How to Pack a Computer for Moving – 5 Steps You Should Follow

With high-end PCs costing up to $4,000, learning how to pack a computer for moving could save you a lot of money in the long run. Besides being some of the most expensive items you’ll own, these electronics are also very fragile, which makes the task of securing them even more critical. Take a look at the five most important steps you should take when preparing your computer for transport.

While preparing a PC may seem simple at first, you’ll have to be very careful when handling these delicate electronics. Since you’ll already have many other things to do, know that you always have the option of hiring professional movers and packers in Chicago.

Step 1 – Acquire All the Necessary Supplies

How do I pack my computer to move? Before we can answer that question, you’ll have to get all the supplies first. Unlike packing books, where you’ll only need a few containers, wrapping your PC will require a lot more materials right from the beginning. Computers are not only expensive but very fragile as well, so try not to cut costs on supplies, or you might end up spending a lot more to make up for the damages. Overall, besides the regular packing kit like scissors and tape, you will also need to get:

  • Computer boxes,
  • Bubble wrap,
  • Packing paper,
  • Styrofoam inserts or peanuts,
  • Small Ziploc bags.

Besides these materials, you can also secure your PC by using various things you have at home, such as clothes, towels, or even blankets.

It’s Always Better to Use Original Packaging When Possible

If you ask any professional, “How do you package a computer?“, they’d tell you it’s always better to keep it in its original packaging. A PC tower and monitor fit perfectly in the boxes that came with them, providing more than enough security while still occupying little to no space. In case you haven’t kept the materials, you will have to measure all components and peripherals. This will allow you to get boxes of appropriate size, big enough to fit both the item and the padding, but not too big that the PC moves when packed.

Using original packaging makes the entire process a lot easier

Step 2 – Prepare the Computer for Packing

Since your PC is likely one of the most valuable belongings you have, preparing your computer for packing is going to be one of the most important tasks on your relocation to-do list. While you already took some measurements for the containers, you’ll also need to back up your files and remove the peripherals before you begin to wrap individual components.

Backing Up Your Data Is a Crucial Step in Preparing Your Computer for a Move

While insurance will save you from buying new equipment in case of an accident, crucial information could be lost for good. For this reason alone, backing up your data is the most critical step of preparing your PC for relocation. Even if you’re relocating to one of the safest neighborhoods in Chicago, you’ll want to make at least two copies of your essential files. Depending on their size, you have the option of creating a physical copy on a USB or an external hard drive. However, since these can also get lost or damaged, it’s recommended that you upload all your crucial documents online. Using a cloud storage service is easy, with many of them offering both free and premium storage options. If you’re not sure which ones to use, check out Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive.

Remove the Peripherals Before You Start Packing Your PC

If you want to move efficiently, you’ll have to disconnect your PC’s peripheral components. While many of them can easily fit in a single large box, you won’t be able to secure them properly if they are still all plugged in. However, as computers come with at least a few cables, take a few pictures of the back of the PC tower before unplugging anything. This will allow you to reattach all the wires quickly, especially when you have more than one desktop PC in the house. Last but not least, don’t disassemble the tower unless you really know what you’re doing. Opening the computer case will lose you any warranty you might have and easily damage its components.

Taking pictures of the back of your computer case and peripherals will allow you to reattach all the cables easily

Step 3 – Figure Out How to Pack a Desktop Computer for Moving

Is it bad to move a desktop computer? Not if you do it properly. After you’ve disconnected all the individual components, you’ll want to secure the desktop computer case first. Start by padding the container with a thick bubble layer, as this initial cushion will absorb most of the shock during transit. Continue by wrapping the tower with paper and several layers of bubble wrap. Keep the whole thing from unwrapping by taping it on strategic spots, but be careful not to tape directly over the PC case, as the residue is very hard to remove.

Once wrapped, carefully lower the case in the box in the upright position and fill in the remaining gaps with any materials you have. This could be either crumpled-up paper, bubble wrap, styrofoam, or even towels and clothes. To ensure the case can’t move inside the box, lift the container and shake it gently. If you can feel it move, add more padding until the computer is fixed in place. To see how this all looks in action, take a look at the video below.

How Do You Safely Pack a Computer Monitor? These Next Few Tips Will Do the Trick

Securing the monitor should be your top priority since it is likely the most fragile part of any computer. The display is particularly prone to damage, which makes protecting it even more important. If you haven’t kept the original packaging, these following relocation hacks will show you how to move a desktop computer monitor:

  • Remove the stand – The stand should be packed separately when possible. Wrapping it in paper and bubbles should be enough to keep it safe.
  • Use a lot of materials – Similarly to packing plates, the screen should be covered with large paper sheets first, followed by several layers of bubble wrap.
  • Place it in the box vertically – The large display surface should be facing the vertical side of the container. Remember that even a slight increase in pressure can damage the display, and placing it horizontally will lead to a much greater chance of breakage.
  • Fill in the gaps – Just like preparing the PC case, you want to ensure that the screen can’t move once boxed up.
Padding the container with paper or bubble wrap will keep the computer case from moving during transit

Step 4 – Don’t Forget to Prepare the Peripheral Components

While the case and screen are the most expensive parts of any computer, using your PC would be impossible without a few peripherals. If anything, you’ll need at least a mouse, keyboard, and a sound system to experience most of its features. Of course, you may also have to move other peripherals such as a Wi-Fi router, a webcam, printer, or a scanner. If you’re unsure how to prepare these items, the best tips say that you should apply the same principles you used for the case and monitor.

Similar to phone chargers, computer wiring is also one of the more commonly forgotten things to pack. Many peripherals have the same power cord, meaning you can easily mix them up after they’ve been detached from the tower. Fortunately, you can use different colored sticky notes to label which cable belongs to a specific component. However, since you’ll still be dealing with a lot of wires, keep the individual cords from tangling by securing them with twist-ties, binder clips, or even rubber bands. Lastly, after placing them in plastic bags, put the cables in the box with other peripherals.

Use one of the tips we mentioned to keep your cords and wiring from tangling

Step 5 – Take a Few Notes on How to Safely Transport a PC or a Laptop

Anyone who’s not sure how to transport a PC safely should simply treat it as any other fragile item. Firstly, you’ll want to ensure that all the boxes are correctly labeled, as this will minimize the chances of damage occurring when loading the truck. Having “FRAGILE”, “THIS SIDE UP”, “COMPUTER”, or “HANDLE WITH CARE” on each box will alert your local movers in Chicago to properly handle the computer and its components. On the other hand, if you’re planning to transport it yourself, you’ll also need to keep it in place with a seatbelt or a rope.

Secure Your Portable Computer in a Laptop Bag

Laptops are specifically designed to be moved around safely, so you actually won’t have a lot of preparation to do. Most would agree that it is best to carry a laptop in a laptop bag or sleeve. These usually come with the computer itself and offer the best protection, fitting even all of its peripherals. The principles are the same as with the desktop PC, meaning you have to back up your data, power it down, and disconnect the mouse and any other additional components. If you don’t have a proper laptop bag, you can move the portable computer in a suitcase or a backpack. Just make sure it is appropriately wrapped with paper and bubble wrap first.

Make Sure That You’re Hiring One of the Reputable Moving Companies in Chicago, IL

One thing to note is that computers are one of the more common items movers won’t move, so you’ll need to find a moving company in Chicago that’s willing to move it. However, if you don’t want to lose your laptop to an elaborate relocation scam, you should always check if your computer is listed in the bill before signing it. Professional movers in Chicago won’t be required to compensate you for an item that wasn’t previously listed.

Consider Getting Insurance Even When Hiring the Best Movers in Chicago

Despite your best efforts to keep it safe, your PC can still get damaged during transport if an accident occurs. If your relocation expenses checklist budget isn’t maxed out, you should consider getting some premium insurance, even if you know how to pack a computer for shipping. While all Chicago moving companies are liable to compensate you for the damages, the Released Value Protection only requires them to pay you 60 cents per pound per item. Since this is nowhere near the cost it takes to repair or replace a damaged PC, getting appropriate insurance will help you avoid a lot of unnecessary relocation stress.

Find a mover whose service covers expensive electronics

Having Trouble Learning How to Pack a Computer for Moving? Let Our Chicago Movers Handle All Your Electronics

If you’re having trouble preparing your computer for the move, you always have the option of contacting our professional mover in Chicago, IL. Legit Movers is here to ensure your PC doesn’t suffer any damage throughout the entire process. Whether you’re having a home relocation in one of the best neighborhoods in the city or need a professional office move, you’ll have our team’s full support. Contact our customer service today, and you’ll get a free estimate on some of the best professional moving services in Chicago.