Moving valuables always requires a bit of extra effort – especially in DIY moving projects. But packing and moving tech devices is a special challenge, because they tend to be heavy, delicate, and filled with sensitive components. Tackle this triumvirate of moving challenges confidently with these electronics moving tips.
1. Back Up All Your Data
Hey, accidents happen. To be completely prepared, you need to back up all your data on your computer and anything else with a hard drive that holds valuable information (consider any parts of your entertainment system with saved data). Fortunately, thanks to the many cloud services available today, backing up all your data has never been easier. From Google Drive to iCloud and Microsoft’s cloud services, make use of these solutions to save any valuable information. If you have an external hard drive, put it to good use here.
2. Look For the Original Boxes
The best way to store electronics for any sort of move is to pack them back up in the boxes that they originally came in. These boxes (and all the associated foam products) were designed to ship the device safely, and remain the lowest-risk option for additional transports. However, not many people hoard all their old electronics boxes, so this option is easier in theory than practice: Check in your closets and storage shelves to make sure you are using the original packing materials whenever possible.
3. Heavy-Duty Cartons are Your Best Alternative
In lieu of original boxes, you should use heavy-duty cartons that can be bought at moving companies, post offices or office supply stores. Look for the same boxes that the professionals use for moving tech, double or triple-walled cartons that offer the most protection. For certain objects, like that painfully large flat screen TV, look for specialized boxes designed to help you move the bulkiest electronics.
4. Bubble Wrap and Towels are Your Friends
For a DIY moving project, your concern should be protecting delicate electronics from any damage, and that means plenty of padding. Bubble wrap in particular is a valuable cushioning material that can protect all kinds of devices. Wrapping screens in towels and tissue will also help avoid painful scratches during the moving process. You will also want to fill any empty spaces in your boxes with extra bubble wrap or towels to prevent jostling. Test movement before taping up.
5. Bind and Label All Your Cords
With electronics come cords – sometimes lots and lots of cords. The best way to deal with a mess of cords is to separate them out (detach cords whenever possible) and bind each cord in a loop for easier transport. Sometimes you can tape the cords directly to the back of electronics. Otherwise, use tape labels to clearly define each cord and where it goes.
6. Carefully Consider Weight
When moving tech devices, pay close attention to the weight of each object/box and its center of gravity. You do not want any toppling boxes: You also do not want any heavy panels to bash against delicate screens because of poor placement inside those boxes. Heavy objects go on the bottom of the boxes and the vehicles, and should be well protects from lighter, more delicate electronics.
7. Protect Any Vents
Chances are good at least a few of your electronics have vents. For longer trips, tape a piece of cloth or paper around those vents. This will keep dust from creeping inside over the move and clogging fans or causing cooling issues later on.
8. For Long Trips, Remove Batteries
Batteries can jostle around and suffer from humidity and other issues: The last thing you want is a damaged battery leaking acid, so remove them before the move and give them their own carton.
9. Think About Climate Control
If you are going to be storing electronics for a long period of time – several days or more – keep in mind that electronics are especially sensitive to climate changes. New humidity, sudden cold temperatures, and other abrupt changes can lead to weaker, more brittle devices that are more open to damage. Consider climate-controlled storage if possible and appropriate.
Photo Credit: Joshin Yamada