It doesn’t matter whether you are moving across town or out of state, you need to take extra steps to protect your sensitive electronics. The cost of electronic goods can add up to a significant investment on your part. That means the knowledge for preparing, packing, and moving electronics is important.
KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE
Make a list of every electronic device you own, including desktop computers, laptops, iPads or tablets, monitor screens, routers, and keyboards. Include on the list any remote controls, game consoles, DVRs, satellite television receivers, sound systems, and flat-screen televisions you may have.
As further backup, take photos of each device and save them to a file that you upload to the cloud. Also, note the model and serial numbers of all electronics you are transporting in the move. If one of your devices gets damaged or lost along the way, you will have the product information you need to use the warranty or report the loss to your insurance company.
Generally, serial numbers are located on the back or underside of a device. Those serial numbers serve a purpose, as they identify the individual devices or components — sort of like a fingerprint. Software packages you own may have serial numbers assigned as well.
THINK RE-HOOK UP BEFORE DISCONNECTING
Once you get to your new home and unpack your electronics, you may forget what gets hooked up where. All those cords and cable wires can get confusing, especially if you have multiple devices that connect to each other. So before you disconnect cables or unplug devices to pack for the move, take photos of the hookups so that you’ll know how to reconnect each device.
If you still have the original connection guides and diagrams from when you purchased an electronic, pack those in the boxes along with the devices. Many installation guides include troubleshooting tips. You should also save the manufacturers’ customer service numbers to your phone in case you have problems setting up your devices again.
Don’t bother to pack cords and cable wires you no longer use or that no longer work. In fact, inspect cables and cords prior to packing for fraying or other damage. Then label all cords, cables, chargers, and other wire connections you intend to take. Separately bag the components to each device together to keep them organized.
Find out if the community you are leaving has an e-waste program where you can drop off any of these items for recycling or disposal. Many manufacturers and retail stores that sell electronic products and accessories offer e-waste recycling programs.
ASSEMBLE THE RIGHT PACKING MATERIALS
If you still have the original packaging for computers, other electronics, and their components — including the boxes and custom-molded foam protectors that encased them — reuse those to pack for the move. If you don’t have the original boxes, pack the devices securely in whatever boxes you use. Use boxes not much larger than the electronics you pack in them so that they can’t move around.
Avoid the use of newspaper as a wrapping material since it can scratch screens. Cut pieces of cardboard to size to fit each electronic screen. If you use packing peanuts, make certain they have an antistatic coating. Packing peanuts without antistatic coating create static electricity that can permanently damage electronics.
To pack your electronic devices securely, you will need sturdy, three-ply cardboard boxes, antistatic bubble wrap, soft paper packaging, and sealing tape. It’s important to keep electronics cushioned and packed tightly so they don’t get jostled around during the move.
TAKE PRECAUTIONS WHEN PACKING ELECTRONICS
Back up the data on all your electronic devices before packing them. Use email, external data storage devices, or an online data storage facility to back up data you don’t want to lose. You may want to use more than one backup method to prevent losing data you can’t replace.
Remove ink cartridges from printers, lithium-ion battery packs from portable electronics, discs from game consoles, and flash drives from computers before packing the devices in boxes. Before placing an electronic device in a box, line the bottom of the box with bubble wrap.
Pack one device and its components in a box, filling any gaps with bubble wrap or packing paper. Place another layer of bubble wrap on top before sealing the box closed.
Clearly mark any boxes containing electronics with the words “fragile” and “this side up” so that the movers take special care with those boxes. Follow these same guidelines for plasma television screens. As another safety precaution, when the move is complete, allow your computer screens and flat-screen television set to sit for at least a few hours before reconnecting them and turning on the power.
If you’re unsure about how to safely pack and transport your electronics during a move,us for an estimate on professional packing services to get the job done.