We recently had our first big move! It’s an exciting, stressful thing, to move offices. We made a lot of memories in our old office, but our new office is big and beautiful and, most of all, a symbol of the progress we’re making as a company. Though we’re all settled in now, there were definitely some hurdles to jump over to get to our new office. Needless to say, I learned quite a bit about moving along the way. Though I don’t see us moving again for a very, very long time, if ever, I feel confident in knowing I’ve learned so much about moving through this process.

Here are three things every small business owner needs to do to make moving offices a breeze:

Communicate with your team.

If you’re moving offices, you need to keep your team involved every step of the way. Moving is a huge deal for you as a small business owner- you’re either growing or you’re moving strategically to better your business, but moving is a big deal to your employees as well. All of their routines are about to change (their commutes may be different, etc.) so you need to let them know well in advance that you’re planning on moving and where you’re planning on moving to. Once things are more set in stone, keep everyone in the loop with a schedule. Even a simple email sharing the moving date and what the plan for the day is goes a long way. Don’t forget to include your office’s new address! Moving is hectic- you can cut down on the confusion by effectively communicating with your team.

Have everyone chip in.

Moving companies don’t come cheap. Hiring a company to pack for you also doesn’t come cheap. If you can swing it, have your employees pack all of their own things. Give everyone a box for their desk contents, and have everyone carefully pack and transport their computers, monitors, etc. in their cars. This way, everyone’s responsible for their own work supplies, and there’s less confusion at the end of the day. There’s no searching for personal items once everything’s been unloaded. I’ve found that a lot less gets “lost in the move” when everyone’s responsible for their own stuff. Plus, you save on money by splitting up the manual labor. If you can, have friends and family help with the big items like file cabinets and desks- if not, hiring just a moving company is a lot cheaper than hiring a moving and packing company.

Take a half day.

So you’ve sent out the day’s schedule, everyone’s chipped in and packed their own stuff, and you and your team are starting to get settled in the new office. Unpacking your desk contents shouldn’t take too long, and it’ll take a while for the computers and phone lines to be set up, so don’t make everyone wait around. Once you’ve moved, no one can really do any work without a computer or phone. When the move’s complete and everyone’s desk is unpacked (if the desks are set up yet), let everyone go. Just as moving is stressful for you- it’s a full day to your employees, too! I recommend moving on a Friday so that your employees can get a jump start on their weekend (you’ll have to deal more moving stuff all weekend) and come in fresh to the new office on Monday.