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The JK Moving Blog

5 steps to a successful lab move

lab moving
Vacutainer or test tube in lab on table

We recommend choosing a lab mover with specialized expertise and experience in disassembling, transporting, and reassembling labs, and moving work in progress — to minimize downtime and disruptions.

Ask about their process for:

  • Pre-move preparation (labeling, detailed inventory, room planning for bench top setups)
  • Proper protection for relocating bench-top equipment
  • Custom packing of specialized lab equipment and supplies
  • Secure packing of glassware
  • Packing solutions for refrigerated and frozen work samples
  • Air-ride equipped and climate-controlled trucks
  • Post-move laboratory solutions, including unpacking, reassembly, and re-installation
  • Chemical and clean room relocations (HazMat transportation)
  • Lab decontamination

Preparing for your lab move

A successful move doesn’t start on moving day. It starts in the days and weeks before, as you prepare for the big day. Here are some of the most critical steps to consider:

Step 1:  Packing

Start with clear communication about who is packing what. For most moves, you and your team will be packing and labeling the contents of drawers, cabinets, and shelves (ask your mover for heavy-duty crates) while your mover will be wrapping and packing large specialty equipment.

Step 2:  Labeling

Put a plan together for where every piece of equipment is going. For instance, ask your mover to provide color-coded signage for building numbers, floors, room numbers, and bench top locations.

As an example, make sure that each room has the correct electrical outlets for each piece of equipment. Then, clearly label each piece of equipment for its new location and be specific. The more clear and accurate the labeling you provide, the better the move will go — and the faster you and your team will be back in business.

Step 3:  Cleaning and sterilizing

All lab equipment should be prepped for the move, which includes thorough cleaning and sterilization. Your lab mover will be doing the wrapping and packing of the equipment, but they’ll rely on your team to prep each piece.

Step 4:  Identifying, separating, and labeling hazardous materials

Your relocation partner will work with a licensed subcontractor for the safe and legal transportation of hazardous materials in accordance with state, local, and federal laws. Clear communication is the key to success — and above all, safety.

Step 5:  Moving large lab equipment

Ask your mover what equipment they will use to move large and heavy lab equipment like bio-safety cabinets, incubators, HPLCs, refrigerators and freezers, air tables, and centrifuges.

Be proactive in asking, “How do you plan to move this?” Specialized table lifts and lab carts are far more secure than human hands, and your mover should have experience utilizing these tools to minimize damage to your equipment.

Discuss every aspect of your move with your prospective lab mover. If you have questions, ask them, and make sure you like the answers.  As a result, your lab mover should give you a sense of confidence that you are in expert hands.

If you enjoyed the 5 steps to a successful lab move, stay tuned for next week. I will discuss what to do when you arrive at your new location.