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How to Pack Your Laptop or Desktop Computer for Moving

No matter how carefully you pack or plan, your move can quickly disintegrate into chaos. It’s important to take special care when packing your most precious valuables, so they don’t become just an afterthought during moving day mayhem. Two items that need extra attention when packing or moving are your laptop and desktop computer. Here are six tips to ensure these electronics are ready to go:

1. Always make a backup

No matter how careful you are, both your laptop and desktop are going to be more vulnerable to being lost or damaged in a move. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have a full backup of both computers before packing them for a move. Also, you will want to have emergency access to critical information while your laptop is unavailable. Cloud storage is best, but a portable hard drive works almost as well.

2. Label cords carefully

Replacing cords gets expensive, so you want to be sure you get everything all packed together. Remembering which cable is for which port or accessory when you are setting your computer up again can also pose a challenge. Here are some great ideas for labeling cords both for your move and for setting things up in your new location.

3. Tape a box together securely

If you are using unassembled boxes for your relocation, use several layers of tape over all the seams when assembling to ensure the box is as sturdy as possible. Computer peripherals can be bulky, so be sure your computer doesn’t drop out of the bottom of an insecure box. If you are using a pre-assembled box, it is not a bad idea to still reinforce all the seams with additional layers of tape.

4. Pack tower and peripherals with foam padding, peanuts or pillows

While you can use peanuts or inflated shipping materials, bed pillows or throw pillows also make excellent packing materials for computers. Sheets, linens, and towels also work equally well. When you pack your computer or laptop, you want to make sure it’s the only thing in the box, other than cables or small peripheral accessories. Make sure the box isn’t too heavy for the tape to hold.

5. Wrap monitor in bubble wrap or sheets and pack separately

You want to pack your monitor separately from your tower and other accessories. Wrap it first in either bubble wrap or a folded cloth or towel and secure in place with plastic moving wrap. This protection ensures the packing materials don’t scratch your monitor. Once it is in the box, pack padding materials around it to be sure it doesn’t move at all.

6. If possible, take it with you

If you are traveling by car, it is best to pack your computer in your vehicle rather than sending it with the long distance mover. Not only is it more likely to get lost in a moving truck, but it is more likely to get damaged. While a sturdy box and adequate packing will keep it safe from some jostling, it won’t protect it from a piece of furniture or heavier box falling on it from the shifting of a moving truck.


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