Moving large electronics such as computers, television sets, and game consoles for a move can pose several challenges. While drops and breakage are a major concern, you’ll also need protect your valuable electronics from damage caused by heat, humidity, pressure, and shock. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to make sure your electronics arrive at your new home in one piece. Below are a few practical tips for packing and protecting your electronics for a move.
As a general rule of thumb, the box you choose should be big enough to allow for a 2-inch space around the item being packed. Choose the most durable box you can find. While corrugated boxes are popular, you might consider other options such as rubber, hard plastic, or metal boxes. If using a corrugated box, reinforce the edges and bottom of the box with several layers of packing tape. Wherever possible, pack items in their original boxes for moving or shipping.
Packing materials such add an extra layer of cushioning to protect the item being packed. Many people choose to use wadded newspaper, but there are several other materials that provide superior shock absorption. Here are a few to consider:
- Wadded kraft paper provides better shock absorption than newspaper. Crumple up sheets of kraft paper and pack them around the item in the box to provide adequate cushioning during the moving process.
- Packing peanuts: Also referred to as “loose fill”, the major advantage of styrofoam packing peanuts is their ability to interlock when under stress, providing extra protection against shocks and drops. Use packing peanuts to fill the space in the box around the item being packed.
- Corrugated fiberboard pads: Corrugated fiberboard is a paper-based packing material that consists of a corrugated sheet between two flat fiberboard sheets. Corrugated fiberboard pads can be used for extra cushioning and shock-absorption.
- Inflatable packing materials: Inflatable packing materials such as bubble wrap provide a lightweight and versatile way to protect your electronics. Available in several varieties, the pliable nature of bubble wrap makes it ideal for packing all sorts of electronics and their components.
- Foam structures: Polysterene foam structures are available in a wide variety of forms and shapes to fit snugly around the edges of an item. Foam structures allow you to “brace” or block an item within a box so it doesn’t shift during transport.
Recyclable Packing Materials
If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your choice of packing material, stick to recyclable products or products made from recycled materials. Paper products, such as kraft paper and corrugated fiberboard are ideal, but certain polysterene products – i.e. packing peanuts – are made from biodegradable plant starch. Consider saving non-recyclable packing materials for future use.
Many electronics are paired with peripheral components such as USB cables, external drives, and electrical cords. Protect these items by wrapping them separately within the same box. Use twist ties to secure cords and label them for future reference. If packing a computer, ensure you have backup copies of any important files, CD Roms, or DVDs.
A Few Final Tips
- Ensure the packing materials you choose will provide sufficient cushioning for the weight of the item being packed.
- Consider whether the packed item will be able to withstand multiple shocks or drops.
- If the package is being transported by plane, consider how air pressure, humidity, or temperature will affect the electronic item and cushioning material.
Follow the simple steps above, and your electronics will arrive at your new home scratch- and damage-free. Happy moving!