How to Pack Electronics For the College Move

How to Pack Electronics For the College Move

Anthony Nguyen
Aug 7, 2009

If you're anything like us, you've got a reasonably sized collection of gadgets and home furnishings, as well as some kind of over-sized monstrosity you've done nearly all of your work in during the past few years. Unfortunately, for those of you headed to college these next coming months, you'll be looking at some form of 'Clean House' methodology to keep that junk down to a minimum, while hopefully carefully planning how to move those sometimes delicate electronics items from home to the dorm...

1) Prioritize: Things you'll need include the things that you can't rebuy anywhere else (or is simply too expensive to do so). This includes your main computer, stereo, router, and other really pricey light electronic pieces that you probably don't plan on replacing.

2) Think in squares: Getting similarly sized moving boxes can really help you organize and mentally approximate what can really fit in your car/moving truck when heading out.

3) Remove all movable parts: You'll want to stray away from odd shaped pieces or movable parts that can easily break off during a move. This means disassembling larger pieces, leaving home tech you don't find yourself using daily, removing and packing individually parts like inkjet cartridges (Ziploc bags keep them from drying out in transit)

4) TV or no TV?: This really depends if Hulu won't do it for you while you're over there. If you truly need to replace your home theater, make sure to pack your LCD or plasma screen (if it's CRT, it's definitely not coming) so that the screen is heavily protected from sharp edges and blunt corners that may shatter it while it's being shipped. Otherwise, leave it as a tech hand-me-down - your recipient will love you for it!

5) Reuse product packaging: Want to ship that computer or monitor in a safe manner? Hopefully you've saved the original packaging that it came in when you first bought it, because it's likely the best protected option, since the packing around it was specifically designed to protect it.

6) Color code cables/wires: A little effort before you move will be a world of difference once you arrive and need to put all these things back together upon arrival at the dorms. So take the time and use twist ties and labels to keep all cables/wires for specific computers, printers or monitors altogether.

7) Leave the CD collection at home: CD's weigh a ton. Convert all your music to digital format and store them away on your computer and/or an external hard drive.

8) Use antistatic packing material: use antistatic packing popcorn or bubble wrap to prevent your hardware from getting zapped from static electricity. All that moving around on the trip up to college will undoubtedly lead to some static electrical build up.

9) Pack from heaviest to lightest: Movers recommend placing your largest and heaviest items on the bottom and add lighter, with smaller items ontop and packing foam to fill in the gaps to prevent any extraneous jostling around.

10) Ship with instructions: you might have setup that computer or stereo awhile back ago, but maybe you won't be sure how to put altogether once you have to put it altogether again. If you've got instructions for computers, stereos or other electronics that require setup, it doesn't hurt to include the instructions materials for reference.

Have a traveling college student packing tip to give? Let us know below!

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