Even in this digital age, your office has file cabinets and desks to move to your new location. A common difficulty is whether to empty them of their contents. Although the answer depends on the overall weight and construction of the furnishings, here are some general guidelines.

Two-Drawer File Cabinets

Two-drawer file cabinets are generally light and easy to move. Although removing the contents can make the move easier, your professional office movers can move these small cabinets while full.

Four-Drawer Vertical File Cabinets

Movers have particular office moving supplies and use straps and dollies to move vertical file cabinets, and the process is relatively easy. You’ll need to empty the top two file drawers, however. Otherwise, the top weight will bend the bottom of the cabinet, which could destroy it. 

If your file cabinet is full, consider emptying the contents of all the drawers. A well-built, full four-drawer vertical file cabinet is quite heavy and may require more than two people to lift. If the cabinet is heavy enough to require three, some moving companies may require you empty the drawers on moving day, which will be much more chaotic than emptying them ahead of time.

Horizontal File Cabinets

Horizontal file cabinets are challenging to move because they distribute weight over a wider area. These cabinets are also generally made of lightweight materials, so the force of extra weight in some drawers is more likely to damage the cabinets. You should empty the contents of every drawer before the move.

Desk Drawers

Businesses also often wonder whether they must empty desk drawers before moving. Ideally, they should empty the drawers. Often, desk drawers contain smaller items, such as pens and paper clips, that will move during transit. Also, although movers will tape the drawers shut, the tape can come loose during the move, spreading these small items all over the truck.

Full desk drawers can put too much force on the drawers, damaging the sliding mechanism that helps open and close the drawer. Also, remember that movers will be tilting the desk to move it in and out of spaces. Fragile items like jewelry may move around and break if they remain inside the drawer. Also, full drawers make the desk harder to maneuver and increase the likelihood of marks on your new walls.

Finally, desks are heavy. Some executive desks weigh more than 200 pounds when empty, for example. If you add full drawers, the weight can top 300 pounds. 

Movers must spend more time and energy moving heavy objects. Emptying the desk drawers can help the move proceed more efficiently.

How to Empty Drawers

Plastic totes or banker-sized boxes are the easiest way to empty the drawers. Put the contents of each drawer in a separate tote or box and label it thoroughly. Using the totes or boxes and a labeling system will make putting the file cabinets back together easier after the move.

Ask Your Mover

Your professional commercial mover can advise on emptying drawers based on your specific situation.