Helping Your Electronics Survive A Move

6 October 2014
 Categories: Business, Articles

Modern electronics are a wonderful thing, but they aren't really designed to be banged around inside a moving truck. Taking the time to pack these items properly will help ensure that they survive the trip with a minimum of damage.

Save the Original Packaging

Not many electronics are assembled in the US. That means that the original packaging for your item was designed to keep it safe while it was shipped across the world. Keeping the boxes for all your electronics is often a waste of space, but if you know you are moving soon, you might as well keep the box for that flat screen TV you just bought. It will save you from buying a specialized box to keep it safe during your move. You can also try contacting the manufacturer to see if you can purchase a return kit from them.

Label Everything

If you aren't sure you will be able to set everything back up again from scratch, invest in some colored labels. Use the labels to color code your cables so you know what goes where. Since most connections are on the back of the equipment, you can also label the ports without damaging the look of the equipment. If you have a large cable jungle, use a permanent marker along with the colors. Use one color for each piece of equipment, and then label individual cables A, B, C, and so on so you can line them back up again when you are unpacking.You can also take pictures of the back of your equipment for some additional help getting things put back together.

Protection From More Than Bumps

Bumps in the road aren't the only danger for your electronics. Static electricity can cause serious damage to an electrical circuit, and all the sliding and shuffling that happens during a move can cause a lot of static. Another reason to use the original packaging is because it will already contain the necessary protections against static. Anti static packing materials can be found or ordered from most office supply stores. Bags can be used for small items, but you will get the most mileage out of antistatic bubble wrap for larger ones. Regular plastic bags actually conduct electricity, and are therefore useless for packing.

Back Up All the Data

You should always have two or more backups of important data, but this is especially important during a risky time like a move. Hard drives use mechanical arms to read and write data, and even a small bump at the wrong time can kill them. Giving anything with a hard drive plenty of padding reduces your risk, but making copies and packing them separately will ensure that you have minimized your risk. External hard drives are inexpensive when you compare them to the cost of losing your data, and you can continue making backups to them when the move is complete.

Pack Carefully

While you are at the store for the anti static bubble wrap, get more anti static packing peanuts. Make sure you are using double-walled cardboard to pack your electronics, wrap each item with the bubble wrap and fill with the peanuts. For extra protection, use a second, slightly larger box to put around the first one. The padding between the two boxes can be whatever you have available. Most moving companies can sell you a specialized box for shipping TV's if you are unable to get one from the manufacturer. Label all the boxes that contain electronics, and point them out to the movers so they can handle them more carefully.

Moving electronics is like packing up any other fragile device-- spending a little money on packing materials can save you a lot on replacement. Following these tips will help ensure that your electronics survive the journey with a minimum amount of damage.