When I moved from Portland, to Seattle, this was my main concern because my computer represented a portion of my livelihood. Without it, I was not only out a computer, but out of money as well. So I went the extra length to make sure my computer was packed just right.
I’ve since learned some tips from people in the know — people who pack computers for a living!
Here’s the best way to pack computers in preparation for moving…
#1 Insure your computer with the moving company. If the moving company will only insure your computer by the pound and your computer weighs, say, 60 pounds then you’re only going to get $25 or so if it gets damaged. If that’s the case, then consider shipping your computer instead, and buy insurance that way. Of course, if you’ll be moving your computer from one location to the next yourself, then insurance is not an issue.
#2 Use the boxes that your computer came in to pack your computer for moving. Using the same boxes with the same packing materials will ensure that your computer will be in the safest possible position throughout the move itself. You can never be too careful when you pack computers in boxes.
#3 If you don’t have the original boxes that your computer came in, then purchase a computer packing kit. These come with all the appropriate materials to properly pack computers. It’s up to you, you can do a DIY computer packing job using any old box, or you can use boxes made specifically for packing computers. If you’re using a moving company though, I would recommend using a true computer box. Here are some extra precautions you can take to pack computers in boxes.
#4 Before putting your computer in the box, first back up all your documents. You can purchase an external hard drive, a flash drive, or DVDs for use when backing up your computer. Do this first, before you even think of disconnecting the power cord on your computer. That way, if your computer is somehow damaged in such a way that the files are gone forever, you still have a way to access those files! IMPORTANT: Keep your flash drives and DVDs with computer data on them with you during the entire moving process. Do not put them on the moving truck.
#5 Allow your computer to cool off completely before you start to disconnect all the cords and pack it up. That way, there is no chance for any of the plastic packing materials to melt into or on your computer. Computers do get hot enough sometimes to do this, so it’s important to allow your computer to cool off first.
#6 Disconnect all the cables including the power cord and then color code them so you know where they go when it’s time to reconnect. This is especially true if you are not familiar with how to hook up your computer or can’t remember from the last time you did it. Wrap all computer cords together using rubber bands or twisty ties before packing them.
#7 Use extra bubble wrap around your CPU or computer tower. This provides extra insurance that your computer won’t become damaged during the move. Even if you have the original packing materials it came it, it won’t hurt to add some bubble wrap to fill in all the empty spaces in the box.
#8 Your computer should always remain upright or on its side (with the motherboard side on the bottom) during the move. This will prevent damaging the all-important motherboard. When loading and unloading the computer, make sure that you don’t turn the computer upside down! It’s best to mark boxes with packed computers using arrows and “THIS SIDE UP.”
Here’s a quick & dirty video: How To Pack Computers For A Move.