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UW Facilities

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Moving Services: Plan Your Move

Use this guide to help make sure everything goes smoothly on moving day. Be sure to note items that can’t be moved or must be moved by your vendor.

Do you need to surplus? If your move involves sending items to surplus, start with a surplus request. We’ll combine the surplus request with the move request.

Moving a laboratory? Labs are special places. All the standard tips apply, but there are some instructions specific to lab moves.

Tips for All Moves

Schedule early!

The most important first step in planning for your lab move is to schedule your move as far in advance as possible. For large moves, especially those involving construction projects, contact UW Moving at least three months ahead of time. For small jobs contact us at least two weeks ahead of time. The best time to schedule is as soon as you know you’re moving.

Start packing

Once you start packing, you may find you need to move more items than you thought. We estimate time requirements and assign staff based on the information you provide us when you request a move. To add items or make changes to your requested move, email us at moving@uw.edu at least three business days ahead of your scheduled move. Note: If you don’t let us know ahead of time, and the movers find more items than expected on moving day, we might not be able to complete your move.

Prepare a floor plan for your new location

Prepare a floor plan for UW Moving to use indicating how you would like your space arranged at the new location.

Make arrangements for moving copiers and large printers

Arrange with vendors to prepare - and in some case move - copiers and large printers.

Purchase insurance for special items

UW Moving is not responsible for damage that occurs during a move and they are not required to replace, repair or insure items moved. For special or expensive items such as pianos, artwork and fragile equipment, we strongly recommend purchasing insurance through UW Risk Services.

Get your phones moved

UW-IT can help move your phones and numbers.

Unplug electronic equipment

Disconnect electronics and label all cables.

Clear off table tops and empty desk drawers

Remove fragile and loose items.

Empty file cabinets if necessary

Unless your move involves stairs, two-, three-, and four-drawer vertical file cabinets can be moved full. The top drawer of five-drawer vertical file cabinets must be emptied. All lateral file cabinets must be emptied. However, all file cabinets and desks that must be moved via stairs must be emptied.


Label all boxes

Clearly label boxes or items to be moved with the destination building and room number. Need moving labels? Let us know and we’ll provide them.

Check whether furniture or equipment needs to be disconnected or disassembled

Do items being moved need to be disassembled and/or disconnected? If yes, UW Moving will coordinate this work with the FS Care Team. If you’re unsure what needs to be disconnected or disassembled, let us know and a staff member will meet with you to preview your move needs.

Prepare for extra trash and recyclables

If your move will generate extra trash or recyclables, schedule collection services with UW Recycling.

Dispose of confidential files

UW Records Management can help you dispose of confidential files.

Arrange for storage if needed

If you need to put items in storage as part of your move, let us know and we’ll help you with the arrangements.

Clean up

Departments are responsible for making sure the vacated space is left clean. You can request Custodial Services to clean up after your move.

Tips for Laboratory Moves

Attach completed decontamination forms to equipment if required

Lab equipment contaminated with biological material, chemicals or radioisotopes must be decontaminated prior to being moved. Complete and affix the Notice of Laboratory Equipment Decontamination form to the equipment after completing the necessary procedures. Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) has more information on decontamination procedures and advice on moving, sending to UW Surplus or disposing of chemicals.

Remove lab glass

Follow UW Recycling’s instructions for disposing of lab glass. Clean, reusable lab glass may be accepted by UW Surplus.

Remove gas cylinders

Contact your vendor to remove all gas cylinders.