Packing Your Electronics for a Smart Move

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We hope you'll find your new Dream Home on this Fall's Parade of Homes. If so, here are some excellent tips to make sure you pack your electronic equipment correctly from our Guest Blogger, Ann Neal.

Millions of people in the United States move each year. In the year 2013, around 36 million Americans changed their dwelling for varied reasons. Packing and moving an entire household can be extremely stressful and draining. Electronics are fragile items and deserve much planning and care during home relocation to avoid damage in transit. Apart from common accidents that can easily damage your electronic devices, other factors like humidity, pressure, heat, and shock can also cause considerable harm to them.

The Department of Transportation reports over four thousand household moving complaints about loss/damage to valued assets, which include electronics. The majority of electronic equipment gets damaged because of poor packaging. Consequently, packing them appropriately during a move is extremely crucial to ensure their safety.

Here are five tips to properly pack your electronics and avoid losses that can occur when you’re on the move.

Pack and Label Wires and Peripheral Equipment Separately

electronic cords in plastic bag

Before you kick-start the process of packing your electronics, figure out how your electronic gadgets connect with each other. Make a note of which wire goes where for easy assembling of the devices at your new dwelling. You can also take pictures of the connections to avoid confusion.

Once you are clear on the connections, unplug every cord, wire, and cable that’s detachable, label their use and place them in separate pouches.

Detach other smaller equipment like batteries, toners, ink cartridges, computer mouse, and CDs that are attached to the main electronic hardware. Place them in a separate bag to keep them safe and avoid them getting misplaced.

moving boxes

Pay Attention to the Quality of Cartons Used for Packing

Box-packing is the best choice for packing electronics as it makes it easier to load your valued belongings into the cargo van/truck. Ideally, you should use the cartons your electronic devices came in when you purchased them. If your television, speakers or microwave oven can be packed in their respective boxes, your assets will be safer and will reach the destination in one piece.

However, if you have recycled/discarded those cartons, procure sturdy and product-specific cartons from a moving company or store that sells used products.

Corrugated fiberboard cartons are cost-effective cardboard boxes that are made of heavy paper pulp and are a sustainable choice for packing electronic devices. These cartons can hold a wide variety of loads, are bend/tear-resistant, offer adequate cushioning, and protect the contents against moisture. As a result, corrugated cartons are widely preferred for packing electronic appliances.

box with packing peanuts

Add Adequate Padding and Fillers in the Carton

When transporting electronics in cartons, the empty spaces between the electronic components need to be filled with cushioning material to prevent them from moving or getting smashed. A variety of padding and filler options are available depending on the kind and extent of protection the equipment demands.

For short-distance moving, almost any soft material can act as a buffer between two units of electronic items. Instead of packing your towels, napkins, bed linen, upholstery, blankets, soft-toys, and pillows in a separate box, you can use them as padding for your electronic equipment. Wrap your electronics in soft linen or paper and place them on a layer of blankets/pillows.

If it is a long-distance haulage, consider wrapping laptops, computer monitors, LCD projectors, and televisions in antistatic foam or bubble cushioning as they prevent static electricity (electrostatic discharge or ESD) from damaging the electric components in transit.

It is crucial to pack each electronic item separately in wadded kraft paper (for better shock absorption) and keep their corners and sides away from each other to prevent breakage. As a rule of thumb, allow two-inch space around each item being packed. Use good interior packing material like loose fills and void fills (paper/packing peanuts/air pillows) that are easily available with moving firms or home utility stores.

Before you seal the carton, make sure you throw a few packets of silica gel into it to absorb excess moisture that can cause the metal parts of your electronics to corrode.

Organize Similar Items Appropriately

The primary electronic gadget and its peripheral equipment must be packed together in the same box to enable you to unpack and assemble it easily. For instance, each component of your music system – stereo, amplifier, speakers, remote control, and the cables/wires must be wrapped separately using a bubble wrap and placed in the same carton with loose fills plugging the empty spaces. You can then label this box as ‘Music System’ and indicate that the contents are fragile and hence, must be handled with care.

Labeling is crucial as even the most professional movers are likely to get confused with your consignments and may not handle your fragile items in the right manner. Therefore, label the box according to its contents and indicate the room (living room/bedroom/kitchen) it is meant for.

Give Clear Instructions to the Mover

Well-known packing and moving firms will offer you a wide range of services like domestic/international packing, hauling, rental vans/trucks, and storage options. Talk to the firm personnel about your requirements and ask about the relevant services.

It is wise to opt for a cargo van for transporting your electronics versus a loading truck. A cargo van has an enclosed area that will keep your electronics safe from bad weather and other damaging factors. Before hiring a firm for the job, share a detailed list of special instructions that you want the movers to follow. For instance, if you are not comfortable with the movers unpacking and assembling your electronic equipment once it is delivered at the desired location, you must instruct them accordingly.

Moving into a new dwelling is one of the most exciting moments in one’s life. However, the process of packing, moving, and unpacking is extremely tiring and stressful. Unlike other household items, electronic equipment demand special care and protection when they are being moved from one place to another.

The above-mentioned tips will keep your electronic systems safe from accidental and environmental damages and enable you to move into your new home with ease.

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