5 Steps For Packing Your Electronics To Keep Them Safe
Let’s take the stress out of moving your electronics with a few tried and true tips and tricks
- Check with your insurance company for “replacement coverage” (are you covered or what would it cost for coverage)
- If moving yourself you may also want to take the insurance offered by the truck rental company
- If using a moving company ask what their policy is and/or add additional coverage
BEFORE YOU BEGIN TO PACK YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR ELECTRONICS SECURE
- Remove all media; CDs, DVDs and games out of their drives
- Make a backup of all files internally and externally.
- Take MP3 players off of the docks
- Take toner and ink cartridges out of printers, etc,, and put them in their proper cases.
- Make a list of all model and serial numbers of your components.
Computers usually contain irreplaceable documents, photo, music collections, and software programs. Back up your hard drive onto an external drive, (the easiest and quickest option) you can use burnable DVDs, or even a cloud storage program. Pick two methods for additional “peace of mind” just to be totally safe. Also, try to find any of your software installation discs and put them in a secure case along with the hard drive backups.
Designate one suitcase or zippered tote bag or box to hold the discs and back ups, labeled
Electronics and if possible put in your vehicle on moving day.
ACCIDENTS CAN HAPPEN SO CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE MOVE
- Take pictures of all your electronics before and after your move.
- When unpacking check for water damage, punctures or any signs of abuse.
- Plug in and start up each piece of equipment as soon as possible,( waiting can void any insurance claims).
- If it takes to long to boot up or turn on file a claim immediately.
HOW TO DISCONNECT AND RECONNECT YOUR ELECTRONICS
- First things first, TAKE PHOTOS OF THE BACKS OF ALL ELECTRONICS. Remember they all have lots of inputs and outputs. TV cable boxes, computer routers etc. Find the owners manuals or manufacture’s website for the connection procedure.
- Detaching power cords and cables is an absolute must. Never leave everything connected, thinking it’s easier when in fact that’s when serious damage can occur,
- Before you start unplugging, have colored tape or dots, wire ties, paper towel tubes, toilet paper tubes a marker and plastic baggies at the ready. Have a tote box labeled Electronics for all the cords. This will come in handy, especially for pieces with lots of inputs and outputs, like receivers, routers and TVs.
- As you disconnect each cable, stick a dot or piece of tape over the port it was in. Neatly wrap up the cable, secure it with a twist tie, and put it in a labeled and colored plastic bag. If the cords will fit in the box with the device good if not put it in your electronics tote. Place corresponding pieces, remotes, mice etc. in the box with the device which will make unpacking and set up easier.
- Keep a list as you go of each item, with all of it’s pieces and parts labeled and color coded.
BOXES AND PACKING MATERIALS
When possible the best option is to use the original box and packing material if you still have it. If not, your local moving company or supply store will have dedicated electronics boxes available for purchase. Whatever you decide, make sure you use thick, heavy-duty boxes for your most sensitive items.
Think about size, as well. Electronics are often heavy and shouldn’t be stacked on top of each other within one large box. Instead, use smaller boxes with just enough space to surround the device with a thick layer of packing material so it can’t slide around or move about inside the larger box. Don’t try to over stuff the boxes, using more boxes is lighter in weight and less chance of disasters. Remember to label in large letters, best yet put the electronics in your vehicle.
Which packing materials to use — and which to avoid:
- Bubble wrap – it’s a great idea to first wrap sensitive electronics, like computers, in a layer of bubble wrap for extra cushioning.
- Packing peanuts – ever tried sweeping up packing peanuts only to have them run away from the broom? That static charge can damage your electronics. If you’re going to use them, buy antistatic peanuts.
- Packing paper – you can use newspaper as filler, but if you wrap devices in it, inky newsprint can rub off and stain your electronics. Buy a supply of packing paper to avoid the mess.
- Moving blankets – if an item is too large for a box, wrap it in a moving blanket before transfer.
- Household linens – extra pillows, blankets, comforters and towels also make great packing material.
- Packing tape – masking tape or Scotch tape won’t withstand the stress, and duct tape doesn’t adhere to cardboard very well. Get a few rolls of packing tape and a tape gun to seal your boxes like a pro.
NOW LET’S PUT THE ELECTRONICS IN THEIR BOXES
You’ve got your materials at hand, your electronics are labeled and disconnected, and you’re ready to start packing. Follow these step-by-step instructions to pack up everything properly.
- Select a box and use several strips of packing tape to make a broad seal across the bottom.
- Line the inside bottom with a generous layer of packing material.
- Wrap your electronic device in a layer of bubble wrap if needed, and then with packing paper.
- Place heavier items at the bottom of the box, then fill in the spaces on the sides and top with peanuts, paper or linens.
- If you’re adding another layer on top, place a cardboard divider between layers. Make sure you keep the box’s weight manageable — no more than 50 lbs.
- Fill in any remaining space with packing material.
- Put all corresponding cords and small peripherals into the same box as its component.
- Close the top and seal it with several strips of packing tape.
Label the box with items inside, its destination room, and mark it “Fragile: Top Load” with an arrow pointing to the top side.
HOW TO PACK YOUR TV