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If you’ve ever moved, you know that moving electronics can be stressful. Just one misplaced cord or cable can make the difference between a smooth move and a big headache. Here are six tips to help ensure that your electronics arrive at their destination safe and (with functioning) sound.

1. Refer to the Owner’s Manual.

Even if you don’t have the original guide handy, you often can find an owner’s manual on the manufacturer’s website or elsewhere online. Follow the instructions as best you can with what you have available. If you don’t have the original box, as a guide might suggest, improvise with one that is big enough to fit snugly around the item, but that allows some space for extra padding to be added to the sides and bottom. If you’re repurposing an old box, make sure it’s clean and dry before using it.

2. Disconnect and Remove Extra Pieces.

Remove anything that’s detachable or didn’t originally come with the main hardware before packing. This includes wires, cables, batteries, toner, ink cartridges, flash drives, CDs, DVDs and video games. Use tape, string, or twist or zip ties to keep cords from tangling. Keep all smaller items together in a bag for each electronics item, but pack them separately from any larger parts to avoid damage.

Don’t forget to return any items that you got through a service provider. Returning the items you won’t be moving, such as satellite TV, Internet, cable TV or DVR equipment, will prevent you from losing track of them or having to pay to replace them.

It’s a good idea to back up all data, files and media on a separate hard drive or online so you have a spare copy in case of damage or loss.

3. Label Everything.

Just as you label your moving boxes, it’s important to label your electronics and all their parts as well, especially the parts you’re moving or storing separately. Many wires and cables look the same, so if you think you’ll confuse which cord goes where on a particular electronics item, label it, write down instructions, draw a diagram or take photos before disassembling.

Make sure you label each box in a way that’ll help you keep everything as organized as possible. Be descriptive. Include the electronics item associated with the pieces, the room where it goes, how many parts there are or whether anything is particularly fragile.

towels

Towels can be used as packing material for electronics.

4. Repurpose Household Items as Packaging Material.

Instead of packing your towels, sheets, blankets, tablecloths, fabric placemats and other softer textiles in a separate box, use them to protect your electronics. Beware of textured or embellished fabrics that may scratch glass or metal. For long-term storage, wrap electronics in soft linen or paper before placing them in the box to help prevent dust build-up.

5. Pay Attention to Climate Control.

A good way to ruin an electronics item is to leave it in extreme heat, cold or moisture. Even a few hours of harmful conditions can render an electronics item useless. If you’re storing electronics for the long haul, find a storage company that maintains a unit temperature between 50 and 80 degrees and uses a dehumidifier, which helps prevent damage from cracking, corrosion and moisture.

Take further precaution by using a dehumidifying agent such as silica gel packets in the box where your electronics item will be stored. Keep electronics several inches from the ground while they’re in storage. If possible, avoid using outdoor, ground-level or underground storage to help prevent water damage.

6. Think About Transportation.

Try to move electronics in a smaller vehicle rather than putting them in a moving van, where they’ll less secure or can be left in extreme heat or cold for long periods. Once you arrive at your final destination, be sure to take them inside your home or your storage space to prevent damage or theft.

Silvia Navejar is a writer and outreach manager for satellitetv.com.

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