Computers are not only vital to our everyday lives, but they also are expensive and contain a lot of important information. Laptop computers are easy to pack and move with you because they are portable, but packing and moving a desktop computer is a bit harder because it is heavy and contains fragile components like a monitor, computer tower, mouse, and keyboard. If you're having trouble packing your computer, don't worry! We are here to help you with the process of preparing a computer for your move, from backing up your files to wrapping up your computer, and packing it away to ensure that it stays safe and secure throughout the move.
Follow the below step-by-step instructions on how to pack a computer for your upcoming move.
Gather necessary materials to pack and move a computer
When packing a computer for moving it is always better to use the original boxes that the computer parts came in. But if you don't have the original boxes, you can use regular cardboard boxes of the right size for packing.
Here are some materials required to pack your computer:
- Bubble wrap or packing paper
- Moving boxes (small and regular)
- Permanent marker
- Sealable plastic bags / Zip-tie bags
- Packing tape
- Packing peanuts
Backup all your computer files
Before you start packing your computer for the move, make sure to protect the information that's contained on the hard drive by backing up all of your files.
Here are the best ways to back up the files on your computer before moving:
- Use an external hard drive : If you have large files to back up, external hard drives can be used to store them.
- Use cloud storage : There are a lot of websites available on the Internet now where you can upload files and store them for safekeeping and for access from any device at any time. Software like Dropbox and OneDrive are excellent examples of cloud-based storage where you can store your important files and information securely and be able to access them at any time.
- Use a blank DVD : If your computer can burn DVDs, they can be used to save your information.
- Use a flash drive : If your computer can't burn DVDs or you simply have too many large files, then you can use flash drives to save your information.
Prepare your desktop and laptop computer for a move
Once your files are backed up and stored on a flash drive or by some other means, it's time to prepare your computer for the move and to pack it away. Here's how to prepare a computer.
Disconnect all the components from the power source:
- First you need to disconnect and unplug everything from its power source.
- If you're moving a desktop computer, unplug the monitor and computer tower from the power source and from each other. Also detach the keyboard and mouse.
- If you have a laptop, simply unplug the power cord and AC adapter, as well as any other peripheral devices that you may have plugged into it.
When you have all of the parts of the computer unplugged and separated, fold up all the cables, secure them with zip-ties, and place them into one bag.
How to pack a desktop computer for moving
Once all of the wires have been completely disconnected from all of the parts of the computer, wrap each component carefully by simply following the below steps:
- Prepare the box : Firs take a computer packing box or a regular cardboard box and fill the bottom of it with several layers of crumpled packing paper to create a cushion.
- Wrap your computer tower separately : Cover the entire computer tower with one or two large sheets of bubble wrap and secure it with tape. Place the computer tower in the original box that it came in or in a regular cardboard box that you have prepared, and fill the empty space with some crushed packing paper or packing peanuts to serve as cushioning for the tower.
- Pack a computer monitor and other peripherals for moving : Remove the monitor stand and wrap the monitor tightly in bubble wrap. Secure it with tape and place it into a moving box with the screen facing the inside wall of the box.
Next wrap the other peripherals, like the mouse and keyboard, in packing paper and place them into separate moving boxes. If you own a scanner, a printer or any other peripherals, follow the same steps as for packing a computer tower.
Once you pack all the peripherals and place them into separate boxes, close the boxes and seal them with packing tape. Make sure that you carefully label all of the boxes and components that you've packed separately so nothing gets lost and you don't have to search for power cords or discs when you're unpacking at your new home.
Loading a desktop computer onto the truck
When you're loading your computer onto a moving truck, be extremely careful with how you move it and where you place it. Make sure the box is clearly marked as "Fragile" and that nothing heavy is stacked on top of it. Also, try not to keep it in a place that gets too hot, as extremely high temperatures or exposure to direct sunlight and extreme heat can damage some of the computer's components.
How to pack a laptop for shipping
Packing a laptop is easy because it can be carried with you by simply placing it in its backpack. But if you don't have a laptop bag, you can simply pack your laptop in suitcase.
Here's how to pack a laptop in a suitcase.
- First disconnect the laptop charger, adapter, and other supplies from the device and pack them in one place to ensure they don't go missing during the move.
- Next, shut down your laptop and make sure everything is turned off completely.
- Then wrap the laptop computer in bubble wrap or packing paper and place it into a suitcase with clothes. Make sure that you carry your suitcase during the move.
If you still need help packing and moving your computer and other electronics, read our latest guide Tips for packing Electronics to make your move easier.