DIY Moving Tip: How to Pack Your Computer for a Long Distance Move

Here are some tips on packing your computer for a move.

Many people these days are finding they can save money by doing things themselves.  Moving is one of those tasks that you can do yourself.  There are certain things that need a little extra attention in a do it yourself move. If you're doing a long distance move, here's how to pack your computer. 

I have quite a few computers in my household.  It can get really confusing if you don't plan carefully when moving your electronic equipment.  There are lots of cords and cables that need to be in the right place when you get to your destination.  Packing for a long distance move isn't difficult as long as you make sure everything is well protected.

I have both desktops and laptop computers.  I prefer to take the laptops with me in their regular carrying cases.  The only computers that I pack in boxes are the desktop computers.  I have three, and each are packed in their own boxes.  Some people keep the boxes that their computers originally came in, and that would be ideal.  But many of us, however, don't have the room to store old boxes. 

A medium size box will hold a computer, monitor, cables, and keyboard for one computer.  This size box is also pretty easy to handle, and everything will pack in nice and tight.  You don't want to pack the box loosely.  The tighter everything fits the better it will be.  If things can move around inside the box, there is a higher likelihood that something will be damaged.  You want everything to fit in tightly right to the top of the box. 

I use three types of packing material.  Regular packing paper, bubble wrap, and pad paper.  All of these items I purchased online through U-haul.  At the time of my move this was the cheapest way to buy these moving materials.  They offered free shipping, the best prices, and I didn't have to run around town looking for what I needed.

Computers are usually one of the last things I pack.  Normally I'm using them pretty much up until a couple of days before the move.  I wrap everything before placing in the box.  The monitor is wrapped with both bubble wrap and pad paper.  I only put bubble wrap on the front of the monitor, and then wrap the whole thing with the pad paper.  The actual computer itself is wrapped just with the pad paper.  The cables, mouse, keyboard, and anything else I place in the box are wrapped with regular packing paper.

Place the larger items like the computer, monitor, and keyboard into the box first.  After that you can put in your smaller items as filler.  At this point there shouldn't be much room left over.  If you do have room left,  use soft items like towels  or crumple up some of the packing paper to fill in the spaces. 

If you have room, I would suggest that you then put the computer in your vehicle.  If you don't have room, then the box would need to go in the moving truck.  I have done both, and have never had a problem either way.  Just be sure to mark the outside of your boxes with a marker showing that the box contains a computer and is fragile, and make sure whoever is loading is aware of what's in the box. 

Another thing you can do, if you are worried about your computer, is to take just the computer in the car, and pack the components themselves in a box.  This way you can include more of the things that are on your desk.  This certainly will help you to be more organized at your destination.  Be sure to wrap the computer in the pad paper, tape it up, and then just place it in your vehicle unboxed.  The pad paper will prevent anything from getting scratched. 

Computers and electronics can be packed and moved safely.  Be sure to pack them in their own boxes with all the components together.  That way you will be up and running in no time with little or no frustration at your new home.  

Sources: Personal Experience

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Mark Cruz
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Diane Zoller-Ciatto
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Kaleidoscope Acres
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Posted on Jan 27, 2012