I'm a technician at a big ol' pharmaceutical company. A damn good technician, if I do say so myself.
My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.
"The lab is moving."
Oh noes!!! I've gone my entire scientific career without having to move my lab. I left my academic lab about eight months before they moved to another building, and I left my last pharma job about a month before (dodged a bullet on that one). I had deluded myself into thinking I could be free of it forever, but alas, 'twas not to be. Our department just found out that we're moving a couple floors within the building. A couple floors isn't the worst thing - I know people who moved across town, and I've heard of people staying with their PI while they move between states.
But still - whine whine whine! Anyone have advice? Things to keep in mind before / during / after the move?
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Just went through a lab move to another building. Label equipment with a number and tape that number to where it goes in the new lab space. Also stackable crates on roller track are great. Get 3X the amount of foam padding and bubble wrap that you need. Razor knives become essential for opening all your pre-taped crap once you get over to the next space.
Give every box a number and keep a spreadsheet of what is in every one of them. It'll help later and can also be used to figure what is gone if one gets lost.
Moved about one block earlier this year. It is worse than you think.
Start getting ready way ahead of time. Don't plan for things to work right away once you've gotten everything moved in. You've got WAY more stuff than you think. If there's junk in the lab, see if you can get rid of it before you start packing (also goes for anything that's expired). Make sure you get the big stuff in first and that everything will fit through your doorways. Prepare for a LONG day when you move your temperature sensitive stuff. Tape off where everything should go and have diagrams of the floor plan in the new and old spaces. Put stuff in boxes as close to where it needs to go as possible. Start with most of the people in the old lab packing and end with most of the people in the new lab unpacking. Have a good supply of quick cooking food and alcohol on hand.
Remember, we've all survived it, you will too - but it probably won't be much fun. :)
Our move took us a month start to finish. We had to shut down operations, clean equipment and get it safety sealed. Then we had the week and a half of moving following by about a week or so of setup time. Then you spend the next month looking for that damn cable that connected something together and getting stuff that used to run but now doesn't to run again.
Enjoy the pain.
Tiddles is on a roll today! Elections must put him in a special mood.
I am all about that! I LOVE my Representative. He even wrote me a *real* note after I called his office, emailed him, Facebooked him and all his staff, hit him up on Twitter, and sent carrier pidgeons (and dogs) to his house in TN and DC.
He actually wrote me!
Well, I mean his lawyer did, but I think they have to approve the text or something right?
Let me consider the number of times I've moved lab:
1. I was hired one summer to help close down/pack up a lab and do some final experiments for a researcher before she moved to a new university.
2. I helped move my MS thesis advisor's lab to a brand new building.
3. I helped my PhD advisor metastasize across the hallway.
4. I then helped my PhD advisor move to a brand new building.
5. I helped my postdoc advisor close down his lab for renovations and then move to a newly refurnished lab.
Any tips? Treat it like you're moving house. The really important things which need to be unpacked first so you can get up and running ... don't EVER lose track of them. Otherwise, there isn't much you can do than just go with the flow.
Also, just have a look at new lab you are moving into. Plan, what stuff would go where. If needed leave sticky notes on different shelves in new lab. This will help in rearranging things fast. As many of the above mentioned, labeling the boxes and making an excel sheet will be obvious thing to do.
My lab moved to a new building about two blocks away from the old one. The moving company gave us these stackable orange crates on wheels. We basically put the contents of one drawer per crate and then dumped the contents into its equivalent drawer in the new lab. A few days before the official move we moved sensitive equipment on carts and transferred the contents of the fridge. All in all we were out of commission for about 2 weeks. One before the move and one after. That being said my lab was only 2 years old then, so we didn't have too much stuff and it was still somewhat organized.
Happily I am not the move coordinator. Had any of my previous groups moved while I was there, the entire responsibility of coordinating that shit-show (nice phrase, CE!) would have fallen on me. Here, I'm responsible for my own shit, and that's all. I suspect I'll be roped into moving some common stuff, but that's not so bad.
Also found out that our offices are moving not at the same time as our labs, and so we'll be schlepping between floors for a while until the lab stuff catches up.
Granted, this may be optimistic. I think that once the lab stuff starts to get unplugged (approximately just before Thanksgiving), all science is going to come to a screeching halt until probably after Christmas. Does that timeframe sound about right?
Yeah, that sounds realistic. If it were summmer, you might get going faster, but with holidays and Xmas spirit I would think you're facing some downtime.
Plenty of time to catch up on reading >:)
Yep. Love it or hate it, if you're unplugging around Thanksgiving, you'll see new data after the new year. I mean, unless someone's a real drill sergent AND nothing goes wrong. Got some writing/reading you've been meaning to do...? I say that only because once it's all plugged back in, your PI is going to be like a half starved data craving animal. ;)
Can't offer much beyond informing you it CAN be worse; the one time the lab I was in moved it was partially due to the fact said lab had been massively flooded over the holidays (we were going to move before that, but the flood kinda inched up the priority a bit). Only thing worse than trying to find where everything goes/went is trying to remember on top of that whether you still have some or are waiting on replacements. For several months afterwards I'd be getting ready to run an experiment only to find out we were missing some basic reagent you always assume is there normally.