Computers are a major part of everyday living - and if you have a desktop PC, you know that they can be costly and fragile. So if you're doing a small local trip or a long-distance move, here's what you'll need to know about packing and moving your computer in your car. It is not all that hard when you understand what to do and move with a plan.
How to Pack your PC for Moving
When packing a computer tower 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 needed to pack your computer:
- Bubble wrap or packing paper
- Soft items (towels, blankets, etc.)
- Strong cardboard boxes (small and regular)
- Permanent marker
- Sealable gallon Ziplock bag / Zip-tie bags
- Packing tape
- Packing peanuts
Taking Apart your Computer for a Move
If this is your first time taking down your computer, don't stress. It's quite simple. But first, be sure that you back up your PC to an external hard drive or cloud storage before taking it apart (just in case). Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and Amazon are reliable and all have free and paid account options.
To take apart your computer to pack up, follow these steps:
- Take a picture of your setup and cable orientation
- Turn off your computer and monitor
- Disconnect the computer from the power source
- Separate every cable from the back (or front) of your computer (power and peripherals like mouse, keyboard, etc)
- Wind up individual cables, zip tie them and place the small items and cables in a large plastic bag.
- Set all external pieces aside (like your mouse, keyboard, camera, microphone).
- Do not try to move the entire unit with any attached cables.
Packing a PC Tower
Generously wrap your PC tower with soft items like blankets. Use the roll of bubble wrap to wrap around the sides, and then the top of the PC tower. Make sure that the bubbles are facing inwards. Secure with tape. Do the same for your mouse, keyboard, modem, and other external hardware. Place those items in a small box.
Box up your PC
Line the bottom and sides of your big box with crumpled paper or packaging peanuts. You can also use soft things like jackets, sheets, or towels.
For your computer monitor, wrap it with bubble wrap and secure it with tape. Wrap the outside with soft items like you would with a flat-screen tv or picture frames.
Label your PC Box
**This is very important** Write something indicating that this box should not be put on the moving truck. Be clear about what is inside and how it should be handled:
Or - if you’re moving a computer inside a car:
"Computer for Car Transport ONLY"
Be mindful to follow your “fragile” instructions as you pack and stack other boxes. Accidents happen, and it’s a shame when fragile, expensive items get crushed by heavy boxes.
Loading a Desktop Computer onto a Moving Truck
When you're loading your computer onto a moving truck, be extremely careful with how you move it and where you place it. If you are sending your computer with professional movers on an interstate move, it’s important to make sure it’s safe and secure.
- Make sure the box is clearly marked as "Fragile"
- Ensure that nothing heavy is stacked on top of it
- Avoid places where it will get too hot. Extremely high temperatures or exposure to direct sunlight and extreme heat can damage some of the computer's delicate components.
How to Load your Desktop PC into a Car
Even if you have already hired movers, it’s not uncommon to move some items in your car. This is especially true for household items that you’ll need immediately upon arrival, or things like grandfather clocks, delicate china, or electronics that you want to care for.
By moving your PC in a car, you will have more control over its placement, and you can adjust its placement if things shift around. Because your mover’s insurance doesn’t cover items that you personally pack and transport, it’s important to load your computer correctly. Here’s how we suggest you pack and move a PC inside your car:
While it’s always best to place fragile items into a car last – it’s sometimes not possible with larger fragile boxes. In this case, it is a much better idea to load your computer into the car first and then pad around it with safe, soft items.
Behind the passenger seat is the best place to safely transport your boxed-up PC. Move your seat forward, place the box in, and track the seatback to snug it into place. If there’s some wiggle room, slide the seat up and place towels or blankets box. Then slide the seat back until it secures the computer and it will not shift around.
Place the wrapped up computer monitor in next-to-last – face up or vertical with nothing on top of it. Be sure that it is tightly secured in place.
Drive Safely With your Computer
As always, bumps are inevitable. But take care to drive responsibly when transporting fragile electronic items like a PC tower. When you pack fragile items yourself for short local moves, they can be more be prone to break on short trips. Many people don’t spend enough time because many people don’t spend enough time protecting them in the packing process.
Whether you’re doing a DIY move or you need a moving company, Movers.com can help you find the best moving trucks and local moving services in your area.
Get a free quote now!
For more packing tips and tricks, check out our electronics packing guide.