designed to withstand machine handling. This seemed counterintuitive to me, but it actually looks like it worked. Of course, we boxed the very delicate or very expensive equipment.

And speaking of boxes, my final suggestion is to get more boxes than even the most extravagant estimate provided by the moving company.

The West Coast part of eWEEK Labs will be up and running on Aug. 5. Our e-mail addresses remain the same.

Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant can be contacted at