Considering how fragile and expensive a PC can be, learning how to pack a computer for moving should be one of your top priorities. If you don’t want to end up replacing the device, make sure you know exactly what needs to be done first. Fortunately, this guide will tell you exactly how to prepare the computer for a move in just five easy steps.

Why Is Knowing How to Pack a Computer for Moving and Storage in Philadelphia So Important?

Why is it so important to know how to safely transport a PC? For starters, these electronics are some of the most fragile items you can own, so you’ll want to take all the necessary precautions when relocating them to storage or a new Philly home. Let’s not forget that computers are incredibly expensive, with some high-end desktop PCs costing more than $4,000. 

That’s why failing to secure them will undoubtedly cause your relocation stress to skyrocket. With all this in mind, you’re probably wondering, “How do I pack my computer to move?” Just follow the tips we listed below, and you’ll be all good to go.

A girl regrets not hiring Philadelphia movers
s it bad to move a desktop computer or a laptop? Only if you do it without appropriate preparations

Step 1 – Get All the Necessary Packing Supplies

Although it’s best to move a computer in its original packaging, many don’t keep it past the first week after getting the device. This means that getting all the necessary supplies will probably be the first thing on your to-do list. Considering how fragile they can be, learning how to pack a computer for shipping is going to require a lot more materials than, let’s say, boxing up dishes. If you’re wondering what’s needed to secure electronics like these correctly, the best moving companies in Philadelphia suggest you use the following packing supplies and materials:

  • Boxes,
  • Packaging paper,
  • Anti-static bubble wrap,
  • Plastic shrink wrap,
  • Packing peanuts,
  • Styrofoam inserts and corner protectors,
  • Foam sheet,
  • Sealable bags,
  • Twist ties,
  • Scissors and tape,
  • Labeling kit,
  • Laptop sleeve or a bag.

Ready to Move?

Free Quote

Measure All the Components Before Getting Any Packing Materials

If you no longer have the original packaging, be aware that you have to measure the PC and its components before getting all the supplies. The desktop computer monitor and tower are both relatively large items, meaning you’ll have to get boxes that are big enough to fit them as well as all the padding. However, you don’t want them to be too large either, as any extra room will enable the device to move inside the container, possibly damaging its finer components. Sometimes it’s best just to get a larger box and cut it down to the size and shape you need.

 A computer ready to be moved by movers in Philadelphia, PA
If possible, try to use the original packaging that came with the computer

Step 2 – Back up All the Important Data

Backing up all your computer data is probably one of the most important things to do before relocating. While the materials we mentioned are enough to keep the PC safe during transportation, you can never be too careful when dealing with this delicate piece of technology. For example, if the hard drive gets damaged in an accident, the backed-up data will allow you to recover all the files almost instantly. 

How to Back up Your Computer?

There are two main ways to back up your computer. For starters, you can make a hard copy of all the files on an external hard drive or a USB stick. However, considering these can be easily lost or misplaced, it might be good to create a few extra copies just in case. Another good option is to upload the data on one of several cloud storage platforms, such as Microsoft OneDrive, iCloud, and Google Drive. 

These platforms will keep all your important documents safe while also allowing you to access them from any Philadelphia neighborhood. However, they also have some disadvantages, like the limited free storage space. Depending on the speed of your internet connection, uploading all the data online takes a lot of time, so it’s best to combine these two methods instead of using just one.

An external hard drive
An external hard drive is the easiest way to store most if not all of your data

Step 3 – Disconnect All the Peripherals

Once all the crucial data is backed up, it’s time to disconnect all the peripherals and cables from the computer. Before you start, make sure that the PC and the main power cord are turned off. Some electronic devices can get damaged when abruptly disconnected from the power source, particularly if that’s done often. 

On that note, if you don’t know your way around a computer, take a few pictures of the back while the cables are still attached. While the original product manual can help you set it up after relocating to your new Philly home, this relocation hack will allow you to plug in everything much more quickly.

Preparing the Peripherals Themselves Is Also an Important Step

Although peripherals might not be as expensive or fragile as the main PC components, they are still necessary for the device to function correctly. This is particularly true for the mouse, keyboard, and speakers, which should be packed in their original packaging. If you haven’t kept it, secure each device with bubble wrap before placing it in a padded container. 

Other peripherals you use, such as your webcam, headphones, and Wi-Fi router, should be packed in the same manner. If you have a printer, it might be good to remove the toner cartridge before boxing it up, as it can easily spill over the rest of your belongings during transport. Once it’s out of the device, secure it in a sealable bag, and it will be good to go.

Don’t Lose Track of All the Cables and Cords

Besides the peripherals, it’s also essential to secure all the wiring that comes with the computer. Although they are just as crucial for the machine to run, cables are one of the most commonly forgotten things to pack. They also get tangled up pretty quickly, but you can prevent this by coiling them up and using a twist tie or a rubber band to keep them from unwinding.

If you have several PCs at home, it’s best to place all the wiring next to the computer it belongs to. This will prevent a lot of mix-ups and allow you to spot if anything is missing quickly. You can do this by placing a label on each cable separately or simply putting everything that came with a PC in a large sealable plastic bag. Fortunately, someone with a laptop won’t have to worry about this much wiring, as they will only have to secure the charger.

A USB cable
Twist ties are perfect for keeping your cables from getting all tangled up

Step 4 – Secure the Laptop or the Remaining Desktop Computer Components

Now that all the other things have been taken care of, it’s finally time to secure your computer. Be aware that the process will differ significantly depending on the type of PC you own. While a laptop only requires a good bag, sleeve, or backpack to be safely transported, it’s much harder to learn how to move a desktop computer. For example, you’ll have to secure the tower and monitor separately.

Learn How to Pack a Desktop Computer for Moving

While it’s very easy to move a laptop in a backpack or a bag, how do you transport a desktop computer? For starters, the case needs to be wrapped with several layers of anti-static bubble wrap, which should be secured with tape or shrink plastic wrapping. Once that’s done, place styrofoam inserts on the top and bottom side of the tower before lowering it in an appropriate box. If you want to be extra safe, make sure that the container is padded, which can be done with paper or any other padding materials we mentioned earlier.

The monitor is likely the most fragile part of any computer, so you want to be extra careful when securing it. Although the process is somewhat complex, anyone who tried boxing up a TV will already have a good idea of what to do. Firstly, remove the device from its stand or unmount it from the wall, then cover the display with a foam sheet and wrap everything in the same manner as the tower. Lower the monitor into the box once the styrofoam inserts are in place and fill in any remaining space with padding.

Hiring Professional Movers in Philadelphia, PA, Makes the Entire Process Much Easier

If you’re relocating in a hurry or just need help with the preparations, hiring Philly movers to assist you is always a good idea. While this might increase your total relocation expenses, the price is worth not having to worry about replacing the computer. You can also box it up yourself and hire professionals to transport it for you. To see how the whole process could look like, check out the video below.

Step 5 – Label Each Box With Electronics as Fragile

Similar to how you would label boxes when packing glasses and heavy pots and pans, it’s crucial to mark all the boxes with electronics correctly. Although labeling prevents a lot of potential accidents from occurring, it’s still one of the more common things people forget to do before relocating. 

Simply placing a label that says, “THIS SIDE UP” and “FRAGILE” will notify anyone who handles these belongings to be extra careful. This is particularly important when hiring a Philadelphia moving company, as the movers can’t just guess what’s inside each container. Besides keeping your computer components safe, labeling will also allow you to unpack after relocating quickly.

One of the Philly movers placing a label on a box
Place appropriate labels on all the containers with electronics as soon as they are packed

Still Not Sure How to Transport a PC Safely? Hire One of the Best Philadelphia Moving Companies to Do It for You

As you can see, while a laptop might be easy to move, securing a desktop computer takes a lot more effort. Considering you’ll also have a ton of other tasks before the move, you might not have enough time to do everything appropriately. While all the tips we mentioned here should be enough to help you prepare the device for transport, making a mistake could potentially cost you a ton of money in damages. DIY is often not worth the risk, so it’s better to hire a professional service provider right from the start.

If you need someone to do all the preparations for you, Philadelphia Movers is one of the best companies working in the field today. Our incredible team provides an excellent packing service that will ensure your computer is appropriately packed and ready for transport before you know it. Combine this with a residential move, and you’ll have a complete package, meaning you won’t have to worry about anything. We also provide commercial moving services in Philadelphia, allowing entrepreneurs to relocate their offices without any delays. If you want to move efficiently in the Philly area, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll provide you with a free estimate right away.