Tips for Packing & Moving Your Electronics

No matter if you’re making a local move around the Upstate, such as in Taylors, Greer, Simpsonville, or Spartanburg, or you’re planning on a long-distance move, how you pack and handle your electronics can make a huge difference. Many electronics are costly, while some (like your personal computer or laptop) can contain sensitive information. And if they get damaged during a move? You may have to pay more than it’s worth to retrieve data from the hard drive or replace the item.

This is why proper packing and handling are of utmost importance. By packing your electronics properly, you can safeguard your belongings from damage caused by improper handling by a moving company. Or, if you’re putting your electronics into storage, you can protect them from the elements if you’re using a storage unit that’s not temperature- or humidity-controlled. (Here at Swamp Rabbit Moving in Greenville, we offer climate-controlled storage units! Check out our storage solutions today!)

Top Tips for Packing & Handling Electronics

So, how exactly should you pack and handle your electronic devices? Here are our top tips!

  1. Make a backup of all data and files.
    If something happens to your desktop or laptop, there’s a chance even the hard drive may be damaged beyond repair. Because of the possibility of damage, regular backups of your files are essential (especially before you pack your electronic device). Cloud storage (such as Dropbox) is a great option, allowing you to retrieve files across your devices. You can also use an external hard drive to back up your system.
  2. Remove any batteries.
    We’re not talking about prying open the battery from your laptop — lithium batteries can be dangerous to handle — but from any small accessories or remotes.
  3. Remove any cartridges or discs.
    If you have a DVD player or handheld gaming device, remove any discs or game cartridges. Older media, like DVDs and compact discs can warp or deform if left inside the machine.
  4. Detach wires and accessories.
    Detach any charging cables, USB or HDMI cables, or anything attached to electronics that can be removed. Prolonged metal-to-metal contact can create issues, especially in storage units without climate control.
  5. Use the original packaging if you have it.
    Saving the original boxes is a great idea if you can manage it. (If not, that’s okay, too. Skip to the next tip!) Many electronics experts suggest keeping the original packaging when possible because they contain pre-shaped packaging and inserts that keep the items from shifting during shipping.
  6. Use a moving box if you don’t have the original packaging.
    Can’t find the original packaging? No worries! Use a moving box big enough to fit the device and pack it with lots of Styrofoam and packing peanuts for a snug, secure fit. Ideally, you want at least two inches of packing on all sides of the electronic. Starch-based peanuts and popcorn can still be environmentally friendly if you only move a short distance. For longer moves, we suggest synthetic materials for the sake of longevity.
  7. Add silica gel to the box.
    This tip only applies if you’re preparing for storage or a long-distance move. Silica absorbs excess moisture before it can collect on metal components (which can cause corrosion). If you have small children or pets, keep the silica gel packets out of reach — while they are non-toxic, they can pose a choking hazard.
  8. Use moving blankets.
    You’ve probably already realized that most televisions don’t fit in standard moving boxes. Instead, wrap it in a padded moving blanket and store it against a wall for support. We suggest you not keep them flat or stack anything on the screen, which can cause permanent damage.
  9. Keep dust out.
    Protect any computer monitors or televisions with a protective layer of bubble wrap or towels and tape paper over the fan vent. This will keep particles from getting inside your electronics during travel or storage.
  10. Unplug your electronics at least 24 hours before packing.

By allowing your electronics to cool off, you ensure they can be transported without internal damage. Unplugging beforehand also reduces the risk of static electricity.

Supplies You’ll Need

Now that you’re knowledgeable about how to protect your electronics. First, you’ll need to get the proper materials to secure your items. Here are the supplies we recommend you invest in:

  • Moving boxes in various sizes
  • Packing paper or newspaper
  • Twist ties
  • Bubble Wrap and packing peanuts
  • Heavy-duty packing tape
  • Protective plastic or large trash bags
  • Markers
  • Phone with camera

You might be wondering why we included a camera! Well, a good idea is to photograph your items before disassembling them so you can quickly reassemble them once you’ve moved to your new home. You can also document any damage that may have occurred during the move and file for reimbursement.

Twist ties are a handy little helper when keeping cords organized, and they’ll stay neatly collected with their corresponding device. And a marker is simply for marking the appropriate boxes so you can easily see which box is which!

Using Storage? Choose Climate-Control.

Electronics are susceptible to damage caused by temperature extremes. Cold can cause metal parts to contract, which can weaken soldered components. A harsh cold snap can cause liquid crystal displays (LCDs) to even freeze. On the other hand, heat can cause metal parts to expand, which stresses soldered components. Warm air also holds more moisture, and high humidity is horrible for your electronics.

Again, we offer climate-controlled storage solutions here in the Upstate. So, if you need to store your belongings between moves, contact the Rabbits! Not quite confident in packing your own things? We also provide packing and unpacking services, and our Rabbits are trained to pack and handle your items with care.

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