Guide to pack IT equipment

Are you planning on moving and taking your computer equipment with you? Well, you’re in for quite a bit of work then! Packing and relocating computer equipment is a huge part of what makes the job of commercial movers so difficult. It doesn’t matter whether you’re moving your business, your home office or simply your personal vast collection of electronics. You’ll need to learn how to pack IT equipment properly if you want your move to be safe and efficient. So before you start packing, take a look at our handy guide to packing computer equipment!

Why is it so difficult to pack IT equipment?

IT equipment is notoriously difficult to pack and move for a number of reasons:

  • computers and other electronics are incredibly fragile and therefore easily damaged
  • damaged electronics can be very expensive to repair or replace
  • IT equipment also includes a lot of cables which are very easy to mix up
  • losing even a single component can sometimes require replacing the entire device

So as you can see, there is a lot to worry about when packing IT equipment. You may even want to hire professional movers and packers to do it instead.

Laptop on a desk.
Computers are very fragile.

Consider hiring professional movers and packers

If you have a lot of computers or other IT equipment, it may be best to leave packing it to professionals. Their packing and unpacking services are more often than not the fastest and safest way to move electronics. You may need to set aside a few extra bucks for the professional service. But it’ll be worth it when all your IT equipment arrives in perfect condition!

How to pack IT equipment: a step by step guide

If you’re planning on packing your computer equipment yourself, you should know the right way to do it first. Before you even begin, you should know that packing electronics takes more time than packing things like clothes or even furniture. So set aside enough time to do it properly and without rushing.

Step 1: downsize as much as you can

Just like with packing everything else, the more electronics you have, the harder it is to move them. To make packing easier, consider getting rid of some of your IT equipment. You can donate working electronics that you’ve upgraded from to an organization like Computers with Causes or sell the things that no longer work for parts.

Step 2: take photos before you pack IT equipment

Before you start pulling cables out, take photos of where they’re supposed to go. Packing is just the first part of a move, remember? You’ll still need to unpack all your IT equipment and set it up again. And doing that without instructions is even harder than putting together IKEA furniture without the manual. So catalog where each cable goes before you take everything apart for the move. You may even want to consider labeling your cables and ports so they’re easier to match up again later.

Step 3: shut down, unplug and disconnect everything

Before you start packing any device, make sure it’s completely shut down. Otherwise, you may lose important data or cause damage to your equipment. Then unplug each component that is plugged into electricity. Finally, take each device apart completely. This means disconnecting all cables, taking off any removable parts, and separating monitors, system units, keyboards, mouses, speakers, scanners, and printers from each other. IT equipment is easier and safer to move in parts than as a whole.

Computer on a desk.
Make sure to power everything down completely before packing.

Step 4: start to pack IT equipment with the smallest components

The first things you should pack are the small loose components. This includes cables, keyboards, mouses, and anything of a similar size. Sort your cables according to the device they belong to and tie them together before putting them in a bag. Keyboards and mouses, on the other hand, can be transported in plastic bags together without any further preparation.

Step 5: prepare a packing station

You’ll need some more preparation before you move on to packing the more fragile and larger components. First, make sure you have all the packing supplies you may need. Then put them all together on one desk that will serve as a packing station. That way you won’t have to run around looking for scissors or buying extra tape in the middle of packing.

Step 6: safely pack IT equipment for transport

You want to pack the largest pieces of IT equipment, such as monitors and system units, last. These are the most fragile parts of a computer and require extra attention. Start by wrapping each item in at least one and preferably two protective layers, a moving blanket or bubble wrap for example. Then put these wrapped bundles in boxes. Fill each box as much as possible without overstuffing it. Finally, fill any remaining space in the boxes with extra packing supplies like moving blankets, packing peanuts or shredded paper.

More tips on how to pack IT equipment

Following this guide, you should be able to pack your IT equipment for any move. But there are a few more tips we can share with you!

Use high-quality packing supplies

It’s best to use original packing for electronic devices whenever possible. This is especially useful for small but fragile devices or components like tablets and web cameras which cannot be packed in bulk and must instead be protected from damage individually. If the original packaging is not an option, always high-quality packing supplies such as padded blankets and sturdy plastic boxes.

Packing supplies.
Don’t be thrifty with packing supplies for IT equipment.

Label everything

Staying organized is key when it comes to IT equipment. So remember to label absolutely everything. From cables to Ziploc bags to boxes, classify everything to make it easier to unpack and put back together.

Be prepared for losses anyway

Finally, no matter how well you pack IT equipment, odds are some of it won’t survive the move in perfect condition. You will have to make your peace with this. Prepare for it by setting aside a bit of your budget for repairs and replacements. And don’t forget to back up all your files on a cloud so you don’t lose them in case the hardware suffers during the move!

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