A laptop and some headphones

How to Pack Electronics for Moving to a Different Bay Area City

Posted in: Packing Tips

Written by: Michael Vaughan

If you want your TV, computer, and other devices to arrive at the new home in one piece, learning how to pack electronics for moving should be one of your top priorities. These belongings are fragile and often very expensive, making relocating them to a different Bay Area city incredibly difficult. Thankfully, this guide has everything you need to know to secure them correctly.

Why Is Learning How to Secure Electronic Devices So Important?

Computers, TVs, and video game consoles are some of the most expensive belongings you have at home. These devices are also very fragile, meaning they can easily break during transportation to a different Bay Area town. If you want to avoid increasing your relocation expenses by hundreds of dollars, make sure they are appropriately packed before trying to move them. Fortunately, this guide will help you prepare everything easily, even if you’re relocating for the first time.

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Which Supplies Do I Need to Use When Packing Electronics?

Getting supplies is an essential part of every relocation, whether you’re boxing up dishes or electronic devices. However, most San Francisco moving companies in the Bay Area say you should always use the original packaging when possible

After all, it comes with all the necessary materials, making most of the preparations later down the line significantly easier. However, it’s also ok if you haven’t kept it, as you can get most of the things you need from any better supply store in the Bay. To avoid forgetting anything, create a packing list with the following materials and equipment:

  • Thick cardboard boxes of all sizes,
  • Paper,
  • Bubble wrap,
  • Plastic shrink wrap,
  • Blankets,
  • Styrofoam (including corner protectors),
  • Packing peanuts,
  • Sealable bags,
  • Strong tape,
  • Rubber bands or twist ties,
  • Labeling kit (including markers, stickers, and labels).

Make Certain You Have the Right Kind of Bubble Wrapping

Is bubble wrap safe for electronics? Although this wrapping material is commonly used for securing glasses and various other delicate belongings, it’s been known to damage some devices. This is because it creates an electrostatic discharge (ESD) when it comes into contact with a charged object. 

If you’re still planning on using it, try to get anti-static bubble wrap, which is usually labeled as ESD safe. However, this form is not widely available, with only a handful of retailers in San Jose and the East Bay offering it. Instead of calling a bunch of stores to see if they have it, it’s much easier to get it from your professional Bay Area movers.

Bubble wrap used by many Bay Area movers
Most anti-static bubble wraps have a pink color

How to Prepare Electronics for a Move to a Different Bay Area City?

Before we get to how you’re going to secure all the devices, a few things will have to be addressed first. If you’ve never moved a delicate item like this before, it’s best to consult the original product manual before doing anything. We already mentioned that these are some very fragile items, so you’ll have to be extra careful when preparing them for a move. If you’re unsure where to start, back up the data and remove all the peripherals before you do anything else.

Backup All the Data Before Doing Anything Else

While properly boxing up your devices will do a lot to keep them safe, this won’t always protect them in case of an accident. If they get lost or irreparably damaged, you stand to lose a ton of valuable data. This is precisely why you should always back up everything before you even begin packing. For example, uploading your files on one of several cloud storage platforms will allow you to quickly access them no matter which Bay Area town you moved to. If you’re unsure which ones are good, try using Google Drive, Sync, iCloud, or Microsoft OneDrive.
While these always provide some free storage, know that securing all your data online will still require you to spend a bit of money. Considering it would take a long time to download everything, making a hard copy of the most crucial files on a USB or an external hard drive might be a good idea.

Packing Cables and Peripherals Is a Significant Part of the Entire Process

Considering all devices come with at least one peripheral, they will need to be detached and packed before the actual move. Once you turn the item off, make sure all the chargers and power cords are accounted for. These are some of the most commonly forgotten things to pack and can easily get lost if not secured right away. 

To keep all the wiring from tangling, coil up each cable and secure it with a rubber band or a twist tie, then place it in a plastic bag near the device it came with. With everything you have to deal with, it might be good to also take some pictures of the devices with the peripherals attached before unplugging anything. This will allow you to plug all the cables back in almost immediately. 

 A woman regrets not hiring local movers in Bay Area
Backing up will prevent you from losing any of your files in the case of an accident

How to Properly Secure Specific Devices for Relocation?

Once all the preparations are complete, you’re finally ready to start boxing up these devices. Considering you’ll often be using the same materials, most of these items will be packed in a very similar fashion. However, the process will always vary at least slightly, so feel free to consult the original user manual when securing something. After all, not all of us are tech experts.

How to Secure a TV for Relocation?

Although more and more people are watching things on their computers, the TV is still the centerpiece of the living room. It’s also one of the most expensive things you can own, so you’ll want to do everything you can to secure it from potential damage that can occur during relocation. If you’re not sure how to pack a TV, you want to remove all the cables first, then take it off the stand or unmount it from the wall.

To keep the display safe, place foam sheets or a large piece of cardboard on it, then cover the entire thing with several layers of bubble wrap. If you don’t want everything to unwrap, tape it on several strategic spots or add shrink wrapping on top. Just to be safe, place some corner protectors and cover the TV with a blanket before you box it up. Lastly, place it in the truck in the upright position and avoid putting anything directly on the display.

How to Prepare a Desktop Computer for Relocation?

While you only need a good bag to secure a laptop for transport, protecting a desktop computer is going to require a lot more work. Firstly, you have to box up the monitor, which is done exactly as securing the TV. Packing a computer tower is next, which will require a ton of bubble wrapping. Once the case is covered, add styrofoam sleeves on top and bottom before placing the thing in an appropriate container.

How Do I Pack My Stereo Equipment for Moving?

The process of securing the stereo equipment should start with detaching the speakers from the receiver. Considering these are a bit sturdier, cover them with blankets and shrink wraps if you can’t find a large enough container. To keep them from toppling in the truck, place the speakers against the walls or between two pieces of furniture. The receiver is more delicate and should be packed the same way as you would a computer case. If you want to see how the process looks in action, check out the video below.

How Do You Package Electronics for Shipping to a Different Bay Area City?

How do you package these devices for shipping? Considering you’re not boxing up books or sturdy pots and pans, make sure that all the boxes are adequately padded. While it’s ok to use paper for less delicate objects, it’s best to use bubble wrapping, peanuts, and styrofoam. Considering these materials are the only thing that will prevent a device from moving inside the box, try not to skimp on them. Once the initial layer of protection has been set, carefully lower the wrapped item onto it and continue adding more padding material until the box is full. Once you close the lids with a few layers of tape, the package is good to go.

Labeling Containers With These Devices Will Help Them Get to Your New Home in One Piece

While a properly packed device is protected from potential damage during transport, you should still label every box you’ve packed. Although you might know which containers hold what items, other people handling them won’t. This is exactly what makes labeling one of the more critical things to do before relocating. Placing a label that says “FRAGILE” or “THIS SIDE UP” will immediately tell everyone they are handling delicate equipment.

A man placing a label for the Bay Area moving company
Labeling the boxes correctly will prevent a lot of accidents

What to Do With All the Devices You Don’t Want to Move?

If you’re planning to move in together with a partner, there’s a good chance you won’t have to move all the devices and peripherals to the new home. However, you’ll still have to figure out what to do with them before the relocation. More often than not, you’ll have at least one of the following options available:

  • Selling – Extension cables, chargers, and even remotes that still work can quickly be sold through a garage sale. Selling a vintage piece of equipment or a relatively new laptop will allow you to quickly save money to move out and even allow you to hire a professional Bay Area moving company.
  • Donating – If you didn’t manage to sell everything, find a way to donate some devices. This can either be done at local recycling centers such as Green Citizen and Evergreen IT Solutions or the traditional charity organizations such as Goodwill and The Salvation Army.
  • Recycling – Considering it’s illegal to throw electronic waste like old computers, TVs, and batteries into the trash, recycle anything unusable or too damaged to be sold or donated. However, to get rid of all the unwanted stuff, you’ll have to find a place where it can be recycled first. Fortunately, there are several recycling centers across the entire Bay, with most of them having dedicated drop-off sites. For example, Recology’s San Francisco Transfer Station allows you to dispose of 30 objects per month for free, while everything over that will be charged $1.50 apiece.

Consider Placing Some of These Items in Storage

If you don’t want to move everything to the new place but still want to keep some of the devices, it might be best to place them in storage. However, this is not as easy as you might think. Many electronic devices are very sensitive to temperature changes, as they could easily cause irreparable damage to some of the more refined components. Humidity is also a big problem, which means you will have to find a climate-controlled storage facility. If you’re planning on storing the devices for an extended period, ensure all the batteries have been removed. These can leak when not used, which could render the item unusable after a while.

If you’re looking to rent a storage locker from one of the Bay Area moving companies, Golden Bay Relocation has excellent facilities you can use. Our warehouse provides perfect conditions for these devices, allowing you to keep them stored for a very long time. Those already renting a unit should get an in- and-out-of storage move and let our San Francisco movers handle all the preparations and transportation.

One of the Bay Area movers placing some things in storage
If you don’t want to give anything away, rent a locker and store the remaining devices

Still Don’t Know How to Pack Electronics for Moving? Let Our Local Movers in the Bay Area Handle These Items for You

As you can see, a lot of thought has to go into securing these devices when relocating to a different Bay Area city. From dealing with all the peripherals to getting all the necessary supplies, it can be very easy to overlook something. Failing to protect them could end up costing you a ton of money, which will only cause more relocation stress. If you’re unsure how to secure them properly, it’s best to let professional packers and movers take care of everything for you.

Besides helping you secure a computer, TV, and other devices, hiring our professional moving company in the Bay Area will give you access to all or local relocation services. Whether you’re having a typical residential move or a large commercial relocation, you can count on the best movers in San Francisco to make everything much easier. If you want to move efficiently, don’t hesitate to contact us. Just submit a request for a free quote, and one of our representatives will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Michael Vaughan
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