There are several important steps that may be part of your move to a new office space, and some of these involve ensuring the quality of your previous location before you depart it entirely. A major part of this process in many cases is known as decommissioning the office space, a key theme that will often play a central role in the return of your security deposit and other financial factors.
At Mesa Moving and Storage, our commercial moving solutions include a comprehensive range of services, including assistance with decommissioning your previous office space so you’re completely free and clear to move to your new location (or to close up shop, if that’s what your need is). What are some of the general themes involved in decommissioning or consolidating an office space, and how will our pros help? Here’s a primer.
Property Manager and Decommissioning Requirements
The first important step in this process will be meeting with the property manager of the office location you’re departing. During this meeting, you will confirm all the decommissioning requirements that are present for the space in your lease, which you signed when you moved in. There are often specific items listed in the lease that you signed, and these may include certain devices or machines that you need to get out of your office space. These items can be identified prior to your meeting with the property manager, so we’ll make sure they’re removed before your move occurs.
Here are some specific areas to go over with the property manager before you begin decommissioning the space:
- If you took photos of the office space at move-in time, bring them to this meeting. This can help you locate items that need to be removed or repaired before your move occurs.
- All photocopiers, fax machines, and other devices should be properly decommissioned (i.e., turned off) and moved out of the space before it’s vacated.
- All phone lines and DSL connections should be turned off before you move out. If an answering service was provided for the previous tenants, it should be discontinued as well.
- The property manager will show or explain to you any other specific needs for restoring the office space to the condition it was in before you moved in. This will typically include any property damage that occurred during your stay, both on an individual and communal basis.
- If there are no specific decommissioning requirements listed in your lease, the property manager may still have their own wishes for returning the space back to its original state. You’ll want to honor these wishes as best you can.
Create a Decommissioning Timeline
Once you have all the basic requirements of the process under your belt, it’s time to lay out your timeline so decommissioning can be completed within the required time period. This is the time when you’ll call our team of movers to assist you.
It’s important to coordinate schedules among contractors or workers if you’re hiring them to assist you with this process, especially if you’re working with multiple different companies or groups. Also, be sure to inform the property manager of the decommissioning timeline, and when you’ll be vacating the office space (or if you’re still going to occupy it but have a very limited presence).
Before You Get Started
There are several items that should be removed from your office space before decommissioning begins. These include any signage or other printed materials, all computer hardware, and any office equipment that will be removed or replaced before your move occurs. It’s also a good idea to remove all company files from the space, as well as any other items you wish to take with you when the business closes permanently or moves elsewhere.
Usually performed with the property manager, a final walk-through of the space will show you all the work that was done. This can include corrections for any property damage, as well as restoration of small items (like pens and pencils) that were removed for decommissioning purposes.
Furniture and Equipment Liquidation
For many businesses, whether they’re moving, downsizing, or even closing down entirely, liquidation of furniture and equipment is common. In the case of decommissioning, this process will sometimes be overseen by a third-party company with experience in getting rid of used office furniture and equipment.
Before you work with any such third parties, consider a few basic themes:
- Priorities: Your goals in terms of economics, the environment, and other ar4eas will play a major role in liquidation. Are you most interested in getting the best deal possible, or will eco-friendly and sustainability themes come into play? You’ll also want to consider the space you currently have for storage and disposal, potential dangers of used equipment (such as lead exposure), and other factors.
- Usable assets: The liquidation process will involve many usable assets, from furniture (desks, chairs, and more) to computers, phones, copiers, and other devices. Consider the benefit of re-using any assets as part of your decommissioning process; if you can’t keep something on hand for a few months or longer, consider selling it rather than getting rid of it immediately.
- Basic inventory: Before the liquidation process begins, you should perform a comprehensive inventory of all used furniture and equipment. For the purposes of decommissioning, this inventory should be quite detailed, including signs of damage or other wear that would add to your costs for re-storing, transporting, or disposing of items. Consider taking thorough photos so you have a reference if there are questions about your decommissioned assets down the road.