The Bekins Blog

How to Prepare Electronic Items for Your Move

January 12, 2016 | Moving Guides & Tips, Moving Specialty Items

Although electronics seem much more durable than artwork or furniture, they have their own vulnerabilities. Despite hard plastic casings, electronics need special care and preparation just like any other item.

Use the five steps below to prepare and pack large electronics before your next move.

1. Back Up Important Data

If you pack your computer and other devices carefully, they should arrive safely. However, you should prepare for the worst, just in case an accident does occur.

Download any important data to an external hard drive. This includes pictures, documents, music, and anything you would hate to lose.

If you have cloud backup through DropBox, GoogleDrive, or Amazon, consider creating additional copies of your files and storing them there. That way if you lose one drive, you’ll still have access to your information.

2. Choose Appropriate Packing Materials

Be careful with your packing materials. You want to ensure your electronics don’t shift around in their boxes, and you want each box to stay closed and sturdy during the loading and unloading process.

Whenever possible, use packing tape in favor of cheaper alternatives; packing tape is stronger than ordinary masking tape, so it should provide additional support.

Packing peanuts come in several varieties, but you’ll want to invest in anti static ones. If static electricity builds up near your device, the resulting charge could cause a short circuit.

Use bubble wrap, moving blankets, and other soft linens for padding larger items. But if you can, pack smaller electronic items in their original packaging, as this ensures a perfect fit. If necessary, purchase custom foam packaging to replace original packaging.

3. Disconnect and Dissemble

Although you may enjoy the convenience of having a TV or other device ready to use right out of the box, you might want to reconsider disassembling your items before you pack them. During the move, small parts may shift, bend, or break away from the device as a whole. Or jostled, overheated batteries may leak acid into the vulnerable parts of your machine.

Use your instruction manuals to disconnect, dissemble, and store your device without damaging it. If you threw away your old manual, you may be able to download or reorder a replacement manual online.

If you can’t find your manual, follow these steps:

1. Remove any batteries
2. Check for and pack any removable media
3. Detach all peripherals
4. Place neatly folded cords and parts into original packaging

Do not store TV screens and monitors flat, or stacked on top of each other. Instead, lean them against a wall and keep them upright throughout the entire move.

4. Plan for Climate Protection

Once you’ve disconnected and packed all accessories, take some time to think about the journey. Will it be hot, cold, bumpy, or humid? Any of these conditions can affect and compromise the components of your items.

If moisture will be an issue, add silica gel to absorb any condensation. If you worry about dust, tape paper over fans and ventilation slits to keep out particles.

If temperature extremes pose a threat, consider keeping the electronics in your car rather than in the moving truck. Or ask your moving company about climate-controlled vehicles or special options for electronic storage.

5. Stay Organized

One of the worst things about unpacking electronics is finding a mass of knotted cords. Do yourself a favor by neatly wrapping each cord around itself. When you pack them, keep all cords and peripherals with their original component so you don’t have to guess and check later.

List the items inside each box on an easy-to-read label. You’ll also want to mark electronic boxes as “fragile,” ensuring proper loading and care.

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