While you’re getting ready to move out, it’s only normal that you’ll be more worried about how to pack and move your large screen TV than your desktop computer. Due to their bigger sizes and fragile screens, TVs are usually harder to move than a computer.
Nevertheless, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of protecting your desktop computer, its monitor, and its peripheral devices. Despite their enhanced portability, even laptops can prove to be relatively hard to pack and move safely to the new home.
One thing is clear: you’re taking your PC with you no matter what, so you’d better read on to learn the best way to pack a computer for moving.
What to do before packing a computer for moving
Depending on the exact configuration of your computer system and the number and nature of its peripheral devices, packing a computer for shipping can take from 20-30 minutes to an hour, or more. Of course, how quickly and how easily you finish the computer packing job will also depend on how well you are prepared for the task at hand.
Here are a couple of important things to do before packing your computer for a move.
Get proper packing supplies
Do you still keep the original cardboard box your desktop computer or laptop came in? If you do, then you’ve just made your packing job a few degrees easier. Hopefully, you’ll keep the original box and packaging of your desktop monitor, but if you don’t, you’ll still be okay as long as you manage to find thick-walled cardboard boxes of the dimensions you need.
The best thing about original electronics boxes is that they have custom-made cushioning and padding inserts to keep the sensitive devices safe during transport. Worry not, for you will soon learn how to use the right packing supplies to pack your computer safely, so that the PC reaches the new home safe and sound.
Purchase sturdy cardboard boxes of appropriate sizes, get a large roll of Bubble wrap and enough sheets of packing paper to guarantee a safe computer packing experience. You’ll also need packing tape and sealable plastic bags for tiny parts you don’t want to lose.
Back up your important information
Your computer may be expensive, but sometimes the information stored on it will be even more valuable than the assembled hardware components. Therefore, it’s really important that you take the time to backup any essential data on your PC prior to the move. Anything can happen during the move and the risk of having priceless information lost forever is never worth it, of course.
Transfer all important files to an external hard drive or use an online backup service for that purpose. If the crucial data is not particularly large, you can try to fit it on a few USB flash drives (memory sticks).
How to pack a desktop computer for moving
The moment you’ve secured the required packing materials and you ’ve made sure the critical information on your computer has been backed up, it’s time to follow these simple steps to pack your computer for a move.
- Turn off your computer and disconnect the power cable from the electric network.
- Remove, one by one, all cables that go in or out of the computer tower and the monitor. However, before you disconnect a cord, label it with the help of a piece of paper and some tape, or even better – take a photo of the way all the cables are connected on the back of your PC before disconnecting them. This simple step can save you precious time when it’s time to set up the desktop computer at the new home.
- Fold up all cables, secure them with cable ties or rubber bands and arrange them into a medium-sized cardboard box.
How to pack a computer TOWER for shipping
- DO NOT open the computer mid-tower in order to remove any of the PC components inside it.
- Wrap the entire mid-tower with one large sheet of bubble wrap, or two or three smaller sheets that you tape into a big one. This way, bubble wrap will absorb any shocks, vibrations or even slight hits during transit.
- Then, wrap the bubble-wrapped computer tower in a large (furniture) blanket and fix it in place with packing tape.
- Finally, place the protected PC tower into a cardboard box of the right size and fill any remaining space inside the container with crumpled pieces of paper or old clothing.
- Seal the box shut and label it DESKTOP COMPUTER, FRAGILE.
How to pack a computer MONITOR for moving
- Remove the monitor stand, if possible, and pack it separately.
- Then, wrap the entire monitor in soft packing paper as if you were wrapping a birthday present.
- Keep in mind that the monitor screen is the most fragile and delicate part of your monitor, so you must make sure it’s well protected during the move. To do that, cut out a piece of thick cardboard that matches the dimensions of the screen, then place the cut-out over the paper-protected screen and fix it carefully with tape.
- Then, place a sheet of bubble wrap on the screen over the cardboard and fix that sheet with tape as well.
- Wrap the entire monitor in a (furniture) blanket and tape it in place.
- Transfer the protected monitor into a cardboard box of the right dimensions or better – into the original monitor box. Fill up any empty spaces with crumpled paper or old pieces of clothing.
- Shut the box and write on it: COMPUTER MONITOR, FRAGILE.
How to pack computer peripherals
Your desktop PC will also have a keyboard, a mouse and a number of other peripheral devices such as speakers, and possibly a wi-fi router as well. Use the following 3 rules to pack your computer peripheral devices.
- Packing rule #1: Whenever possible, use the original boxes of the peripheral devices for the best protection during the move.
- Packing rule #2: Use packing paper and bubble wrap to protect your individual PC peripherals. When folding up cables, do not press or twist them too hard or you’ll run the risk of damaging a cord. Always use labels or some other sort of identification to keep track of where each cable should go and which device it belongs to.
- Packing rule #3: If you own a scanner, a printer, or any other bulkier peripheral device, follow the same steps for packing the computer mid-tower and everything should be fine.
How to pack a laptop for moving
Packing a laptop for a move should be very easy because portable computers are designed to be moved safely from one place to another on a regular basis.
The top 3 things you need to know when packing a laptop computer for moving are:
- #1: Use your laptop bag or case to transport the portable computer between the two homes. It’s easy to see why the soft padded bag or case is the perfect moving box for your laptop.
- #2: Be careful when folding up and storing the cable of your laptop’s charger. Use rubber bands to fix the AC adapter and power cord in place and insert it in a plastic bag for extra protection.
- #3: If you don’t have a laptop bag (case), then wrap the whole portable computer in packing paper first, then wrap it in a thick bath towel or a thick blanket. Finally, place the wrapped-up laptop into a suitcase with clothes and make sure that suitcase stays with you during the house move.