PACKING AND PREPARING YOUR ITEMS
How do I pack my electronics for long distance move?
-> Packing questionsOct 10, 17:22
Question by marciw (Marci W.)
We are moving from New Hampshire to North Carolina, and we are doing our own packing for all our belongings, and most probably will rent a truck or hire a you-load-we-drive service to get our things down there. The only thing I am very concerned about is how to pack the electronics so that they will not get damaged while in transit. We have three TV's in various sizes, DVD, VCR, two computers with printer, and the whole home cinema system.
Please, let me know what would be the safest way to pack and load/unload those types of items.
Oct 10, 22:59
Answer by alexzehn (Alex Z.)
When it comes to electronics the best advise, unfortunately, should be given long before someone plans to move, and it is to keep the original cartons and packages that come with the devise.
If you managed to preserve some of those boxes and preferably the cushions that come with them - you saved yourself a lot of headache. Just place those devices in the boxes with the cushions and seal the box with moving tape.
However, since only few people tend to clatter their attics and basements with the original boxes, let me describe to you how to pack and handle each type of the electronic device:
1) TVs: to pack a TV set of small or medium size (up to 30", or less if its too heavy for two people to lift) you would need lots of bubble wrap, a sturdy carton box (medium or large depending on the size of the TV), moving tape, and some blankets, pillows or towels.
Before packing the TV make sure it was disconnected from the power and all other devices and cooled off. Next step would be building a box. When choosing a box make sure there will be enough space between the body of the TV set and the box (2"-3" on each side). Pad the bottom of the box with blankets uniformly, and then place a pillow or two right where the narrow side of TV will be positioned inside of the box.
Pad and tightly tape the body of TV set with bubble wrap, concentrating mostly on the surface of the screen. That would prevent both scratches and possible internal damage caused by jolting and vibrations as a result of truck motion. Never apply the tape on any open surface of the device, especially the screen.
Use the help of your family member or a friend to lift the TV and insert it carefully inside the box. Make sure the narrow side of the TV is positioned right where you placed the pillows. Finish the packing by stuffing the box with towels, blankets and small pillow, making sure the TV doesn't have any points of contact with the box. Seal the box with moving tape and you are done.
As an extra precaution I suggest you write "FRAGILE" and "THIS SIDE UP" with arrows on all sides of the box (but don't write "TV" or - you never know who will walk by when you load/unload the truck)
When loading the packed TV on the truck never put it on a top of lighter boxes. In general, it is advised to place the TV box at the bottom of the box stack and place lighter boxes on top of it. This way it also makes it easier to load and unload the box off the truck. Make sure you always lift the box together with another person, never alone.
Very big TVs and plasma TVs require extra caution when packing and moving. If you have one of those and you need help with packing/handling it, you are welcome to open new discussion (ask a question) or place a comment to this one.
2) DVD, VCR: packing instructions for those devices are similar to TVs with few exceptions. You can place two devices in one box on top of each other, however each piece has to be well wrapped with bubble wrap and preferably with some additional padding. When loading the box on the truck place it in the middle of the box stack, never on the bottom or top.
3) Computer: Before packing computers make sure you first make backups of all data, and place the backup media in a safe container. Disconnect all the devices from the CPU and wait until all pieces cool off. You can pack the cables and small devices (keyboard, mouse, speakers etc.) in a separate container. Pack the monitor and printer in a way similar to packing TVs and DVDs.
When packing and handling CPU make sure you take the following steps to protect the motherboard. The system should be packed upright or on its side (with motherboard side on the bottom). When loading/unloading make sure you don't turn the CPU upside down. For that purpose mark the box with arrows and "THIS SIDE UP".
4) Home cinema system: similar to packing a computer, you first disconnect it from all power sources, wait until it cools off, and then take it apart. Make sure to mark all the cables and cords, so that you know where they should go when the items arrive to the new location.
For especially delicate devices there is one more complex packing technique to be used. After bubble-wrapping the piece place it in a smaller box. Then use a bigger box filled with packing peanuts or other padding material (towels, blankets) and place the smaller box with the device inside the bigger one. You know what they say - "you can never be too cautious"...
And, of course, when moving any kind of electronics make sure you handle it with lots of care. But isn't that the reason you asked this question in the first place..? Good luck with your move :)
P.S. Protect your back - never lift heavy boxes alone and wear a weight-lifting belt.
Good luck with your move,
Alex Z. @ MovingAnswers.org Follow us on Twitter for valuable tips on making your move easier!
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